BUILD YOUR BRAND AS A FILMMAKER

FREE GUIDE: INDIE FILM MARKETING 101

WHAT EVERY INDIE FILMMAKER SHOULD KNOW BEFORE LAUNCHING A FILM!

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Many filmmakers think their movie is their most important asset – once you’ve produced one, you feel you’ll ripe the fruits of your success.

Although this is partially true, a movie or show is merely a product. You might have one, two or twenty products in the market, and they all contribute to your success as a filmmaker. However, they’re all under one brand name: yours.

Under this premise, it’s easy to understand how important it is for any director, screenwriter or producer to build their personal brand and stand out from the crowd.

 

THE POWER OF A FANBASE

Every movie or show needs an audience, and with every new project you launch, you’ll need a marketing plan to reach that audience.

What happens over time is that you’ll start building your own fanbase, which is basically a group of people that follow your projects because they like the type of work you do.

That’s your personal brand. It can be your name as a director or screenwriter, or maybe your production company. From then on, it’s just a matter of growing that fanbase with every project.

 

SETTING UP YOUR BRAND

When I talk about setting up a brand as a filmmaker, most people think about business cards and a demo reel or samples of work. If you’re also thinking about a website and social media presence, you’re already a step ahead.

Building your brand implies that, instead of opening new social media pages or creating websites for every new project, you’ll basically use your own branded properties to promote and distribute content for ANY project.

Over time, your fanbase will grow, your web visits will increase, and you’ll have an invested audience eager to hear about you.

This ensures two things: 1) Your marketing budget across projects will help build each other and maximize your resources, and 2) You won’t have to start building a fanbase from scratch (ex. when you open a Facebook page for a film, only to discard it after a few months.)

 

GROWING YOUR AUDIENCE

The first rule to grow is to capture your audience. In marketing terms, it’s called “lead capture.” Each lead is a person that agrees to share his/her information with you, so they can receive regular updates.

This goes from social media followers to e-mail subscribers. Therefore, in all your efforts to grab people’s attention, make sure you’re leading them not only to watch -and enjoy- your film, but also to like or follow you and subscribe to your e-mail list.

The second rule is to keep your audience engaged. One thing is to add people to your fanbase, and another to keep them interested. By sharing news and updates about your projects, you’re giving them some of the content they signed up for. However, there’s also an overall expectation that you’ll be providing value for them.

Value is represented by entertaining, relevant content that your audience is eager to consume. When your content lacks value, it might come across as purely self-promotional, prompting them to leave you.

Make sure you have a proper content strategy that includes not only your daily or weekly updates, but also related topics that keep your fans active and interested.

The third rule is to turn your audience into brand ambassadors. Brand ambassador is simply a fancy name to describe a person that likes your brand/product and shares that love with the world.
In other terms, it’s your mom telling everyone how smart you are. Except that in this case, you’re trying to have as many people as possible talk favorably about you and your projects.

Brand ambassadors can be paid, like an influencer promoting your work, but our main goal would be to create genuine connections with our audience so that they can spread the word selflessly.

Now remember, the stronger your brand is, the more people will be interested in knowing about you, therefore you’ll have wider reach to expand your audiences. All, as a result of building your brand as a filmmaker.