The thing about self promotion is that you have to be savvy and make things work for you even when you are not around to speak in support of it.  I do several things to promote my work, some of it uses technology, some is social media, some require me being physically present and others are just plain old business marketing.  Because I have a day job that takes up most of my conscious hours Sarcastic smile,  I have to financially and strategically plot on what I will do for the next month or year.  I can only travel 3 or so times a year, so I have to choose which things will maximize my experience.  Below are some things you can try to consider when promoting your projects.

  • Tell your story as much as you can.  Usually people are doing, as Bruce Lee says, “concentrating on the finger” but try to find that balance between being humble and hungry. You want as many people talking about you, so that you don’t have to, and if people believe in you, they will support you.  I learned this in a very short time.  Use whatever platform you have to tell your story, but speak to the souls of the people first.  Speak to them and not their pockets.   You want to motivate them to feel like they should follow your work.   If they like your product they will buy it, but the key is to make them feel like they matter buy investing in them and giving them gems of truth to walk away with. 
  • Tap into your contacts.   I did work as an movie extra in my area.  Doing that, I met a lot of cool contacts, and found out about a site called http://www.withoutabox.com.  Basically it’s a listserv where you can locate all of registered film festivals in the country and submit to the ones of your interests.  Even if you don’t submit, it’s good way to update your calendar, and map out which ones you should go to.
  • Register to attend the comic conventions as a booth holder.  Give people a chance to see your work and talk to you about your journey.  I was working a booth at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (http://www.c2e2.com) and met a guy who has a list of all the major comic conventions in the US and Canada.  His job is to work the circuits each year.  He hits up about 10 conventions in a month, there are over 300 conventions a year.  What a fantastic way to get expose, if you were to go to just every six months.  ReedPop is an organization which basically plans many of the major Comic Conventions.  Go here to see their list of upcoming conventions: http://www.reedpop.com/en/home/
  • Go to the Film Festivals, use Withoutabox to find out which ones are the big ones to attend.  When selecting try consider the reputation of the festival.  Although many of the major cities (LA, New York, Vegas,)… have very popular festivals, that is slowly not becoming the case. Places like Seattle, Arizona, Texas, Portland, Atlanta, are all hot places to promote your work too.  Just go with the intent of enjoying yourself, but have business cards handy.  When given the chance, just talk a bit about your work.  Try to do it in 20 seconds or less.
  • Go to the Pitch Festival,  You may not be a screenwriter, but this is an excellent way to partner and gather intel on what’s happening in your industry.  Who knows, they may not be looking to buy your script, but to hire you as a staff writer.  Again there are major ones that you’ll want to consider.  Hollywood Pitch festival(http://www.fadeinonline.com/events/hollywood_pitchfest/) , Inktip Pitch Summit(http://www.inktippitchsummit.com/), and The Great American Pitchfest (http://pitchfest.com/).  There are others, but these are the main ones.  I found out that they are doing a World of Warcraft movie, so knowing that before it gets out is a good way to get you bid in.
  • Speak with computer science students and get up on the latest online sites and software that they use or go to for information.   I found out about a site called http://www.vworker.com, which allows you to post a project you need done, and independent techies will bid on who can do the projects with you for an affordable price.  It’s good because they will send you portfolios for you to see and decide if they want to hire you.  They even have a ranking system, so you can see who’s handling some major projects.  Many are freelance and will do anything from redesigning your website, to graphic illustrations, to motion comics in Adobe After Effects or Flash, whatever you need really, and it won’t break you like many of the bigger companies.  I found my design team on there, and we created a motion comic together. I wrote, and they illustrated.
  • Have other visual components of your work.  You have the comics, but maybe working into having sculpture work done on some of your characters.  I got two contacts that will do it for a decent price.  Sean Buford of (www.SkbOriginals.com), and Sheridan Doose (http://doose-ex.blogspot.com/).  This will be good if you decide to hold a booth at the conventions too.
  • Get your material on multiple platforms for people to see. Deviant Art (www.Deviantart.com) is a place with illustrators go to promote their work.  Have your information there for people to follow you.   The Nerdist (http://www.nerdist.com/)is a place where people go to keep updated with latest stuff. 
  • Get on the list serve of many of the sites.  This is so they can help you keep events on your radar.  I’m on a site called Inktip (http://www.inktip.com)  and they send me weekly lists of Production companies script seekers
  • Get your own business as a sole proprietorship.  This helps me look more legitimate when I approach groups , and plus I can run my transactions through my business and not my personal info (excellent tax incentive too).
    • Also if you are a legitimate business you can hire college interns to do a lot of work for you, as a form of professional development.  
  • Get tech’ed up.  Get a Blogger account along with the social networking stuff.  Blog about everything you can.  Emails that you’ve had with people, things your thinking about, what you areup to next.  The reason is because Blogger is a part of Google, meaning that you. 
  • Get and Internet Movie Database (IMDB) account.   You might want to get your name added to that list, that way you can update your account with all the other things you’ve done.
Anyhow, I hope any of you find this helpful,

Romeal W.

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