One of the things I see creatives get obsessed with is how to craft and then use a logline, a pitch, even a proper age range. It’s not that the branding process is so difficult; it’s that artists spend so much energy ON the process that once they’re finished, they feel as though they need to plaster their logline everywhere, pitch themselves to everyone, and be sure every last detail over which they stressed is totally understood.

What a waste of energy!

Here’s what’s ninja: Let *them* say it about you. Yes, get clear on what you’re selling. Know your type. Know your bullseye. Have a logline if one comes easily. Absolutely be ready to talk about yourself and your works-in-progress with ease. Get your four-year age range clear. Yes. All of that. Get all your materials aligned and in service of this brand work. Yes. That too.

Then back off from it.

Think about it: Once you *have* all those details worked out, once you’re walking around in absolute clarity of what it is that you do and how it serves particular populations of buyers out there, and once your materials have all been run through that brand filter so everything feels YOU, you really don’t *have to* say it.

They say it.

You’ve dropped breadcrumbs down the path you want them to take, they’re taking it, and they’re talking about you using the words you planted for them. You’ve let them have the brilliant idea to describe you as something pretty dang close to exactly what you wrote up in your logline. You’ve let them tell you your age range and hit pretty dang close to what you discovered when you interviewed your bookings.

If you’re unsure of how powerful this can be, start with your accountability buddy (You have one of those, right?) and practice pitching one another to a third party. How would you introduce your friend? What words would she use in presenting you to an agent? What words organically flow into the convo? And is that an accident? Not if you’ve done a great job crafting things like your logline, your pitch, your description of your brand umbrella… there will be no doubt that what they say about you is what you hope they’ll say about you.

But that’s the caveat: You have to have done a great job of this work or else you’re not giving buyers a powerful starting point. Start with this question: “What do I want them to say about me?”

My answer? I want y’all to say I left this business better than I found it. I’m not even halfway through my life yet and that’s already true. And, it’s what folks say about me and to me daily.

An actor I work with says he wants the buyers to say, “He always helps us make our day.” That encompasses his professionalism, his punctuality, his preparedness, his easygoingness on set, his lack of divadom. He’s a pro. He gets the job done and helps ’em stay on schedule and on budget. So, for him, it’s not even about the roles he plays, his bullseye for certain character types, or even his age range.

Don’t get bogged down by what you THINK the branding process is all about. It’s as simple as this: Create framework within which everyone else can come to the easy conclusion about who you are and what you do. Ask: “What do I want them to say about me?”

Share your answers with me with a tweet or over at our Facebook group. I’d love to know how you’re empowering others to say exactly what you want them to say about you and what it is that you provide as a part of the storytelling process.

Have fun with this! I sure do!

Oh! Speaking of fun! Our free quarterly Self-Management for Actors Tune-Up call takes place Saturday the 11th (my birthday). Hooray! Please sign up to join us for this open Q&A here. Can’t wait to jam with y’all!


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!


Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001998.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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