Rule #2: YOU ARE A BRAND!
Hello my dear readers. What follows is an interview with Paul Anderson, a mega-agent who managed to launch and bring success to many TV and radio personalities — we are talking about godly skills here. Unfortunately for me, I was way beyond salvation even for him, but at least — probably out of pity — he granted me this interview, which I share with you.
Paul’s job is mainly focused on helping the talents he is working with to focus on their own skills and build what is called in the business, a “personality brand.”
See, apparently, each one of us has certain characteristics and traits that define us and make us more appealing to a certain audience than to another. Once you understand who your audience is, and you are able to win it, you establish followers. Your stakes go from commodity to brand, you stop being a disposable face that can be replaced by the next hot thing, and basically win the hearts of Americans and are in the business to stay, baby!
OK, the interview is not at all extravagant, but I am completely intimidated by him and could not bring myself to ask him any of the hundreds of silly questions that so easily pop in my mind daily. By the short and focused responses you might get what I mean… he is business and he is not afraid to show it.
On my part, I am going to go back to plotting my next blog.
Fabian Basabe: How is a manager different from an agent? What do you consider yourself?
Paul Anderson: A typical manager is involved in all aspects of a talent’s career, including long term strategic goal setting. An agent is more focused and targets specific deals the manager and/or talent are pursuing. The best agents are involved in all aspects of a talent’s career.
FB: Describe your typical day.
PA: There is no such thing as a typical day. That’s one of the great things about being an agent, you never have the same day twice.
FB: What personality traits does a great agent have?
PA: A great agent needs to be a good listener; be able to “read the room,” and have excellent communication and follow-through skills.
FB: What’s the biggest perk of doing what you do?
PA: Meeting and working with a terrific range of personalities and characters.
FB: Biggest downside?
PA: Lots of travel that takes me away from my family.
FB: What would you tell a 21-year-old who wants to be you in 10 years?
PA: Identify your passions, educate yourself about those passions, and do everything you do with integrity.
FB: How do you convince an A-lister that you’re the best manager/agent for him or her?
PA: You don’t. You don’t earn trust at this level by being a salesman. You build relationships by openly discussing mutual interests and work styles. Not everyone is a good fit for each other. An A-list talent and an A-list agent should be able to figure out if they will work well together.
FB: What advice would you offer someone new to the industry?
PA: Develop a personality branding plan, including a set of visualized outcomes you want for yourself over the next five years. Be specific and deliberate about how you will achieve these visualized outcomes.
FB: How important is networking?
PA: Networking is always important in any business based on relationships. The entertainment business is chief among them.
FB: In the age of Gawker, TMZ, etc., how has your job changed?
PA: Whenever information, correct or not, is available instantly, you need to be available and on your toes to help the client articulate their point of view.
FB: Is there such a thing as bad publicity?
FB: Say you’re Britney Spears’ manager/agent — what would you do to rehabilitate her career?
PA: I would have her focus on getting her personal life together. Without that there is no point.
FB: Among your clients, past or present, who would you say had the fastest career jump start and why?
PA: Ryan Seacrest. He doesn’t claim to be the most talented guy in the room but he is wickedly smart, completely focused, and has a work ethic second to none.
FB: Are you where you want to be in business?
FB: What is next for you?
PA: I’m going to do this as long as I love it.