Brendon Hansford on How to Build Yourself as a Brand
Brendon is a successful choreographer and director based in London, currently teaching commercial classes at Pineapple dance studios. We watched Brendon’s 10 step introductory series that he’s released ahead of the premiere of his new film “Building a Dancer” on his YouTube channel.
Keep reading for a summary of his 10 steps on how to start your career in the industry.
Step 1) Intro
- Build a brand to be unique in the industry.
- You are a business and should be recognisable.
- Leave a lasting impression that’s highly professional.
- Be realistic, you need to spend a little to earn a lot later by hiring professionals to help you.
Step 2) Mindset
- Stay motivated.
- Rid yourself of fixed mindsets that you’re not good enough.
- It’s good to fail!
- Read, read, read!
- Eat breakfast always.
- Work out in the morning.
- Accept that rejection will happen!
- Always have a to-do list.
Step 3) Styling
- Clothes, makeup, hair, shoes are important show that you’re “good at what you do”.
- Book in with a professional stylist.
- Avoid black, grey and white.
- Pick a colour palette that’ll get you noticed, not make you blend in.
- Have 3 looks: a class look, a daytime look and an evening wear look.
Step 4) Photos
- Photos are “a dancer’s tool kit”.
- Show up to casting looking similar to the image you sent to the agency.
- Pick a professional photographer – make sure they don’t over-edit.
- Shoot 5 different looks: fitness, commercial, technical, exotic, and one that shows off your body.
- Get a landscape image for social banners.
- Make sure to get at least 8 images for your brand including a headshot, 2/3 shot and full body shot.
Step 5) Showreels
- Especially important if your client is based abroad.
- Must be a high-quality video.
- Invest in a good cinematographer.
- Have 1 work showreel showing experiences and 1 dance showreel showing off dance ability.
- For your work reel, collect footage of your best dancing and send-off to be edited.
- Use royalty free music.
- Keep video under 90 seconds.
- Don’t put photos in showreel.
Step 6) Websites
- Needs to be a hit on Google.
- Needs a professional web address & email.
- Write your bio from 3rd person perspective and show off confidently.
Step 7) Social media
- Have Instagram, Twitter, YouTube & Facebook accounts.
- Have a factual bio.
- Have same profile photo across every channel.
- Use a specific hashtag to you, your agency, or location.
Step 8) The basics
- About your CV, business card and invoice.
- Make CV simple with 5 strong credits, main image on top left, contact info at the top and use your brand’s colours.
- Replicate design from your website onto your business card with contact details on the front and social media info on the back.
- Use brand colours on invoice.
Step 9) Emailing
- Understand the email chain! It’s usually you, then your agent, then the casting director and finally the client.
- Most casting directors have multiple jobs on at once.
- Follow the brief correctly – only email if you fit the brief.
- Don’t sent file transfer links or click-off-email links unless specifically asked for.
- Have a professional signature with number & links to social.
Step 10) Networking
- Research and plan so you know you who want to reach out to.
- Target agents, casting directors, clients and brands.
- Be personal when contacting and not just generic.
- Keep a table with details of who you want to network with.
- Keep personal notes to remind you of why you’re interested in that brand.
Watch “Building a Dancer” from the 8th June to see Brendon’s tips in action. Want to learn more about Brendon Hansford? Click here to visit a blog post with an exclusive interview with Brendon.
*Feature image rights - Brendon Hansford