The other evening I was on a panel at the HollyShorts Film Festival.
We were talking film distribution and how to grow your audience.
(If you’re just getting to know me, I have been working professionally in movie marketing and video on demand film distribution for years… And I totally love it.)
One thing was certain. Many filmmakers asked “how to grow your audience.” And this popular audience engagement question was probably the same as your question.
“I’m a filmmaker. I want to make a movie. I hate social media and am wondering how to grow your audience.”
The responses were varied. And as you can probably imagine, I had my own thoughts on how to grow your audience.
How To Grow Your Audience
Here are three audience engagement tips for filmmakers who hate social media. Ready:
How to grow your audience, tip 1 – Know Your Audience
This may seem obvious, but before you make your movie, you need to have some idea what type of movie you’re going to make.
Is there already an audience who likes that sort of stuff?
In other words, are there any print publications out there that still cater to your niche subject matter? One example of this is Horror movies. (They still have Fangoria…)
How to grow your audience, tip 2 – Leverage Your Cast and Crew
If you don’t have a great Twitter following, Facebook following or a mailing list – then you need to cast people who do.
I’ll repeat again… Cast popular YouTube stars to act in your movie. And if you can’t reach them, at least hire actors who are active in social media. (When I was at Chill, we did this with a movie called Camp Takota. The results were amazing!)
Partner with people (bloggers, et al) who have built a mailing list in your desired niche market.
How to grow your audience, tip 3 – Produce Consistent Content
If you’re still making shorts, make sure you set up a YouTube channel. Then challenge yourself to make at least one 2 minute short every week for a year. (Seriously.)
Over time if you are CONSISTENT, your odds of growing an audience is far greater than those filmmakers who don’t take YouTube seriously.
Think I’m kidding? Then you probably missed the fact that Disney bought Maker Studios (A YouTube Multi-Channel-Network) for 500 million dollars!
While I’m on the subject here is another thought for growing your audience – As a filmmaker, you probably think you’re in the business of making movies.
But this is not true.
Advances in production technology means that everybody is making movies…
The market is saturated.
And the traditional distributor can no longer afford to help you source an audience.
This is largely up to YOU. You will have to figure out how to grow your audience. This means that – YOU – are actually no longer in the independent filmmaking business.
In fact, you are now in the business of growing an audience.
In other words, repeat after me:
“My audience is my business. Without an audience, I have no business.”
In fact, if you’re serious about your filmmaking career… You need to figure out how to grow your audience. And you need to start building your audience right now, like today!
Here’s why… Having an audience will help you with crowdfunding (so you can raise money), test your movie concept and most importantly – Having an audience allows you to sell your movie when you finish it.
Take a quick moment to check out the Indie producer’s guide to digital distribution. I put the system together myself. If you follow the steps, you will have some great tactics for growing your audience. (So you can become a filmmaking rockstar way faster than you ever thought possible.) If you’re interested, go here.