What Being a New York Actress Taught Me About Marketing

I’ve been thinking lately about how marketing has changed with the explosion of social media. But there are still certain timeless truths.Before I became a “serial entrepreneur” 21 years ago, I worked for some years as a professional actress and singer in New York. Most people don’t know this because I rarely talk about it-after all it was a long time ago. I toured with musicals, sang Off Broadway and in nightclubs and worked on soap operas and commercials. It was a tough career but exhilarating and fun as well, and it was a crash education in marketing.

When you’re one of a huge number of competitors and you’re competing for a small number of jobs, you better stand out from the crowd. You’ve probably noticed how hard it is to grow sales if you’re trying to penetrate a market that is saturated with competitors and has just a limited number of prospective clients. Think of being a real estate agent or home builder right now.

When I was getting started in show biz, there were a group of us that had a sort of mentor – tough love mother figure. She was a big casting agent in New York and was the daughter of one of the Marx Brothers (remember their great comedic films?). She was highly respected but also feared. However, since a small group of us studied acting with her she took us under her sometimes suffocating wing. She minced no words. “You are no more than a bar of soap on an overcrowded supermarket shelf”, she said. “You’re simply a product and if you don’t stand out, no one cares”. When you think you’re such a great artist, that brings your ego down to size and makes you plainly see what you’re up against. But little did I know I was getting a lesson in basic marketing principles.

At that time, who would have guessed how crowded the marketplace would become or how much more information would be vying for our attention through types of media that didn’t exist then. Now more than ever it’s essential to stand out on the “supermarket shelf”.

That’s why I’ve arranged for an expert crafter of marketing messages to show you how to make your marketing messages, as he puts it, “rise above the marketing clutter, grab the attention of your prospects like a vice grip and practically force them to take immediate action”.

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I guess it’s my old show biz genes, but I get a kick out of watching American Idol. Why does one singer make it through while another with an equally great voice get sent home? Because the one who makes it through has better branding and a clear marketing message. They have the look, the right song, the right interpretation and arrangement. They are authentic and able to stand out from the crowd.

Take a look at the image you’re projecting and the words and images that make up your marketing message. Are you standing out from the crowd?

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