Everyone’s talking about personal branding these days, but not everyone understands what it does and why it’s important. You might be thinking, “brand yourself as a filmmaker?” In addition to making films, do you really have to care about your brand?
A personal brand is the entire perception of a person. It’s all about who you are and what you want to be known for. It refers to the way other people see you. A ‘personal brand’ is in many cases synonymous with your reputation. It’s so much more than a simple logo!
How To Brand Yourself As A Filmmaker
As a filmmaker, you can use personal branding to build trust with your target audience. When people readily know you and they associate your brand with your face, it will be much easier to raise money for a new production or to sell your movie.
If you’d like make your personal brand stronger or to create a new one, you need to set goals for your public image. Your first task is to find your brand identity and develop a style guide. Here are three essential steps to do this:
Step One: Your Identity
If you want to brand yourself as a filmmaker, start by asking yourself a few questions. For example: what words would you use to describe yourself? What do people usually say about you? What makes you different from everyone else? What kind of films do you like? What do you want others to think of you? Then write down your answers.
Step Two: Your Audience
Your personal brand is not only built from your thoughts but also from reactions of other people. That’s why you should determine the audience you want to target. Once you have established a niche, it’s important to reflect what those people want or expect from you. Write down your thoughts.
Step Three: Your Style
Now, compare two lists and identify some qualities that you want others to associate with your brand. Remember that personal branding is how we market ourselves to others. After figuring out your brand attributes, try to match a corresponding style. It can be expressed visually with a logo, colors, forms, images (I’ll give more details about that in another post) or in the way you act or talk.
Think about your personal brand each time you interact with someone.
Your style should be:
- Simple and memorable. Your personal brand has to communicate clearly who you are. People will remember only a few things about you so focus only on elements that really contribute something to your brand.
- Unique. Your style should be distinctive and unique. But you don’t need to sit down and study how to be different! You ARE special! Try to take your life as the basis of your expertise.
- Modern. Keep your brand modern, fresh and actual. It should always feel inspiring to you and to your audience.
- Personal. Try to be yourself – it is your PERSONAL brand. Stand strongly behind it. Don’t apologize for it. And don’t be afraid to speak your mind!
Finally to brand yourself as a filmmaker, you need to add value in every product, film or campaign you create. People will follow your brand from project to project but only if they feel connected and attracted to it. It’s time to take control of all those marketing impressions!
Creating Your Visual Style
Your visual style is usually the first thing noticed and remembered by the audience. Good design is a key competitive factor and a powerful tool in today’s business world. Do you know how to use it for your personal brand?
Visual branding is a unique “alphabet” of design elements (colors, shapes, fonts etc.) used to identify a company or a product and to communicate its qualities, values and “personality”. In the earlier article, we’ve outlined ways to find a cohesive, clear brand identity. Taking this into consideration, now you can start to build your visual brand.
First of all, you need to create your style guide. The goal is to find a consistent and cohesive picture of your brand. Be sure to choose well all the elements:
FONTS — Choose two or three fonts for your texts. In case of a movie title, you can use a customized font that will become a logo for your movie. Take a look at some famous examples:
COLORS — Corporate colors have always been strong signals. But remember, you need to choose only one or two colors that will become a consistent associative element for your visual branding. The world’s biggest brands usually use only ONE color, for example: Starbucks –green; Coca-Cola-red, Facebook-blue, Nikon-yellow.
COMPOSITION — If the set of colors and fonts is not sufficient, you can try to find a particular style for your graphic compositions. Unfortunately, what’s effective for a movie poster, may not work for a web page! However, you can always find something that will give a consistent direction in your graphic choices. For example, decide if you want your style to be asymmetric and dynamic or static? Multi-layered or very straight forward?
Although your visual style has to present the company’s identity, it should never over-communicate! Try to keep it simple. And make sure that the graphic elements are cohesive and included on ALL company materials. Your visual branding is a long-term creative solution that should be applied consequently in all forms of brand communications (websites, business cards, advertising etc.) Visual brand language is a key ingredient necessary to make your strategy authentic and convincing. With a set of simple durable rules you will keep control of your image!