Personal Branding

personal brandingFor Filmmakers who haven’t taken marketing courses, a brand is far more than just a logo.  A brand is the collective experiences customers and business partners have with any business.  In essence, a brand is essentially a company’s reputation. On a personal level, it’s about far more than just developing a look.  It’s about managing every aspect of your image, and the interactions you have with everyone you do business with.  If you want to achieve success in any industry, your personal brand is very important, even more so in the Film Industry.

Since I had a rather long blog about the importance of developing a look, I won’t cover too much of that here.  The biggest thing to keep in mind when establishing your personal brand is managing all of your interactions with potential business partners, clients, and especially potential customers.  This means that you’ve got to maintain a certain level of professionalism any time you do business.  One key element to this is covered in my blog on Reciprocity, but there’s more to it than just that.

This means keeping a close eye on what you post to Facebook, Twitter, and all other social media outlets.   You’ve got to find the right balance as to what you should post to show your fun and personal side, and what’s strictly about business.  I’m currently reading a great book called Jab Jab, Right Hook about social media marketing (thanks to one of my superb business partners Randy.)   One of the pieces of advice it offers early on is that you’ve got to tailor all of your social media to fit the platform that it falls on.

You show different sides of yourself when you’re selling to clients, hanging at the bar with friends, and when you’re on a date.  The same should be done when using different social media outlets.  What you post to Twitter isn’t always appropriate for Facebook, and what you share with everyone on facebook shouldn’t be what you share with your closest friends.  In the end, you’ve got to manage people’s perception of you, and make sure that you consistently put out the right sort of image.

When you’re building your personal brand, the most important thing is that this brand is still you.  Distinctively, unapologetically you.  People can always tell when your mask gets too thick and they don’t like it.  Branding doesn’t ever mean you should do something that doesn’t jive with who you are.

That said, when building your brand it’s important to remember that there are some things best left unsaid, and that your reputation matters.  Think about how you want people to see you, and emphasize those qualities.  Build on them.  Personal Branding isn’t about building a phony you, it’s about building the best “you” you can be.

As always, these are my thoughts on the matter.  What you do with them is up to you.