The Truth about Acting, Marketing, and Personal Branding | Personal Branding Blog - Dan Schawbel

I have noticed recently that marketing, acting, and personal branding are intertwined in many different ways. The two seemingly different careers (or strategies) embrace similar goals. All three are in the business of storytelling, true or false?

1. Marketing is an integrated process by which companies create interest in a product or service.

3. Personal branding is an integrated process by which an individual defines a unique quality and experience to build their brand.

2. Acting is an integrated process by which an actor or actress tell a story to evoke interest or emotion.

All three of the ideas are centered around giving their audience the ability to make a decision…some type of buying decision.

In a play the actors portray characters and situations to help guide the audience into cursing the “bad” guy and loving the hero. Strategies for marketing and personal branding pitch ideas and strategies to create value for their company. All three are creating the story through the use of rhetoric. They must communicate effectively. They grab attention and perfect the art of keeping that attention to best serve their intended goals.

All three strategies understand where the attention should be focused… either the story or the product. It takes skill to reach the audience, keep the audience, and leave the audience with a good review. Likewise it takes skill to reach the customer, keep the customer, and satisfy the customer.

In any situation the actor and the marketer are being observed because they are onstage… in any aspect of a performance. An audience trusts the actor as the customer should trust the marketer… or YOU… the personal brand.

Actors must market themselves. Marketers must be comfortable speaking in front of large groups of people. Both must be emotionally connected and must be able to pull from past experiences. The audience and the customer want to relate to the play or the product. They don’t want to be sold they want to feel engaged. Next time you’re watching a movie or writing a proposal appreciate the relationship these two separate paths share.  Everything is marketing and everything is acting. It’s all a show for you… the customer…

….and ultimately you as the audience.


Kyle Lacy writes a regular blog at and is founder and CEO of Brandswag, a social media strategy and training company. His blog has been featured on Wall Street Journal’s website and Read Write Web’s daily blog journal. Recently, Kyle was voted as one of the top 150 social media blogs in the world (on two websites), and produces regular keynote speeches across the Midwest. He also just finished writing Twitter Marketing for Dummies by Wiley Publishing.

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