September 14, 2014 at 9:39AM
How to Create Thousands of Fans for your Film Before You Shoot a Single Minute
(Note: This is all hypothetical. Since I've done so very successfully, using this technique for creating book fans, I'm only assuming that it can be applied toward film and I don't see why it wouldn't.)
How to find your film audience. The Internet has made it easy to find your potential audience. The techniques listed below will cost zero dollars and zero cents, only your man-power. If you'd rather not do it yourself, ideally you can hire someone or train an intern to do so.
Step 1- Identify your audience - First, you need to know who would be interested in seeing your film. The easiest way to do this is to think of 3 films that are similar to yours. Saying there is "no other film like mine" won't cut it this time.
Out of the hundreds of thousands of films ever created, there is bound to be a film or films similar in tone to yours.
Step 2 - Calculate how many fans you will need in order to make a profit on your film, if that is your goal or to create enough buzz to take your career to the next step. Only you know this. But if you haven't read the famous 1000 True Fans article, that's a great place to start: http://kk.org/thetechnium/2008/03/1000-true-fans/
Step 3 - Next you need to find fans of that film. Where do they hang out online? You're going to need excel or Google Docs for this or a simple piece of paper and pen, if you'd rather do this by hand. Here are a few ideas:
Twitter - Twitter is one of the best ways to find people who are already talking about that film. You simply type the name of the film in the search box and make a list of their first & last name and Twitter handles.
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch is an awesome way to find out who likes certain films and even limit that search to a certain age bracket or only males or females or only people who like a combination of films or those within a certain geographic location. And it's all free.
Blogs - You can go to www.google.com/blogsearch and search for people who have blogged about this film. They are certainly passionate enough about the film to blog about it, so that's a great start. You're looking for not only bloggers but those who have commented about this film. Look for those who absolutely loved it, not those who hated it, those are not your audience. Make a list including their first and last names, any links that might lead to their blogs, Twitter, Facebook or even email.
Indiegogo and Kickstarter - Look for films similar to yours that have been funded and look under the supporters of those films. You can create an iMacro to extract this information or just do it manually. Although their contact information is not available, you can easily cross reference these people's photos, names, ages and locations and find them using https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch (it's free) or manually with Twitter. Make a list of these people. They not only like films but are willing to invest their hard earned money in films they're passionate about.
Between these 5 different areas alone, you will easily rack up thousands of names and contact information.
But once you've found them, how do you convert them into fans who are will go give you their time or dare I say, hard earned money? And how do you approach them without scaring them off screaming "spam"? In my next post, I'll be discussing what I learned (the hard way) about what works and wasn't doesn't.