As a social media intern and a filmmaker, I'm aware of how crucial it is to market a film. Through my time at Raindance, however, I've been introduced to a new concept that's just as vital — personal branding.
Personal branding is much more than a great headshot and impressive bio. It's the totality of what you project to the world about who you are and what you can do.
Recently out of college, I was fresh to the concept of a personal brand and quickly had to focus in on what kind I would build for myself. It can be a tricky process to decide on an image but keep in mind that a brand is always evolving and changing to suit your needs as a filmmaker. What you wish to do and accomplish should direct your brand. Having a clear idea of your goal will make it easy to advance your brand. Every step you take in your career will support the next. In this way, your ever-growing body of work becomes a powerful tool to market yourself.
The credibility of any independent filmmaker is tied very closely to how his or her audience views them. So I knew I needed to get started and decided that the best way to set myself up for success would be to establish some easy-to-follow guidelines. First off, I would establish what I want to achieve with my brand. Secondly, I would use my experience to my advantage. And lastly, I would avoid any form of social media trouble that doesn't service my new brand.
For example if you wish to work as an art director broadcast your artistic talent on social media. Don't be afraid to show people what you can do! The only way to keep your brand alive is to be constantly adding to it. Remind people on social media of your past work. That way they'll be reminded of your skills and be more likely to call on you for future work.
Although social media is the primary platform for independent filmmakers, it comes with its own risks that should be kept in mind. This is especially true for younger generations like myself who have grown up with social media platforms readily available. The danger is the blurred line between one's personal life and professional life. Anything that you post online is there forever. The smallest of thoughts, comments, or even jokes can destroy a brand before it even begins. There are examples of this that date back to the beginning of social media, cases where an employer discovered something about their employee online that cost them their job. As a filmmaker, you should consider your audience to be your employer and always keep them in mind when you're posting on social media.
By following these guidelines I've taken the first steps towards my own brand. I'm now recognized in my local community and close social groups as an independent filmmaker. Over time, as I continue to work and my reputation grows, so will my brand and my marketability. Remember that building a brand is about the long grind. If you can commit to working on marketing yourself you'll begin to see results in no time.
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