1. TELL BOTH STORIES
As one of our participants at the Pimp My Profile event succinctly put it: you have to tell the story based on your script and then you have to tell your story. It’s exhausting but now a necessity that no one can escape. Your audience wants to know about you, your production and your journey along the way. Embrace it and tell it in your voice.
2. TURN THE PROCESS UPSIDE DOWN
The traditional filmmaking or content making model went something like this: idea > script > pre-production > production > post > distribution > marketing. Forget that. Marketing starts at the idea stage and should be built in to the entire process. Collecting assets along the way, sharing developments, promoting the project and building an audience from start to finish is the way to cut through the clutter and get the snowball effect. People often look for a silver bullet, when really most campaigns are made up of lots of little steps that build up momentum. Much like “overnight” success stories, a lot of hard work and persistence eventually pays off.
Hashtags are a simple, free and instant way to tap into a community based around a shared interest. They are mostly used in combination with Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. At its most basic a hashtag is an easy way for people to find you and your project. They have also evolved into incredible tools of content aggregation, like this music festival website made up entirely of tagged photos – Thanks Aunty.
4. CHOOSE YOUR PLATFORM
So you want to reach females 25 – 45 years old? Fish where the fishes are! Don’t try and drag everyone over to your Facebook page if they are clicking around Pinterest like a crazy person. Be sure to tailor your message for each platform or have a stategy in place to push content around e.g. photos posted across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in one click (don’t forget your hashtags).
5. KEEP IT FUN AND INTERESTING
Choose a few magazines or blogs that speak to the kind of audience you are trying to reach. Take a hard look at how, what, when and where they are posting. Everyone’s idea of smart, sassy, timely and interesting content is different – so spend time getting to know what works by learning from the experts first. If you’re not sure, check with one of your fans or colleagues to see if your post is fun or interesting. If your post resembles an advertisement, you’re doing it wrong.
6. LEARN TO SPEAK INTERNETS
Not every story, game or app is pitched at the youth demographic but that doesn’t mean you can escape the fast paced changes in ‘internet speak’. The urban dictionary is a good start for basics like YOLO! Each audience demographic has its own language and conventions. Get to know your peers and crowd attitudes before going crazy with long-winded posts.
7. FACEBOOK HAS JUMPED THE SHARK
Since Facebook introduced its paid promoted posts, the platform has gone from bad to worse. Today an article was released about Facebook Likes from dead people. Unless you have a huge budget you’ll be lucky to reach 20% of your Facebook audience, so be wary of putting all of your eggs in this basket. Do maintain a presence but limit how much effort you put in to it.
8. DON’T BADGER
We all need more funds for our creative projects and crowd funding platforms are an excellent way to raise those funds. If you’re going to launch a campaign make sure you have a thorough, original, engaging plan to roll out that goes beyond screaming, pleading, begging and badgering your friends and families to donate (or else!).
9. STAY FRESH
Only start profiles on platforms where you can keep up momentum. Tired, sporadic or random posts will see your followers stagnate and drop off. It’s important to get a balance of your own fresh content, as well sharing other people’s content relevant to the project and their interests. Become your own mini-magazine by curating the best of what you come across.
10. YOUR LANGUAGE
The medium is the message. That couldn’t be more true. With at least 50 different platforms to choose from it’s important to use the platform that plays to your strengths and allows you to tell your story in your own language. For example, D.O.P’s might want to consider taking a photo every day and posting across Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter, whilst writers are more likely to churn out excellent written blog material in WordPress or Blogspot. An art director or wardrobe designer would be best placed curating a mood board on Pinterest or collating links on Tumblr. It’s got to come from the heart and not feel like work, or you and your audience will get bored very quickly.