Chances are you didn’t get into this industry because you love marketing. You’re a content entrepreneur because you love to make art!
And if you’re totally satisfied with just making art and don’t care if you ever make a cent (much less a living) from your projects, you can stop reading now.
BUUUUUUUUT if there’s any part of you that wants to make a real go at having a creative career, you’ve gotta get down with marketing. And that’s where most creators and artists start to feel icky.
The good news is, you’re not alone!
Every artist has to come to terms with how best to get their work in front of others. From the first time someone told Marie Callender that people would pay to eat her pies, marketing became a part of her life and her art. And her art would be forever changed. (And now I want some pie.)
No one likes to think of themselves or their work as products (especially considering creative work is so deeply personal), but if we can learn to compartmentalize and see marketing as a necessary component to sharing our work with the world, it can actually feel like less of an obstacle and more like a partner in the creative process.
We encourage the content entrepreneurs we work with to think outside the box when it comes to marketing and audience building. We’re all creative professionals, so let’s get creative!
Write a character breakdown for your target audience member(s). Write a character breakdown for your film! Create a marketing plan like it’s an outline for your next feature.
Here’s something that’s really fun: marketing your project usually leads to… creating more content! Telling more stories! Impacting more audiences!
The audience is where your stories really come to life. In their experience of your work. But the key is getting it into their hands (or devices).
Beyond that, doing the marketing thing for yourself also supports your goal of getting in front of the ‘audiences’ who might hire you.
And, of course, if none of that sounds appealing, there are always professionals you can hire to take care of all of it for you. Just plan to build it into your budget. 😉
At the end of the day, as much as we love the actual making of our art, we also want to share it with others, right? So many of us make films because we want to change the world, give voices to the voiceless, tell underrepresented stories. (Some of us just want to have fun, and that’s okay, too!) But what good can your work do – real good, that Big Why good – if it’s not reaching audiences?
Marketing isn’t something to be scoffed at or shied away from. It’s a powerful tool that can help you reach as many people as possible with your work. Embrace it!
How can you think creatively with your approach to marketing? Let us know!
Joanna Bowzer is a growth marketing and audience development strategist as well as a film and content producer. She is a founder of Film Launch, which supports content entrepreneurs in developing and launching their projects.