contemporary dancer lex ishimoto balancing on one arm with sunglasses on and blue hair

What is Personal Branding? And How Can You Start To Do It?

Great news – you’ve probably already started to self-brand without even thinking about it! As dancers and artists, you probably like to share what you’re working on, how you’re moving, and things that are inspiring you. Every Instagram post, tweet, YouTube video, outfit, music choice, and more contributes to your personal brand because you’re curating content based on your true identity.

So, How Do Dancers Start Branding Themselves?

When it comes down to it, the theory of personal branding is taking your personal identity and promoting it through your work, your online presence, and your character. So, why should dancers be self-branding? Knowing your true self is only going to help you become aware of the unique talents that make you stand out from others in this space—which means more opportunities when it comes to a career in dance.

In general, casting directors are looking at dancers’ social media accounts. They’re trying to find out who a dancer is to see if they might be a good fit for any upcoming projects, and a consistent, creative online presence or thought-out brand will help them distinguish you from a sea of dancers.

Be Yourself: Your Authentic Self Should Be What Steers Your Brand

Personal branding is all about trust and consistency. Take some time to think about your passions, figure out who you are, and determine what you want to put out into the world. Being your authentic self means that you’re differentiating yourself from others – and in a world full of dancers, that’s definitely a good thing!

If you find yourself hopping on trends in order to get more likes and views, it may be time to take a step back and think about your goals. Your audience will want to understand and expect certain content from you that’s in line with your brand voice, which means you might not always want to use the most-popular filters, music, or trending movement. Now, if you have a unique take or idea for a trend—share it!

Is Self Branding A Good Thing? Popular Misconceptions Debriefed

There’s a contradiction that personal branding will put you in a box and narrow your path as an artist. Not to worry – this is not the case! In fact, figuring out who you are, what you want to promote, and how you want to move forward will only help you navigate your path in the dance world, while helping you become more visible to those with interests in what you’re doing. You will get to go on auditions and in those you can show your versatility and ability to fit the mold the job requires.

You Don’t Need To Treat Yourself Like A Product

Consider yourself a person with a unique story to tell, rather than a product to be marketed. Those who are interested in hiring you or connecting with you will want to hear your story, and you should be proud of your journey!

You Don’t Need A Full Resume Before Starting Self-Branding

You don’t need to wait until you’ve booked that big audition to start promoting yourself as a dancer! Your dancing in itself is your brand and will always speak for itself, no matter what your experience or credentials are. Own your movement and get to work – the resume will come.

Your social media pages are living, breathing resumes that you can craft yourself without booking huge jobs. Start collaborating with other dancers and expanding your network. Creative work isn’t just the jobs you’re hired to do anymore!

Produce Content But Focus On Quality First

You should only be posting and promoting content that speaks to your brand. This makes it easier for casting associates or choreographers to scroll through your page and get to know you easily as an artist. It’s all about quality, not quantity!

You Don’t Need Millions of Followers To Be Influential

That’s right, we said it! It’s not always about the follower count but about your impact. There’s more value in loyal and engaged audiences, even if they appear smaller.

“There’s no method of branding or marketing that substitutes your real talent and passion.”

– Lyle Beniga

All of this being said, the most important part of personal branding is to go with your gut, find your passion, and be your creative self. In staying true to who you are as a dancer and a person, you’ll forge genuine connections during your dance journey!

Check out Lyle Beniga’s talk on “The Theory of Self Branding” in our on-demand library.

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