Having spent time at the major film festivals, I can tell you that having an audience (also known as a large email subscriber list) is currency. It gives you power. But before you get into the mechanics of growing your audience – You need to first figure out how to find your target audience.
In fact, you need to target your target audience even before you write your screenplay.
If thinking about your target audience is a new concept, you’re not alone. Most filmmakers fail to consider their target audience. Or worse, many filmmakers will tell you that everyone is their audience.
This means men, women, teens, tweens, children, puppies and space aliens could all benefit from your movie.
This is a mistake. It’s a left-over concept from the indie era of 1995. Back then, you only had one goal with your movie. Get into the festivals, fill up your screening and hope the some distributor shows up and writes a check.
Many filmmakers still believe this. But these filmmakers are wrong.
Think about it.
Think about the last time you went to a film festival. What did you see? Was it a bunch of acquisitions professionals handing out business cards like candy? Or did you happen to see other filmmakers handing you postcards, asking:
“Will you come to my screening?”
If you want to figure out how to find your target audience, here’s a solid piece of advice:
Other filmmakers are not your target audience!
But don’t worry. Because I’ve worked on the inside of film distribution for several years, I am going to help you avoid the mistakes 99% of other filmmakers make. I am going to provide you with three simple steps on how to find your target audience.
And these simple steps will put you years ahead of other filmmakers who are living off the hope and pray film distribution strategy of the bygone era. Are you ready to rock?
Find Your Target Audience
Here is the thing. There are ton of filmmakers that consistently muck up their film release strategy. As I mentioned earlier, the reason most films fail is because the filmmaker never took time to really write out a release plan.
The process of finding your audience starts with refining your movie concept.
Step 1: Refine Your Movie Concept: For this example, let’s pretend your lead character is a boxer living in an improvised community. And then let’s pretend that your boxer ends up with ONE big opportunity to take a shot.
A. From this, we know your movie is geared towards: Boxing.
B. We can also think about related interests: weightlifting, fitness gear, diary supplements, et al.
Step 2 – Conduct a Google Search: Your next step is to locate blogs, websites and publications already targeting people who may be interested in your subject matter. In this example, you can quickly Google “boxing.”
When you do this, “boxing” will get over forty-nine million results. This is not surprising. Interests such as boxing, horror movies, martial arts and race car driving have prominence in our culture.
Step 3 – Build a List: Add the top 50 targeted publications (both online and offline) to a spreadsheet. Then reach out to each publication and request their demographic statistics. These stats will tell you how many people subscribe to the publication and will often provide details on age and gender. (You will use this info later, when you go to sell your movie.)
You can apply these three steps whenever you want to find your target audience. And once you have a good understanding of your target audience, all future advertising, marketing language and your trailer should be created with your target audience in mind.
Then later, when your movie enters the marketplace, this research will provide you a contact list full of organizations that may help you promote your movie. And if you would like more information on how to market and sell your movie, come to my next webinar: www.filmmakingstuff.com/sell-your-movie-webinar