Thanks to the Internet, we all have a brand. Actors, however, have to take particular focus on their brand right from the start. Just like no respectable actor goes to an audition without a good headshot and a resume, and just like no actor goes anywhere without their phone on them in case their agent needs to reach them, no actor who wants to work neglects their brand online. Here's what any performer needs to know about actor personal brand management.
Defining Actor Brand Management
What do we mean by "brand?" What are some of the pitfalls actors can face while building their brand?
In this particular case, "actor brand management" means, essentially, self-promotion. You want anybody searching for you to find, immediately, your headshot and promotional photographs, your contact information, and your previous experience and training. You also need to make sure this information is well-organized, accurate, and simple to access.
The best place to start is the same as any performance: Know your audience. Casting directors often have specific needs and want to research actors quickly to present producers and directors with multiple options. With any social media presence, put the links you want up front. Avoid flashy introductions or complicated scripts on your website or social media. Elegant design is a good thing, but have the information right there and easy to use.
Problems In Actor Image Management
As you build your personal brand as an actor, keep an eye out for two key pitfalls. The first pitfall is simple: Low-quality visuals. This is especially problematic with, for example, a poorly recorded stage production or candid photos of you turning up in an image search instead of professionally shot stills from performances or your headshot. Especially if you have a long resume, current photos are very important. The last thing an actor in their twenties wants is casting agents calling looking for a child actor!
This is easily dealt with by keeping up a constant stream of photos and curating the photos you're in. For example, you might have a "personal" Facebook page and a "professional" one. Only tag photos on your professional page, but others might be tagged with your personal one. Older professional photos you can move to your personal page, leaving them accessible to friends and family while ensuring that casting directors and others researching you only find the latest material.
The second is a bit trickier. One of the biggest problems any professional actor can face is typecasting, thus the materials you have online can help reinforce that type. Keep an eye on what you're putting online, and offer multiple options. It's often prudent, for example, to have both a dramatic and comedic reel for casting directors to examine.
If you're looking to shape your actor reputation online and get help drawing the eye of casting directors, ReputationDefender can help. We'll show you how to guard your reputation against vicious gossip and help you protect your privacy online so you can be in public without the problems some actors face with obsessed fans. At ReputationDefender, we'll make actor personal brand management as simple as stepping onto a stage.