My older brother went to film school back in the ’80s. His favorite part of the program was editing. He loved to play with the order of shots to create specific moods. But here’s the thing: Back then, when my brother had to cut his film, he literally cut his film with a splicer and tape. He also had to take out a student loan so he could afford to make the damn thing.
Ah, the good old days. So much has changed. Now, we all have the ability to create our own content without having to spend a king’s ransom, and I love that so many of you are doing just that. But I don’t love that so many of you are dropping the ball when it’s time to promote your hard work to the masses on social media.
Last year, one of my clients came up with the perfect pandemic project: a scripted podcast. She wrote a five-episode story that she could record from home, and each episode was about 20 minutes long. I would call that realistically ambitious.
I remember the day she asked for my advice on who to cast. My client was torn between two people. I explained that if both actors were equally talented, she should go with the one who had the most followers on the various social media platforms. My reasoning was that when the podcast was done, the actor could help attract listeners.
Well, she did just that and the actor she picked, who was big on Instagram, pushed the podcast to his followers, and the show attracted a nice chunk of downloads and reviews!
Promoting and publicizing content is a lot of work. There are professionals who earn a great deal of money doing it for a living. But social media allows someone like you to do it on your own.
Let’s stick with a podcast as an example of the type of project you’re promoting. First, before you even start recording, you need to secure accounts for the project on at least two platforms, and you should use the show’s title as the name. In other words, if your podcast is called “Actors Rule,” the social media accounts should be named “Actors Rule Podcast.” The same goes for the website. You want to create uniformity and instant name recognition in branding.
Now, give your audience some thought. Who would be interested in the podcast? In this case, it would be other actors, which is perfect, because that’s a large group. So, start participating in online groups where actors hang out. Connect about the things you love. Make recommendations. Create friendships. The key is to attract followers before you start promoting the podcast.
You should also follow podcasts you love. Compliment the creators and share their shows with your followers. Become part of the community.
Once your podcast is posted and your accounts start attracting attention, you need to give your followers a little love. Respond to their comments. Encourage participation. And, most importantly, offer these people some additional content like behind-the-scenes info on the cast, story, and you. One way you build a community is by offering that community a little something special for being a part of it.
Here’s a philosophical question: If you create content and no sees it, does the content really exist? I would say yes, but only in a void no one can find. That’s why it’s your job, with the help of social media, to shine a light on your beautiful creation.
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