The word marketing is a verb, meaning the total of activities involved in creating a unique product/service and transferring it from the producer to the consumer, including advertising, shipping, storing and selling. The important part of this definition is the phrase total of activities – it is a three-step process.
Step one, is to take the product/service and discover the attributes that separate it from its competitors. Simply put, “What makes it unique and different?” Once you have found or created these product/service differences, you must be able to show and demonstrate them in some way, which in turn becomes your credentials…that’s step two. Third, you must take those differentiating ideas and turn them into a coherent, easy to understand message that you can then use as the basis of your advertising campaigns. That’s the explanation of marketing using “Business-Speak” Okay, un-glaze your eyes because we’re now going to make it relevant to you.
What It Means For the Actor
Actor marketing is a verb, meaning the total of activities involved in creating your unique abilities as a performer and then through auditioning, getting someone in the BIZ to hire you for a project. The important part of this definition is, once again, the phrase total of activities – it is a three step process.
Step one, is discovering which talents are your strongest and what your essence is and how that is viewed by the industry. Do you have a flair for comedy? Can you swordfight? Are you a great dancer? These are your talents. Briefly put, essence is the combination of your physical characteristics, personality, and vibe. Your vibe is the emotional energy you give off to other people and the feelings they have in response to it.
Sending Out A Clear Message
Once you’ve got a grasp on what your talents and essence are, you must be able to demonstrate them to the agent, director, etc., in the audition and/or highlight them on your picture and resume, along with any other marketing materials you have. That’s step two. Finally, using the elements that make you unique, you must create a simple and coherent message that will be used in all of your advertising campaigns.
For example, if you know that part of your essence is that of the young, sweet, innocent ingénue (think Juliet), then your headshot must reflect that image. If it doesn’t, if your picture is too sexy or overly dramatic, then it confuses the viewer. They are getting a mixed message. Likewise, if you haven’t highlighted those credits on your resume that reinforce your essenceas an ingénue, if your credits are just placed there with no emphasis at all, then the reader will not have a clear understanding of who you are and what you can do.
The Payoff For Being Unique
Does this sound a little like type-casting? Well, to a certain degree it is… but get over it! The industry “types” actors all time and your goal is to create for them a category of one: you! If you don’t differentiate yourself from all the other actors out there, then you become nothing more than a commodity in the minds of the people doing the hiring. And when that happens, all they’re looking at is price – who can they hire for the least amount of money. Showcasing your unique qualities through your marketing materials will help you define the niches that you can occupy. That will translate directly into more opportunities for you to work under the best conditions you can negotiate.