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Why are marketing skills important?

To earn a good living as a freelance filmmaker you need to be highly effective in marketing your skills and services. Effective marketing will help you to gain many new and diverse opportunities and will also help new customers select you when carrying out internet searches.

8 tips to help you market your filmmaking skills

In this article, I’m going to share some of my marketing tips that will help you to find new opportunities. If you are new to marketing, it will take you time to understand what skills you can promote, what skills are in demand, what you need to do to market yourself and what is effective for you and your location. Consider marketing as a long-term business project that you can improve as your filmmaking career develops.

1)  Social media marketing

Having a profile on all the main social media sites helps you to express your identity and to communicate your specific skills and interests. Social media marketing is the quickest way to start generating connections by including keywords, hashtags and users’ names in your posts. Social media users search feeds for keywords and hashtags so the more relevant and interesting content you post the more people will like your posts and follow you.  By gaining more followers, your future posts will be more widely viewed helping you to communicate to a larger audience. As well as having a profile on all the main sites, social media profiles also enable you to:

   Follow and like your peers’ work and find creative inspiration

   Post content to create interest and engagement

   Comment on current trends, perspectives and fashions

   Reach out to your audience locally, nationally and internationally

2)  Marketing with your website

Creating your own website enables you to have the freedom to create your own unique brand identity that suits your technical skills, interests and personality. A well-optimised website with engaging content that appears in search engines can bring in a great deal of work for you. When you start to build your own website, don’t fixate on getting it just right the first time as it will change and evolve as you develop. It is important to create a website with a content management system that allows you to change and update it easily.

3)   Search engine optimisation

The holy grail for any business or freelancer is to be able to appear on page one of any search engine in response to a keyword or search.  There are two main ways of appearing high up in any search. One way is to pay for advertising so that you may appear at the top of a search page one for your chosen keywords. This can be an effective solution to quickly drum up new business and generate income.

The second way is to use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) which constantly requires a great deal of consistent input over a longer term. Implementing a good SEO strategy however is a highly-effective, long-term approach to getting your website with your chosen keywords onto the first page of search engines. SEO is a hugely competitive worldwide industry that is ever-changing and developing so you will need to research and read up-to-date best practice blogs to learn more. Google has a great SEO Starter Guide that covers best practice.

4)   Writing a blog

Writing your own blog can help you to share your filmmaking stories, knowledge and expertise to a wider audience. Search engines love original well-written text so interesting blog articles, featuring keywords that are relevant to your filmmaking, will help like-minded people to find your site via the blog articles you are posting. These same keywords will also help towards any SEO strategy that you have implemented.

5)    Professional online groups

Film Industry related websites exist that can be an interesting source of detailed information and future trends. By contributing and engaging with these sites you can share your own professional knowledge and interests and so build up a network of connections that may present new opportunities for you. Posting your own tutorials and advice helps people to find your specific filmmaking skills. Freelancers may sometimes encounter last-minute technical problems and quickly need help or practical assistance to find a solution. On-line sites, such as Facebook groups, can be a great way to find new work opportunities.

6)   Email marketing

Over time, because of many written enquiries and commissions, you will build up an extensive list of email addresses. An effective way of staying in touch with all your previous contacts is to send out an annual mail drop using an emailing marketing service such as Mailchimp. An interesting and brief maildrop allows you to highlight some of your most recent projects and remind people of the availability of your skills and services.

7)   Marketing in person

Attending a wide range of business and industry events is a great way to meet people and increase your network of connections. Handing out your own business cards or printed flyers, detailing your filmmaking services with a link to your portfolio and contact details, can also help increase engagement. Consider the direct targeting of people, companies and brands that you would be interested in creating films for.  

8)  Writing a CV

A professionally written CV documents your employment history and highlights key transferable skills. As a freelancer, having a great CV will always be helpful if you wish to apply for a short-term contract or if one is requested by a commissioning client.  You can also post it on your website and offer it as a downloadable file.

Do you have any useful tips or advice that can help with freelancers’ marketing? It would be great to hear what has worked well for you too.

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About 

Julian Langham is a freelance filmmaker and marketing videographer based in London