Posted by Joleene Moody

So there I was, minding my own business (not really) in a Facebook group filled with actors when I came across a thread where a fellow actor posed the following question:

“Do I really need a brand as an actor? I see all of these posts where it says we need to brand ourselves and I’m freaking out. Does it really matter?”

The answers that followed the question were varied, to say the least. And of course they did; this is social media we’re talking about. You can say whatever the hell you want on Facebook and be an expert. Clearly that’s what I intended to do here.

No, but seriously, let’s get this cleared up once and for all so we can carry on with our lives with great success and joy.

If you want to stop reading here, then I’ll cut to the chase:

YES, YOU NEED A BRAND. The end. Thanks for stopping in.

If you want to learn more about what a brand really is, read on. I promise, if anything, it will be amusing.

 

What The Hell is a Brand?

I used to think having a brand meant just having a logo. Pepsi has one and theirs is a whole big thing. Nike has a logo and they just do it. Starbucks has one, and just about every human in the world recognizes it.

So maybe I needed one?

That was my thought when I started my coaching and speaking business in 2010. I was a professional speaker traveling the country selling coaching packages for women entrepreneurs. And this….was my logo:

The Truth About Your Brand And Why it Does Matter

Cool, right? (I thought so.)

Cool as it was, it wasn’t my brand. It was just a small part of it. It took me several years before I realized my brand was my presence. It was ME. It was how I showed up in the world and how I presented myself.

So even if I didn’t have a logo, I had personality. And how I showed that personality to potential clients, casting directors, and executives would make a bigger difference than I realized.

 

Creating Your Brand

I think lots of us stress out over creating a brand. We think if we don’t have one, that were doomed.

That’s not true. Because even if you don’t have branding elements like a logo, colors, a signature image, etc, you still have YOU. Let me dig some more into what I mean.

Several years ago I was the lead vocalist in a band. I hated wearing heels, so I always kicked them off. I went barefoot on stage. I also got very cold hands, even under hot lights, so I would wear black, knitted gloves.

One day during a break I went to the bar for a drink. A lady there said to me, “You always wear those gloves. And no shoes. I think that’s so cool. It’s your signature.”

It’s my signature.

It’s how people recognized me. Bare feet and knitted gloves was how people recognized me.

Years later, I ran around town with white blonde hair and a black streak in the front. I always wore black, maroon, and lace and, even on stage as a speaker, kicked off my shoes.

The Truth About Your Brand And Why it Does MatterMy headshots from 2013/2014. I had that black streak for almost a decade!

 

I had discovered my brand.

If you visit my website, the colors are black and maroon. Still. I had a branding expert help me with some of the content and I remember her saying, “What do you think your colors are?”

"Definitely black and dark maroon,” I said.

She shook her head and said, “No. You have a vibrant personality. You should have pastels.”

NOPE.

I leaned forward and looked at her, my black-painted fingernails tapping at the table as I pushed the black streak of hair off of my forehead. “Black and dark maroon. I may have a bright personality, but those are the colors I resonate with the most. So let’s work with those.”

 

Sharing Your Brand With the World

Some of you may not realize this, but when you’re mouthy or kind of a dick online, you’re sharing your brand.

When you’re kind and compassionate or even vulnerable, you’re also sharing your brand.

So, depending on how you choose to show up in the world, you are remembered for how you deliver yourself, how you present yourself, how you conduct yourself, how you represent your work, and how you respond to others. Sure, logos are pretty and act as a primary identifier for many businesses and entrepreneurs, but …branding is absolutely critical to a business because of the overall impact it makes on your company. Branding can change how people percept your brand, it can drive new business and increase brand awareness.” (brandingmag.com)

 

Creating a Brand on a Budget

No cash flow for a website or logo? All good. Try some of these tips to start creating a brand that makes you recognizable:

  • Guest Blog. I don’t care if you’re rolling your eyes at this right now because I say it all the time. It’s true. I can’t tell you how much my writing business has grown because I blog on my site, this site, and other sites. It drives massive traffic to my site. I started blogging on Stage 32 in 2016, well before I was a team member. It helped define my brand and opened the space for me to meet new people. It still does.

  • Create a Social Page. Don’t have a site? Facebook is free. Instagram is free. Stage 32 is free. (But you know this because you’re already here.) Create your page based on who you are and what you do. Actors, directors, producers, sound people, gaffers, whatever, can drive traffic to a Facebook or Instagram page. You can also drive them to your profile RIGHT HERE. Magical, right?

  • Logo and Headshot. You can spend hundreds on these things. Or you can “phone a friend” and have them take a picture that reflects you and what you do. Have another friend whip up a logo. See the one above? When my site was Joleene Speaks? I paid $40 bucks for that. A budding graphic designer made it for me. I still like it.

  • Highlight Your Personality. I’m vulnerable and honest as shit. I used to be scared to death to be like that, but I realized it’s who I am. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m not afraid to share my struggles and weaknesses. And I’m always excited to share my wins. Whatever makes you genuinely shine, share it. Read CJ Walley’s posts and you’ll see what I mean. Those posts alone speak to his brand.

How you show up is how people will remember you. That’s where your brand begins. Start there. Use it to your advantage and don’t hide from it. People want the most authentic version of you. The second you show up as disingenuous, they’ll smell it on you.

So be you. We’re all here to help and support you. How will you begin building your brand?

 

Other Stage 32 Posts By Joleene Moody:
Don't Give Up Because it Didn't Happen. Keep Going Until it Does
How to Network so Producers Choose You
Do You Need a Writing Coach? 5 Reasons to Help You Decide
How NOT to Land a Part in a Major Production
5 Reasons Why Newbie Content Creators Should Attend a Film or Television Festival
7 Tips to Make Your Stage 32 Profile Work for You
5 Polite Ways to Connect With Stage 32 Members

 

7 Tips To Make Your Stage 32 Profile Work for You

Joleene Moody is a published author, produced playwright, and produced indie screenwriter. When she’s not out in the wild auditioning for roles, she’s working madly on her original dramedy television series about a murderous television reporter, which, coincidentally, has nothing to do with the fact that she spent a decade as a TV reporter and anchor in Central New York. (DAWDY PUGG: KILLER REPORTER)

Joleene is currently in post production of a second original television dramedy, STICKS. (Follow the production here: https://www.facebook.com/stickstvpilot/)

Outside of this, she runs her own entrepreneurial venture as a ghostwriter and content creator at joleenemoody.com where she helps creatives write their books, screenplays, and blog posts.

She's also the content curator for the Stage 32 Blog, sooooo....if you want to be featured and have a story that will serve and inspire readers, send her an email at joleene@stage32.com. She's all ears.

Lastly, if you want to learn how to make more money as a creative entrepreneur, check out her Stage 32 webinar: 3 Ways to Create More Income as a Creative Entrepreneur/Artist

If you like to laugh, work hard, and wanna be a screenwriter when you grow up, connect with her. She'll talk to you in the first person when you do.


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