I have really gotten a lot out of your free webinars and wanted to thank you for taking the time to make them for us fellow actor/writer/producers!
Q#1: How do I raise money for my production company / film shorts?
I moved back to New Orleans and have 3 completed scripts I intend to film here.
Afterward, I plan to travel back to NYC for the month of August to film my television pilot (for which I have a trailer and series bible already completed).
Q#2: Marketing?? How do I mostly effectively market these projects? Should this be something I'm doing while creating them?
Q#3: My television series is created/written by/ starring me....if you could personally message me your answer to this one, I feel you might have some very insightful thoughts on where I should go next (I have made the assumption that filming the pilot myself is the way to go, but maybe as an actress/writer it is not necessary?)...
Your kind and truthful words have taught me a LOT - thank you again! I feel it is very generous of you to share with all of us!
Hi Natasha: I'm glad my services have been useful. I work hard to address the important stuff. The place to start I believe would be to access the materials I already have that address some of these issues.
Are you on my mailing list? If not, you should sign up right away for the areas that are of interest to you: TheDreamUnLocked.com
In terms of fundraising, this video hits on a number of things you've asked. Click here: http://www.thedreamunlocked.com/blog/financing-your-acting-career-raising-money-for-your-projects
I'll also be discussing start-up production companies and online fundraising in future free webinars, so stay tuned. Beyond that, your questions are very specific and involved and the best way to handle those is in a Strategy Session. There's no way I can effectively answer your questions without the full picture of the work. If you feel like that's the road to go, there's a link for strategy sessions on my website as well. Thanks.
April Yvette Thompson
I want to be the next Issa Rae or Numa P. (Black & Sexy TV). I'm a comedy writer/actress and I would like to create content online starring myself and others. How can I find my voice to create quality content for other viewers? What marketing tools could I use or that you know of that are out of the box to market my content?
For example I have something I'm working on that will be released in April. I would like to make myself a website and a youtube page for it.. what type of content should I put on the page?
The first thing to establish is who is your audience? What age are they, what's their gender, where do they shop, what movies do they watch, what books do they read, what's their favorite television show. What's their sense of humor? I would imagine these folks are very similar to you, so a lot of those answers are within. But it's important to create a profile of your ideal audience member and don't be afraid to be so specific that you're in a niche market. That's where the long-term viability for your art form comes from. Because if you market to a specific audience in a specific way (like Issa Rae) those folks will identify emotionally with your story, message, humor, content and an emotional attachment = loyal fans who will follow your work forever.
A solid fan-base is the beginning of a solid production company. Defining your audience will also help you create engaging content.
The marketing tools you use will depend on where your audience socializes. Are they Portlandia fans? If so, you'll be doing poetry readings and stand-up routines in Williamsburg until the cows come home and everywhere you take your message, you carry with you a stack of business cards and an email sign up sheet.
Are they O magazine nuts, then time to visit some of those Oprah events and try and get on the performance roster. A balance of paid speaking/performing gigs with free ones is the strongest way to create audience. Perform as often as you can...it's a way to keep your audience engaged and constantly inviting them to get involved in the movement of you.
You should also build a simple one page website and short video and email marketing campaign that share your logo which tells us something about you. You'll then proceed to email folks bi-weekly or monthly with short emails about what you're up to, or a funny article or photo related to themes in your work. Always give them one action item (sign up for my blog, or check out this video) and make sure u give them one thing for free in each email. Advice, a great op-ed column about Issa Rae or starting your own business, etc.
I say 3 points per email and each point should be 1 sentence...people who send out newsletters that go on for pages with everything they're doing for the next 3 weeks don't get read...folks take one look at that 3 page column of text, and move on bec it's too overwhelming...They don't know which line item to pay attention to and folks have to read lots of text for work, they don't want to have to do that in their social or entertainment lives.
Think twitter bites...short info:
one that's news about you,
one that's news for you audience,
and one action item.
Send this newsletter out without fail ...and give free gifts of wisdom....when u give a lot, people show up for your work in a big way...best marketing tool ever.
Hope that's useful!
April Yvette Thompson
Thanks April! I recently created a pilot presentation that geared toward black millenials and I would like to create a social media plan that not only gets viewers to my youtube page (hosting it) but to my twitter (as followers). I wrote it but I'm not staring in it. Any tips or things to consider? I would like to go to other bigger channels that meet my audience to see if they can host a promo that links to my site. What do you think I should include in that email? Or should I ask for a meeting and then pitch it to them? Any tips on that?
Thank you for your help and allowing us to ask you two question
My first burning question is, what strategies or exercises do you have that might solidify what I want to write about in my script? I want to talk about my roots, Dominican, Black man and the way that we as man have to been taught to deal with our masculinity. But I don't know how to begin or even how to be specific about it? There's an idea about finding "your" audience or speaking from your heart being true, How do you balance the two?..that was my second question. Thanks April
Nice to hear from you! Check out this video re: How to Write a Solo Show. It focuses primarily on how to generate material....I say, let your heart write what it wants to write without an agenda. Usually, what our heart wants to tell a story about is far deeper and more specific than what the mind can come up with. You will talk about your roots and masculinity whenever you write because those things are a naturally a part of the fabric of who you are and how you walk around in the world. So you don't have to worry that what you come up with will not be related to those things.
The writer's toolbox is the lense through which he learns how to write. What you have to do is learn how to create content and put it in a narrative structure...your soul will do the rest of the work.
Check out my video on Solo Work here: http://www.thedreamunlocked.com/solo-show-secret-formula---part-i.html
If you're speaking from your heart, you and your audience will automatically find each other. These are the things people worry about that keep them from writing. Learn to tell you story, acquire those tools. Those are the most difficult and the most empowering of your journey. If you learn to do it well, none of these other things will be a concern...those questions will be answered by the quality of the work you create...
besos y abrazos,
is a Tony-winning producer, writer & actor working across media.
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