A discussion was recently had about how a writer can build their community. I quickly learned that as a screenwriter, my goals are similar, but they are most definitely different. Writing a book and writing a movie are completely different beasts. People have mentioned that for demographics, I should consider people who read screenplays. My initial thought is that it matters not who reads screenplays, because if people do not watch the films that are made from them, I won’t be selling any in the future. The truth is people read screenplays because they are looking to buy screenplays, they are looking to learn about how to write screenplays, or they love the movie that was made from the screenplay.
I was asked to come up with three audience-building methods that would be well suited for a screenwriter, such as myself. Here’s what I came up with, for methods.
My three audience building methods include festivals/cons, Twitter, and Facebook. I could have added my blog, but I find that if your blog has good search engine placement that it is a given. If people are looking you up, they will find you. However, they have to know something about you before they look you up. From my experience, the best way for them to discover you is through social media.
Festivals/Cons: The best way for a professional in the movie-industry to become aware of a screenwriter is by seeing their films. Festivals provide a two-fold reward for any screenwriter, because not only can the films that you have written be submitted, you can also submit the screenplays to be placed in competition. When in competition, your screenplays will be read by production companies and industry professionals.
Conferences are more fan-centric and will allow me to meet fans and experience their thoughts in a more personal manner. Both events offer public speaking opportunities including panels and keynote events, which would allow for greater visibility to both fans and professionals.
Twitter: Twitter is a fabulous platform because unlike Facebook it allows for better one on one conversation between people. I can link up with professionals, have candid discussions with actors, and I can connect with and follow fans. Most importantly, potential fans will be able to tell me their thoughts and how they feel. With professionals this allows us a mutual ground to promote one another’s work and to connect and offer help when needed.
Facebook: With the use of Fan pages, Facebook allows you a platform to specifically appeal to fans. A page is preferred to your general Facebook, because a fan page has no limit to the amount of people it can have on it and it allows you to focus your posts towards the people that “like” you. It also allows them to easily support your work by sharing your page and posting to their friends and followers about what you are doing or things you’ve said. I will be able to post links to my blogs and other updates to my work on Facebook. I can also post my film trailers and any information about festivals that I will be attending.