September 15, 2014 at 6:54PM

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PART 2 - How to Create Thousands of Fans for your Film Before You Shoot a Single Minute

Last post we talked about identifying your potential fans/viewers and where to find them. (http://nofilmschool.com/boards/discussions/how-create-thousands-fans-you...)

Now, that you have a literal list of who they are and where to find them, how do you approach perfect strangers without coming across as a whacko stalker and at the same time convert them into honest to goodness fans?

I've learned a lot the last few years about how to do this effectively as an author and definitely what not to do. I've made my fair share of mistakes and so what I'm posting about today is advice I would have given myself as well.

First and foremost, if you don't want to do this work yourself and you have someone else who can do it, choose carefully. I've made the mistake a couple of times hiring assistants or interns who were hasty, or careless and threatened to damage my reputation through impatience and shadiness.

So, at least at first, even though it's time-consuming, I'd suggest you do it on your own. It's your reputation on the line.

What I would suggest, now that you know who your potential audience is, is to first, promise yourself you will not:

a) Get impatient
b) Get desperate
c) Try to sell them anything.

What? Not sell them anything? Well, here's the thing: we are being advertised AT night and day nowadays, not even advertised TO and it's ... well, obnoxious.

Instead, let them come to you.

How do you do that?

Let's take the case of Twitter:

Once you have set up a profile with a direct link to the exact page on your website that is geared for that particular type of fan on your Twitter profile, you don't need to do any more advertising than that.

If you say something interesting often enough and treat them like a human being instead of a point of sale, two things will happen:

1) The sun will come up tomorrow.
2) They'll be curious about who you are and will click on that link sooner or later.

So, how do you become interesting? With Twitter, you jump into the middle of a conversation that they're having and add your two-bit. Be funny, be informative, be yourself. Add value without sounding like a know-it-all.

Reply to their tweet and add something to it other than "Cool" or "Good point". You may have to go as far as going to Google.com/news and finding an interesting article that has something to do with what they're talking about and sending the link or perhaps you have a blog and an article about that topic (and you should) so you can tweet it to them.

Ask yourself, what do I have in common? What is something we're both passionate about?

If you're a guy, you might want to stick to other guys when approaching people, rather than women. Some people get paranoid about perfect strangers tweeting them and rather than engaging in their paranoia, focus on guys to start.

Do this once or twice a week for each person on your list unless it becomes a conversation and then of course, keep it going.

Treat them like a human being. To me, it's fun because you get to make friends with people all over the world and as a byproduct, they'll click on your link.

Your link, by the way, should lead to an opt-in email mailing list so that you can keep in touch with them.

I've done this very successfully with one of my pen names that I write under.

If you're using Facebook, don't add them as a friend immediately because the Nazis that run Facebook (aka its algorithm) will freak out if you friend someone you don't know. Instead, if their post is public reply to it with something valuable. Again, do this a couple times a week.

If it's a blog, make a blog comment, reply to other people's comments (Don't go overboard and don't contradict what someone else says.)

Get on their radar by just engaging with them. Sooner or later, they'll click on your link to your website (and again, it should be that exact page on your website or your blog that you want them to go to, not the main site).

You can take that public conversation into a private direct message, email, FB private message eventually.

You never, ever, ever talk about your film unless they ask you about it. Ask, instead about them, and they're life (within reason) and naturally, they'll ask you about yours.

You've already pre-qualified them, so you know they're into your type of film.

Is this time-consuming? Yes, sir. But it's a lot more effective than buying a mailing list and blasting the world (believe me). If you have any type of budget, rather than buying advertising, consider hiring qualified and trained people to help you implement the above techniques (and I emphasized qualified & trained).

If you'd like more information about how to do this, I highly suggest you visit: http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com

There are many other ways to engage with your list of people but, I'll leave it that for now. And in my next post, I'll talk more about how to convert your fans into viewers, super fans, a word-of-mouth army and cash.

17 Comments

jab jab jab right hook! Awesome post! For those who don't know Gary Vaynerchuck this is a great conversation he had with Chase Jarvis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT_vv5moEm8

September 16, 2014 at 8:22AM

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John Carlo Rocchetti
Content Creator
68

Thanks, John. Gary is great? Isn't he? I've done a couple of interviews with him over the years and he showed me in his office how to do it live.

September 16, 2014 at 3:03PM, Edited September 16, 3:03PM

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Jeff Rivera
Filmmaker | Storyteller
802

I work in the financial services industry, and we were lucky enough to have him come and talk at our social media conference, unfortunately I missed the talk, but the response was that minds were blown and there is no doubt.. loving his new format #askgaryvee https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihgCAf2SFaw

September 16, 2014 at 9:13PM

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John Carlo Rocchetti
Content Creator
68

Yeah, he rocks. Well, if I get enough comments and interest from this post here, then I'll write Part 3 all about converting fans into cash.

September 17, 2014 at 8:16AM

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Jeff Rivera
Filmmaker | Storyteller
802

Cool post Jeff....

Just kidding. I know this is advice that flies in the face of conventional marketing, but it's worth a go. Your caution to be discerning when outsourcing or hiring an intern is valid - I've thought of that myself, rather than doling out hundreds of dollars to google or facebook to drive traffic to my site. Looking forward to part 3!

September 18, 2014 at 10:30AM

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Good stuff Jeff! Looking forward to part 3.

September 18, 2014 at 2:20PM

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Brynn Sankey
Cinematographer
363

Thanks again for this great info. It is really timely for me.

One question, do you have any info on fund raising? I am going to want to get started on a new film in the near future and I am going to need some $. I don't need giant money. Even just ideas on how to raise a few bucks here and there would be great. Thanks.

September 18, 2014 at 8:38PM

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Jonesy Jones
Storymaker
677

Hi Jonesy, actually this same technique could be used for crowdfunding. Once you've created a list of fans you can direct them in any way you want, to watch your film or to contribute toward your crowdfunding campaign.

I found a great article for you from Tim Ferriss' blog that you might like: http://fourhourworkweek.com/2012/12/18/hacking-kickstarter-how-to-raise-...

September 19, 2014 at 6:52AM

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Jeff Rivera
Filmmaker | Storyteller
802

There's some good stuff there I guess, but a lot of this feels kind of gimicky, or totally reliant on a large and well established fanbase, which I think takes quite a bit of time to develop. I'm actually just looking for simple ways to raise some simple money, that over the course of a little time will allow me to make another film. Do that a few times, while continuing to work on your fanbase, and then yes one might have an audience and platform built to use some of these methods.

September 19, 2014 at 11:56AM

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Jonesy Jones
Storymaker
677

September 19, 2014 at 12:02PM

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Jeff Rivera
Filmmaker | Storyteller
802

This is some of the most useful material I've read on this site...which I consider one of the most useful film sites on the web. Do, PLEASE, bring us Part 3...and Part 4...and Part 5...

September 19, 2014 at 12:19PM

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JK Presnal
Producer/Production Educator
74

September 19, 2014 at 2:05PM

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Jeff Rivera
Filmmaker | Storyteller
802

Jeff, Many thanks for the interesting posts. We have created a platform called Cardora.co where movie lovers can send out micro-movies to their friends and family and moviemakers can get a revenue stream and build their crowd from this activity. http://nofilmschool.com/boards/discussions/cardora-film-festival-make-mo...

September 24, 2014 at 5:11AM

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Celine Rich
Producer
232

Very cool. I'll check it out!

April 4, 2015 at 8:33AM

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Jeff Rivera
Filmmaker | Storyteller
802

wow thanks Jeff for this insight. It would take a lot of time and might keep you on social media 24/7 but i guess that's the only way

October 3, 2014 at 5:19AM

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Byron Q
Writer/Director
179

Save me lot of time....one of best posts.hopefully looking for other parts.please let us know.

March 14, 2015 at 4:07AM

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AJ
Script Writer
74

Yes, I do 2450 fans before the movie was started shooting... is better like this...

March 31, 2015 at 7:35PM, Edited March 31, 7:35PM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7593

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