14 Sep Document AND Create – Branding and Content Strategy
Document AND Create – Branding and Content Strategy
There are hundreds of thousands of wonderfully gifted actors, musicians, models, and athletes, chasing their dreams every day, yet only a handful ever get anywhere close to their goal.
Why is it so difficult to achieve success in your talent career?
In the past, one of the biggest challenges to success was location. You often had to move to a major city like New York City or Los Angeles or Chicago just to be discovered. That major hurdle has been cleared. We are living in an era where it never has been easier to share your talents and skills to the world. Inexpensive cameras, smartphones, and social media platforms have forever altered the way talent is discovered and promoted. Despite the abundance of these technological resources, one thing remains constant:
When things start to get really difficult, most people stop trying way too early, and give up way too soon.
All too often we see the same story. You got your career off to a great start, boosted by a few large early wins. As your career grew, you faced significant challenges, such as increased competition, and budget and time constraints. Gradually those same wins became less frequent, causing your initial success to plateau. It wasn’t long before you considered giving up because you were unable to overcome those roadblocks to success.
Are you experiencing something similar?
The problem is simple. Most people are actually able to get started on and achieve early wins on their own with minimal help or guidance. After seeing early success in their career, they continue to try what they think works.
Those initial results were not based on strategy and therefore highly unlikely to repeat the same level of results.
Short-term success typically results from guessing, luck, unique one-time opportunities, or serendipitous timing.
For example, social media has made it extremely easy for you to observe what appears to be popular, and copy them in an attempt to gain success.
Unfortunately, videos and posts do not show you the most important background details of how that success was achieved. You wind up comparing yourself, and copying an incomplete picture of what it takes to be successful analogous.
This is likely to work for you .. for a while.. and then as trends change (as they always do) you are likely to try to change as well, but it is very difficult to do mid-stream because you have already created an image and a brand. In music for instance, it is hard to, “cross-over” into a new genre and develop a new style and sound just because it is popular and not alienating your existing fan bases.
Long-term success is built on a solid foundation of strategic planning, discipline, coaching, and a continuous commitment to improving and refining one’s set of skills, while retaining enough emotional resolve not to give up when faced with significant obstacles.
Many of you are at this crossroads right now. Many of you are ready to quit. Many of you are ready to give up on your dreams. Many of you are looking for answers. Many of you are not sure what to do next.
This post can help you get back on track. We provide you with five key things you can do to jumpstart your career and get back on the path to success!
1. Get More Emotional Support
The road to career success is filled with many seasons of setbacks, disappointments, costly mistakes, and painful rejections. You will need a tremendous amount of mental toughness to persevere to the finish line. Building up your resolve requires increasing the amount of emotional support you have around you.
“I did not get enough help from my family.”
Most talented people do not have full support from their families. Typically parents simply want the best for their kids, so they encourage them to pursue what they perceive to be traditional career paths that seem to be more predicable and stable.
“My partner was jealous and unsupportive.”
The time, effort and expense required to pursue a talent career is particularly demanding on relationships. Talented individuals receive a great amount of attention, and this often magnifies pre-existing jealousies and insecurities, especially if they happen to work with high-profile athletes, actors, or celebrities. Partners are often passively unsupportive by simply showing a lack of interest in the talented person’s career or by making them feel guilty for not dedicating enough time to the relationship.
“I was too afraid of criticism and rejection.”
Most people never risk enough rejection to become successful. Talent careers require you not only to constantly put yourself out there, but to consistently thrive in the spotlight. Auditions, casting calls, test shoots, and try-outs are extremely competitive and you hear, “no thank you” way more often than you hear, “yes, we are interested”. Criticism often comes from all angles, and it can be extra painful when it comes from family. When talented individuals don’t have the moral support to encourage them, the pressure and stress build up, and they give up.
2. Increase Your Income Opportunities
Pursuing a talent career takes years of dedication, commitment and financial investment. Talented people have to rely on service industry jobs and part-time work for many years, sometimes even decades before landing that big break. Finding and creating more income opportunities is critical to survival.
“It was too expensive to keep investing with no guarantees.”
Getting your career started often requires that money be spent on classes, training, travel, promotional materials such as highlight and demo reels, comp cards, professional images and headshots. It is easy to get frustrated because there is no way of knowing whether or not the upfront investment costs will pay off.
“I spent way too much money on the wrong things.”
There is always a lot of trial and error when you are first starting your talent career. It is difficult to determine who to trust, where to find information, and what to invest in first. Unfortunately many people wind up purchasing things that do not lead them any closer to their goals.
“I needed to earn more passive income.”
One of the main reasons talented people do not have enough money is because they do not have enough time. There simply are not enough hours in the day to work on their craft, take care of life responsibilities, and perhaps work a part-time job (active income). In order to make ends meet, talent needs to continually find ways to make money that can generate income with less input and time required (passive income).
3. Develop a Strategic Career Plan
Suppose you are traveling to a new city for the very first time and you want to do some sightseeing. You are in your hotel lobby, ready to start your journey, so you have a few choices:
Option 1: Leave the hotel, pick a direction, and start walking.
Option 2: Wait until you overhear some hotel guests talking about sightseeing, and then follow them as they leave the hotel.
Option 3: Ask the front desk for a map highlighting the historical landmarks within walking distance of the hotel.
Which options are likely to lead to frustration very quickly? Which options appear to be more effective at achieving success?
Far too many talented people are approaching their careers similar to the first two options. They are desperately hoping to achieve success without a solid plan and roadmap.
“I was not organized enough to balance both life and career.”
As your career grows it becomes increasingly difficult to juggle the daily responsibilities of life. Your time becomes more and more valuable and you don’t want to waste it because you were not organized.
“I was not held accountable.”
Achieving success is a team effort. No one becomes successful on their own. The pressures, trials, and tribulations, of your journey will make you want to give up on your dreams. Being accountable is about discipline. Developing a career growth plan that you can execute is critical to stay aligned with your goals. It is very difficult to stay consistently on that plan by yourself, so you typically need the help and assistance of a mentor advisor to hold you accountable.
“I had clear goals, but I was not sure how to achieve them.“
Most talented people know exactly what they want to do and what they want to achieve. Most people start out their career journey by finding a person that they admire her idolize, and then they attempt to copy a replicate what worked for that person’s career. Unfortunately this approach rarely works because each individual has their own circumstances. What worked for someone may not work for you. You may not have the same personality as the person you idolize. They may have had different connections than you have. They may have had different resources than you have. It is very difficult to develop a successful strategy if you do not have the experience.
4. Treat Your Career Like a Business
When most people think about personal branding they think about creating an alternate persona, that is marketable and perhaps somewhat unique. The harsh reality is that your personal brand is almost entirely comprised of what you do and how people perceive you each and every day. The way you carry yourself and interact with people each and every day is your brand identity. Many talented people make early costly miscues that limit their opportunities for future success.
“I should have treated my career like a business.”
We consistently see talented people achieving more success after they approach their account career as if it was a business. That means scheduling, planning, creating budgets, making cold calls, doing taxes, investing, learning about contracts, etc.
“I did not promote myself enough.”
Talented people rarely promote themselves enough. This often occurs because talented people are typically be their own worst self critic. Instead talent must be vigorously proactive in order to see consistent results.
“I should have done much more networking and follow up.”
While almost everyone knows the importance and power of networking, most people still never do it. The stakes are even higher when pursuing a talent career. Networking is a skill that must be learned and woven into the fabric of everyday life.
Networking success depends on three things: ‘what you know’ (your skill level), ‘who you know’ (your contacts), and ‘who knows you’ (your brand identity). Further, once you have those contacts, you must cultivated those relationships in order to receive maximum benefits.
5. Increase Your Focus and Self-Discipline
Achieving success takes a level of amount of focus and determination that most people do not have. Talented people must maintain discipline in so many areas of life, from watching their diet, to remaining to committing to practicing for hours every day.
“I was easily distracted and terrible at time management.”
We are distracted more and more each day. Our lives are so busy and we have to do so much multitasking that it is very difficult to block out chunks of time to dedicate to improving your talent career. Social media has a firm grip on our attention, and causes us to spend way too much of our mental energy on things that are interesting, but not important. Tell the people who are successful are typically very mindful of their time.
“I didn’t realize how much work it takes to establish a brand.”
Personal branding is established through repetition of a consistent message overtime and personal branding is no different. There are two parts to personal branding: 1) what you have done, and 2) who knows about what you have done. It takes time to accumulate enough experiences to showcase. It takes even more time to let the world know about them.
“I was nowhere near patient enough with myself.”
Even though we all know that things take time to develop, it is always a challenge to be patient. We wind up comparing the beginning add middle of our journey, to the end of someone else’s final destination. We are constantly fed legendary stories about how quickly many of our icons achieved overnight success. In reality most successful people have simply put in consistent time over many many years. Those stories of how much patience is actually required are rarely told.
Where is Your Career Headed?
There are infinite factors that influence why some are more successful than others, ranging from perfect timing to simple blind luck. Over time however, we see that the reasons most talent careers fail is not random at all. As a matter of fact, these top reasons for failure are not related to one’s physical appearance or lack of a specific level of talent! Instead, we see that underlying most of these reasons is that most never received the proper help.