Dancers- Build your Personal Brand – Here’s how!

by Danielle Hernandez on December 03, 2018

Do you want to get noticed as a dancer? Do you feel that despite all the talent and hard work, you are not recognized well?

Here is something that you need to know- you are still far away from establishing your identity as a dancer!

Just like the famous car that is recognized only by its logo, you should also have some face value. All products have brands (what characteristics do you associate with your favorite shoe brand?), all celebrities have their personal brands too.

Sure, your brand or image that you create cannot replace your talent. But having a personal brand or a relatable identity could help you in positioning yourself to get noticed. Through you, your dance form also gets promoted.

What is Branding:

What is branding

Dancers want to be known for their art. But it's not like you could stick a label on what you bring to the stage. As a professional dancer, you need to have an identity and know how to share that brand with the audience.

Brand give you an image as someone that the moment people see that image, they can think of you. Look around you, and you will find more examples- Susan is shy but smart, her pirouettes are what define her! Different traits help us identify people in our lives. Branding is deciding what qualities you want people to associate with your work as a dancer.

How to Develop your Own Personal Brand?

How to develop your own personal brand?

Here are a few steps to develop your brand as a professional dancer.

Define yourself- what makes you unique? What do others say about you? How do you want people to perceive your professional self? What experience do you offer when you perform? Your concise, to-the-point response to this question will form your brand statement.

Create a story- We all love stories. Your brand is your story. Why do you do what you do? How did you start dancing? No two dancers have the same trials and challenges; your unique account could have all the elements. A true and compelling story, shared on social media, through blogs, etc is your way of making yourself relatable to your audience.

Be real- It is tempting to follow the current trends and try to blend in. But if you are not the person you claim to be, you will not be able to shine. It may be tempting to follow the current trends and try to blend in. But your audience is not stupid. They can tell when you are not authentic. Branding is like wearing clothes a size too small or too large. It will not be comfortable, and it will be noticeable for all the wrong reasons! Your personal brand is not something that you wish you were. It’s the best of who you are NOW.

How to Effectively Market Yourself as a Professional Dancer

How to effectively market yourself as a professional dancer

Nowadays, most people will find you online before they meet you in person. Whether you are an independent artist or part of a troupe, you are the physical representation of everything that you stand, and dance for. How you present yourself in person, as well as online, will determine how people treat you.

Something as simple as having up-to-date, professional images on your website, and social media profiles is essential. Your photos should match the real you.

Prepare an online profile for yourself. You can get your website, a blog, your social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr or Pinterest. If someone was looking to hire a dancer like you, how would they find you online? You should have something that will lead people directly to you, and provide them with all the information that you want them to know about you as a dancer.

Online visibility could become very overwhelming. But the key is to target platforms that your audience frequents the most, and being consistent with your online presence. To get noticed by your potential clients, customers, employers, and the press, consistency is the key to building lasting relationships.

A case in point is Emma Portner, who became an Instagram phenomenon and moved on to New-York City Ballet.

Remember, when it comes to dancers, people connect with real people, not logos. Let people relate to your unique story, your struggles, what you went through to get to where you are today, and what motivates you to keep going every day.

Whether you are just starting as a dancer, or you've been in the business for 15-20 years, you are a brand. Being connected to the right people, getting jobs and gigs based on referral is the need of every dancer. Access in the dance industry is based mainly on who you know, and who know you.

Don't forget that because of technology and social media, the world of brands is continuously evolving. To survive and thrive as a dancer in the years to come, you need to cover all your bases- offline as well as online.

Your online presence is like your resume. With vlogs, videos, blogs, Instagram posts, and presence on social media sites, you can build your strong online brand, and then align it with your real life as a dancer.

As a dancer, your brand is not just a logo, label or a signature. It’s also one of the most powerful marketing tools you can have.

As a dancer, you might find it awkward to “sell” your art. You might feel you are forcing people to recognize you and your dance. To make your brand work, you need to work on every aspect of your dancing as well as the aura you create around it.

As a dancer, we have 3 Cs for you to work on to create a successful brand-

  • Confidence
  • Conversation
  • Community

Top tips to build your personal brand-

Whether its a role on Broadway or a spot in the hottest ballet company, you need a complete marketing package. In more ways than one, you are your own PR agent.

Here are some handy tips :

  • Polish your resume- A one to two-page document with your current accomplishments, abilities, and training. You should also mention your vitals like height, weight, hair and eye color, etc. Remember to proof-read and take care of formatting.
  • Your photos- Your latest headshots, full-body shots in high-resolution print and digital format will be an added advantage. You need to show some of your signature postures, so do include the images for them as well. These pictures will help in getting yourself selected at auditions. Keep it natural, work on your confidence. Try and show your full body and face. Hiring a professional photographer for the job is a good idea. A portfolio with nice professionally done photos is your best bet.
  • Create a video- You can also create a video to show your dance techniques. Sites like YouTube, Vimeo, etc allow creating your video channels. Remember, you should always obtain the rights to use a piece of music from the publisher, or use music that is free.
  • Create a personal, professional website- If you have the budget, invest in a professional site. Include your contact information, photo and video gallery, biography and resume. A performance or teaching schedule, and even positive reviews that you have received.
  • Network offline and online- To maintain good relationships with directors, teachers, choreographers, and fellow dancers, you need to work on the power of word of mouth. Networking is a great way to get gigs. Your online network is your live resume, and if you are proactive, you can get people to google you.
  • Change your outlook- Self-promotion is not bragging. Instead, think of it as a way to share your dance skills and artistry with the world. Instead of running away from promoting yourself, endorse it wholeheartedly!
  • Keep it realistic and relatable- Whatever you do, keep it real. If you have perfected your pointe, share it, but if it is still a work in progress, don’t use Photoshop to mislead others! Putting too much information is also a huge turn-off. Make sure your messages reflect who you are as a dancer and as a person.
  • Get comfortable with attention- Sure, you love dancing, but if you want to be known for your dancing skills, you need to learn to be in the spotlight. It might feel uncomfortable for a while, but over time, it will become easier and natural.
  • Always be professional- Nobody wants to know about your sorority parties. Whatever you put out there about yourself, make sure it resonates with your brand image as a dancer. Don't get into a trolling war with someone you disagree with. Keep your focus on your love for dancing, and use any medium you choose effectively.
  • Create your own personal style- It could be purple shoes or pink glitter, or you could talk about easy hacks to manage your hair, but make sure you have a signature style that ultimately defines you. Having something memorable –like a unique bag or hair accessory or jewelry, or fashionable dance-wear, all make up for your brand persona- try and work on it instead of blindly copying someone else.

Self-promotion is hard for everyone. You would rather spend your time in the studio or on stage rather self-promote. But if you don’t promote your abilities and achievement, you could miss out on opportunities that can help you take your dance career to the next level.

Be your own cheerleader, start promoting your brand as a dancer to achieve more success!


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