6 Ways To Market Yourself and Stand Out As A Screenwriter

6 Ways to Market and Brand Yourself

by Joel Mendoza

In such a competitive industry, how you decide to brand and market yourself as a screenwriter can be the difference between success and failure.  Not every showbiz folk is a self-aggrandizing attention seeker, nor have even the slightest inclination to promote oneself, but it’s essential you find ways to make your presence known and to stand out in a crowded field.

Additionally, as you begin to implement some of the tools below, it is equally important that you think about the image you want to portray and how you want to be seen by your peers in the industry. It’s important you let people know what kind of a writer you are; a big idea genre writer, or do you gear your image towards crafting more nuanced, character driven drama. Perhaps you have a natural ability to craft smart, fast paced dialogue that pops off the page, or maybe you’re the comedy man that has a larger-than-life laugh.  Don’t be so specific or so niche in your taste as to have limited appeal. What’s important is that whoever you are and whatever you write, your marketing ultimately reflects where you want to go and how you want to be seen.

As you can see, marketing yourself and getting yourself out there are an important part of building your presence, raising your profile, and getting noticed in the industry. Here are 6 ways to build your brand and market yourself as a serious screenwriter.

  • Social Media

As we are all aware, social media now rules the world. If you are a person or a business worth knowing, you are doubtlessly juggling multiple social media accounts and it is a full-time job in and of itself to balance and consistently maintain your presence on each one effectively. But it is so important; from Instagram, to Facebook, even LinkedIn, Twitter and TikTok, whatever the latest trends are, you need to be at the fore.

And remember, make sure you structure your content with an eye on the bigger picture. Who are you? What kind of taste do you have? What kind of image do you want to portray? How do you want to be seen? Important questions to ask as you embark on your social media journey.

 

  • Maintain a Website

Having an online presence is essential. There is no getting around it, you must have a website in the twenty-first century. At the very minimum, your website should have a bio, a list of scripts you’ve written with loglines and a clear and easy way to contact and follow you. Make sure it is snappy and portrays an accurate image of who you are and what you like to write.

Sizzle reals, short films, a downloadable copy of your scripts, stories or other content can also be made available on your website. Any writing awards you’ve won or been shortlisted for, you should present on the front page. You may have posters or artwork, story bibles, or treatments, short stories – anything that effectively shows your talents as a writer across different formats is welcome.

 

  • Keep A Blog

Although it may seem a little outdated at this stage in the evolution of the internet, keeping a consistent and well written blog is still a super effective way to stand out, build an audience and even get recognized. It is also an excellent way to hone, define and perfect your voice as a writer. It’s a different medium than writing screenplays and therefore it is a worthwhile exercise to stretch and flex your creative muscles. It’s more akin to a diary in that it comes from within. The key is to be your truest self, to have fun, and be consistent.

 

  • Enter Screenplay Contests

Screenplay competitions are a great way to get yourself out there. Each win or even a placement in a meaningful competition is an opportunity to market yourself and your material as an award-winning screenwriter!

From a manager’s perspective, when you pick up a query letter from an award-winning screenwriter, it is so much more impressive and a great way to stand out from all the other emails they receive. If you won or placed in a competition and are sending out letters, be sure to write it in the subject line – “Award Winning Screenwriter!”  

 

  • You Tube – Everyone is an expert

This can go with social media I suppose but it appears all experts in their field end up with their own YouTube channel eventually. For some, it is the channel itself, that led to that person being considered an expert. YouTube is a powerful tool that can be used and tested.

More importantly, if you are good and understand how to raise the profile of your channel organically, there is massive money to be made along the way! Enough possibly to finance your own movie, or at least to finance the writing of it. It’s not easy and can be considered a job in and of itself, but if you have something interesting to say and can find a way to create good content on the fly, you’ll have a 1-million-person audience and a $1 million bank account before you even sell your script!

 

  • Create a Logo, a Unique E-Mail Signature, Business Card & V Card.

Lastly, take the time early on to come up with a company name and create a logo that exemplifies who you are. It could be your initials in neat calligraphy or a cool modern monogram. Maybe it’s a quill, an old movie camera, or a Greek Comedy/Tragedy mask. Hopefully its something a little more original than that, (so many quills!). Whatever it is, be sure it displays your style and personality in a meaningful way.

You might also consider adopting a catch phrase or a quote from a book, famous figure, or your favorite movie/character.  Again, hopefully something that reflects who you are, what you believe and maybe what you write.

Finally, one of the quickest and easiest ways to brand yourself is also one of the cheapest. Spend a couple of minutes to create a unique email signature and a virtual business card and use it in every email and every response you send. Use your logo, use the catch phrase or quote, and insert your contact info and your WGA# if you have one. Use the same colors and the same fonts, consistently, across all mediums. Most email providers offer an easy way to style your own signature and automatically insert it in every email you send. It is so easy, and a truly effective tool.

Similarly, ensure your business card and v card are identical and use the same colors, fonts, logo, quote and information as on your digital signature. Make sure your V card is easily accessible on your phone and easy to share with others.

Now sit back and look at everything, your entire marketing and branding campaign, and ask yourself once again, how do all these elements work together, and do they all portray a consistent thematic style and personality? Is it broad enough to prove you understand the mainstream, and specific enough that it is you and yours only? Find that balance and you’ll make a big push towards standing out and it’s only a matter of time before you are a recognizable name in the industry.


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