Use your resources to raise your profile

Up-and-coming film students (i.e. the next generation who will be breathing down your neck soon enough) routinely invest over $100k just to get their feet wet; young professionals wait tables, walk dogs, and donate hundreds of hours of their labor in internships; working writers, producers, directors, and talent re-invest (at least) 10% of their income into their careers, paying their agents & managers and developing projects—what they’re all doing is investing in their careers. And it’s a no-brainer that you need to keep up.  Back the talent that you know best: your own.

So once you’ve defined yourself and your message it’s time to get the word out, because Hollywood wants to see evidence that people will get in line to check out your work.  How do you prove to them that you’ve got audience appeal?   As you build your transition strategy, include Social Media and PR to raise your profile.

Voyage team member Libby Gill, who helped build the reputation of Dr. Phil and other high-profile personalities’ through personal brand strategy and publicity, weighs in on this topic: “When people are surfing online, you’ve got about 5 seconds to grab their attention- so what’s the most important thing for people to know about you?  It might come in the form of a photo, a video snippet, or something quirky and unique that only you can come up with.  If you had to sum yourself up on a billboard or T-shirt, what would you say, and how do you say it in a way that nobody’s gonna forget?”

  1. Social media tools and videos are compelling!  So build a good website and use things like email newsletters, and updates to people who are relevant to your business.  Be aware, however, that you need to make it relevant to them— it’s not about you, it’s about your buyer and what you are bringing to them that they might need.   It’s not “What have you done for me lately?” it’s “This is what I’m doing, here’s how it might help you.”
  2. In communicating who you are through, say, film clips on a website, don’t pick the one that you like the best because it’s the “artsiest”, pick the one that is the truest to the core of what you do.  If you’re a writer with a blog in a specific area (like edgy political thrillers) don’t put in the stuff about how you garden in your spare time—it confuses people.
  3. In terms of traditional media, it may be hard to get into the LA Times or New York Times, but we’ve all got our little local paper. So get a front page story with a picture.  It makes for a great clip for your media kit or website.  When you send it to somebody, the size or circulation of the newspaper won’t be relevant, they’re just going to notice what you’re doing.

The exciting thing about drawing attention to yourself and your work is that there are a myriad of ways to do it—and there’s room for you to put your own spin on it with a unique and innovative approach that nobody’s seen before.

Special thanks to Voyage Team Member Libby Gill for her consultation on this article.


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