Ever since I started my photography business, I’ve had to teach myself how to do ALL of my branding without any help.  The deeper I got into branding my world of photography, I realized that even performers need to brand themselves.  I’ve been teaching it to nearly ever client that’s come into my studio and I watch closely on social media and I’ve noticed a few mistakes that nearly everyone makes when it comes to branding themselves.
If you approach your career as a small business (just about any kind really) then you quickly realize that the experience people have with you is extremely important and this makes your branding one of the most important things you need.
Check out these 5 mistakes I see most performers make:

1. Thinking you can’t brand yourself

As a performer, adding something else to your plate can be overwhelming – I get it.   Even thinking about designing a website, logo or creating content and posting it on social media is daunting..
When I first started branding his photography business, I asked friends to help build logos and sites and then figured it out as I went.
In 2018, there are a ton of resources that you can use to create your brand at any budget, that are simple and easy to learn!
No matter your level of expertise.YOU CAN DO THIS! Just don’t stop because you think you can’t! Get out there and learn on YouTube, Udemy.com or Lynda!  Never stop learning new ways to build your career.

2.  Thinking you don’t need a brand

I mean – hey – you’re already working, so why bother.
This mistake is commonly made by performers who are already working or on a job.  I am TOTALLY guilty of that.
But it’s a TERRIBLE mistake to make…
Because for most of us there’s always going to be periods in your life without consistent work.
When building your brand is a consistent actionable part of your career, then more people see you, your content & get to know you.  You can create a desire within others to WANT work with you. SO…
Some performers only work at night in a show for only a few hours.  What are you doing with the rest of your time? Is it advancing your career?
If you’re in between jobs and living on a budget, you’ve DEFINITELY got time.
You are now a business – and it’s time to look at the long game.  GET SERIOUS… TAKE ACTION… TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR BRAND!

3. Being Inconsistent

If you think of any major brand (Apple, Coke, Delta etc…) you’ll immediately notice they all have  one thing in common – CONSISTENCY. That’s one of the reasons we can spot a Mcdonald’s from a mile away! LITERALLY!
It’s easy to just do a photoshoot, post a video or a photo and not have to think about anything else.
When you are consistent with your branding (colors, logos, imagery, style ) wherever someone can find you – you’re giving them subconscious reasons to remember you tomorrow, next week, next month, next year.
Don’t throw away your hard work by just posting random stuff on social media or on your website.  Take a few extra minutes to throw your logo & colors on a photo or video!
You might never hear someone say “I hired you because of your BRANDING” but they WILL remember you!
YOU are a small business now – THINK like one!

4. Bad Imagery

We’ve all heard “Image is everything” and “An Image is worth a thousand words” and it’s absolutely true.  Everyone’s a photographer these days – and to be quite frank – iPhones are AWESOME ways to take photos.
BUT – it’s important to not neglect your main brand imagery by using inexperienced photographers.
This is where an investment does come into play – but hey – it’s your business at stake!
Your main brand imagery should tell the story of who you are.  Let people see into your world. Give them an opportunity to not only see a little bit inside of you – but to remember you forever.
You don’t need a lot to get started – you need some great HEADSHOTS for agents, managers & casting sites  and maybe 2-3 BRAND IMAGES that will make your mark and will cause people to want to know more.
Anymore imagery you share make sure it tells the story of who you are and what you want people to know or think about you.
I love @theboyblu on Instagram. Jamie is a client and we’ve shot a few times. Since moving to LA he’s really done a great job at having GREAT BRANDING – I love how his imagery colors all refer back to his name. It’s unforgettable.

5.  Not having a strategy

So the life of a performer has many steps and phases to it.  But the one thing that rings true is that it’s a JOURNEY – and not ALWAYS an uphill climb.    And I don’t know about you, but when I go on road trips, I plug my destination into the GPS and I just follow that.
If I ever veer off to stop and get gas, see a waterfall or grab some Chick-fil-a, I always check back in on that GPS and get back on track.
No matter if you’re in a training season (The Grind), The audition season (The Hustle), the Machine Season (working a lot), The Traffic season (getting lots of eyes on your work, or the Profit season (when residual checks are coming in), Branding gets more and more important as you go along your journey.
The jobs you might get are just stops along the way. You have to map out the strategy of your brand so that when the timing is right and all eyes are on you, you’re not scrambling to give them something they will love and want to see more of. You’ve CRAFTED a system, a brand and a way to develop content that comes easy to you because you’ve done it before.
There is NO set way to have a career in Show Business.  Creating your own lane will give you much more creative control over your brand as a whole and will prepare you to launch in any direction!

Social Accounts We Love…

Click the images to follow them!

Seth Rudetsky has created an incredible path for himself! Go Follow him!

Felicia Ricci has nearly 530K subscribers on YouTube! From Wicked to Online Voice Coaching, she has created quite the following!

One of my favorite dancers, Cloud’s creative control over his brand is exceptional.  His short films are just unreal!

Combining Passions of Fitness and Broadway is an interesting concept to engage people of any age. Wisdom and interactions from Broadway stars helps too!

I fell in LOVE with Keenan Bolger’s immense talent when I saw Newsie’s get SIX standing ovations one Wednesday night on Broadway.  I love how diverse his career is.

I love how Rodney Ingram’s account really lets you know who he is, what his talent’s about and also shows off a little.  He’s currently playin Raoul in Phantom on B’Way.

I said it above, but Jamie has created an incredible Instagram page that is so aesthetically pleasing and helps push his brand and keep it on message.

Laura Osnes is, to me, one of the BEST singers on Broadway.  Her Instagram really does a great job of letting her fans in on the journey.