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6 Steps for Marketing Your Filmmaking Skills

Johnathan Paul

Being a filmmaker is tough business. Your success will rely greatly on your ability to market your filmmaking skills. Let’s learn how to do just that.

As a filmmaker or artist of any kind, you need to be able to effectively market yourself and your skill set in order to become successful. It’s important to remember that filmmaking, while creative and free, is also a business. You’ve got to keep the capital rolling in if you hope create more films beyond your last. You can help make this happen by effectively marketing your filmmaking skills as well as yourself.

So, let’s run through six tips on how to get your work, your skills, and ultimately yourself out there for others to notice.

1. Create a Brand for Yourself

6 Steps for Marketing Your Filmmaking Skills: Amblin Entertainment Logo Successful businesses know that branding is incredibly vital. Filmmakers like Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, and J.J. Abrams have done this extremely well through branding their production studios, Scott Free, Amblin Entertainment, and Bad Robot. These brands have become synonymous with their founders, and for audiences, these brands represent high quality and even higher expectations.

2. Put Your Reel Together

Your production reel is one of the most important elements to utilize when marketing yourself and your filmmaking skills. When cutting a reel together, there are some things that you need to keep in mind, such as making multiple reels, spreading quality content throughout the entire reel, and keeping the overall reel short and to the point.

Again, a quality reel can go a long way, but if you’re short on content, don’t be afraid to go out and plan a few scenes just for your reel. Are these scenes connected with an actual project? No. But they’ll showcase your skills, and that’s the whole point. Be sure to take your time producing these scenes, as people from all over will be looking at them — give them a reason to stick around through the entire reel.

Another huge factor to consider: the proper use of engaging music. Our article How to Pick the Perfect Demo Reel Music is a great resource for those interested in making their reel more attractive to viewers.

Video via DSLRguide

3. Develop an Easy-to-Use Website

Websites are crucial. They are the official launch pad for your brand and they send users to all of your other online outlets. The main thing you want to keep in mind when developing your website is it needs to be clean and easy to use. An overly complex website may sound like a good idea, but if it’s difficult for users to traverse the site, then they won’t stick around.

You also need to ensure that your website translates well to mobile devices as well, as the majority of users will be viewing it from those platforms. The best way to get your website exactly how you want it is to hire and collaborate with a web designer. Going this route isn’t the most cost effective — in fact, it can be quite expensive. A much cheaper solution is using WordPress or Squarespace.

Video via WordPress Informer

4. Utilize Social Media

Social media is such a huge part of the film industry now, and utilizing it is a must for filmmakers who want to market themselves to a wider audience. If you already have a Facebook account, you can create pages to market yourself as an artist or create a page to market the brand of your production company. With a massive following, it’s a great resource to utilize.

Twitter and Instagram can be utilized to easily connect with other filmmakers and cross-promote yourself and your work. Just be aware that they operate differently than Facebook, so your engagement should be vastly different through these platforms.

Video via DSLRguide

5. Engage Your Audience

Now that you have your website up and running, and your social media game is top notch, remember to engage your audience. You’ll find, as Scott Kirsner says in his book Fans, Friends & Followersthat your audience, “no longer want to consume. They want to collaborate.” This collaboration can happen in various forms. In fact, if your engagement is focused and clear, your audience will tell you how they would like to be involved in your creative process.

If you connect with these users and allow them to feel like they’re a part of your process, then you have gained the biggest marketing advantage out there — word of mouth. 

Video via 123reg

6. Network With Other Filmmakers

Lastly, while the audience for your work is obviously incredibly important, you can’t forget about others in your industry. As you should know by now, the film industry is all about relationships and who you know.

Networking is the key to collaborating with artists you respect. It’s the secret to getting a deal on a great piece of gear and gaining access to a perfect location. Ultimately, networking is the key to each year being more successful than the last.

Got any advice for filmmakers and videographers looking to get their name out there? Share your thoughts in the comments below.