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Personal Branding: Do you have one?

It really is, all about you: Advice from the Media Trenches

I am reporting here from the  media capital of the world, Los Angeles: the home of of the Brand, land of the Brave and last hold-out in America for theater artists. Those of us who have survived, in the last decade or so here in Los Angeles, were eventually forced to join the dark side, and go into television or film production to stay alive. I count myself as one of them, but, through the world of academic theater, was able to “work both sides of the aisle”  but it became obvious that I was going to have to develop a defined presence as a costume designer (in theater) and a  “Costumier”, or “Costumer” (in film) which are worlds apart in how people perceive you.

I had to develop a brand name, or a “Branding Platform” that would enable me to communicate about my work, my projects, and my point of view.  I know, many of you will say that “the play is the thing” but I beg to differ, the Brand is the thing, and, it will really help you even if you work it on a small, and intimate scale, and, then, grow this brand as you grow as an artist and designer.  How did I figure this out? I was very lucky, because one of my top styling clients was the Queen of Personal branding. She invented the branding for CNN news, and many more major media outlets here in the US, and worldwide.  My job, was to develop her “brand package” that is to say, my skills as a designer, and background in theater, and television media, made me a “Brand Package” expert.  Who knew?

Now, to the topic at hand: The Personal Brand.  Do we as theater artists, really need one? What is it, and, how can it work to improve your life as a theater artist? How do you begin to plant your flag in the sand, and take control of your brand?

Let’s define it:  Its the total platform of how you communicate to the world about your projects, your work, your point of view. You, become the “Chief Creative Officer” of your work and the “Chief Brand Strategist”.   The branding platform that will become the portal to your life as a theater artist is more important, than ever before.  But, do you have a strategy for really taking it to the next level or expanding on it? That is what makes a personal brand strategy a successful way to build your life as an artist, in a less random, haphazard way, in a decidedly digital and mass market world. But, what about the play? This unique experience is, what we are attempting to preserve, as theater artists.  We want to get the message out with our collective languages and cultures that are expressed in the art and craft of a live performance. If we don’t take on the multi-media, mass market or digital environment in a powerful way, our collective and individual messages, will get lost. That would be, tragic, indeed.

For the 7 steps on how to create your own Personal Brand Strategy and more details of this discussion, please head over to my blog at:

http://www.stylestrategy.wordpress.com

I welcome your questions and comments and discussion of this topic.

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