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With economic uncertainty, you may feel more pressure to sell your creative project than ever. You are not alone. Many creatives need help finding ways to make their projects stand out and garner the attention they deserve.
Remember, selling entertainment projects are all the same whether you're selling a TV show, book, movie, podcast, or game. You will need to clearly understand your target audience, what content they are looking for, and how you plan on delivering it. A successful pitch needs to have a compelling story and a fascinating concept. Finish up with a call-to-action that explains why this is a significant opportunity and entices them with why they should be involved.
The entertainment industry can be competitive, so it's essential to provide potential buyers with compelling content and showcase yourself as a potential partner. Distributors, production companies, and producers constantly search for new, innovative ideas. The key is how you stand out or how to make yourself memorable. If a project intrigues them, they’ll want to know more.
Fortunately, you can use some tried and tested strategies to increase your chances of making a successful sale. Here are five proven ways to make your entertainment project sell:
1. Foster Relationships
The first and easiest way to generate interest in your project is through networking. People will naturally be curious about the project, whether you are working on a movie, book, or other content. And if those people happen to have friends and family that work in media, then there’s an excellent chance that word will spread quickly. You do not need significant connections for this! All you need is to start conversations with anyone and everyone who might be interested in your project. Any networking contact can help further your project’s exposure. The first step is to share what you're working on with the people around you, and it will open up doors you never knew were even possibilities. The bottom line here is being proactive. It would help if you took the initiative to sell your project. Don't wait for people to come to you, this is your project, and you should be excited to share it with people.
2. Form a Plan of Attack with Measurable Targets
Before you hit up every producer in town, make sure you know exactly what your idea is, how it differs from other projects, and *why* people should care. A great way to start building your case is by creating a marketing plan, which helps you organize your ideas into a format that can easily be presented to investors. With all of your ideas organized in one place and investor-ready targets in hand, you’ll have everything you need when it comes time for meetings.
Taking the time to identify your target market and research potential financiers is crucial. Before selling your project, you need to know who you’re selling it to. Figure out what kind of audience might be interested in your project and use that information to create a marketing strategy tailored to that audience.
3. Develop Marketing Materials
No matter your project, you need marketing materials to reach your audience. As a filmmaker or producer, you are not just selling a product *but an experience.* This a unique story that you can only tell. This is your project that requires specific elements to create the ambiance to help collaborators visualize what you are aiming to achieve. Marketing materials help draw potential investors into your film, which makes them more likely to invest in it because they know what they are getting into. With marketing materials, you are creating buzz for the project. It will allow the project to stand out. This could be anything from a trailer to visual concepts to writing samples. Anything that helps anyone outside the project understands the story. Well-thought-out marketing materials will secure a definite "yes.”
4. Create your OWN Opportunities
We have said it before and will repeat it: if you want something, you have to ask for it. This means cultivating a network of media influencers that includes producers, directors, actors, investors, and others involved in entertainment. Only by making connections will you be able to market your projects when they come out. In short: create social capital with your peers by lending a hand when someone else needs help—or pitching yourself as an expert when somebody is looking for one.
Remember, be persistent. The creative industry is often a numbers game; you have to reach out to multiple contacts hoping that at least one person will bite. Even after rejection, remaining persistent and polite in your communications will go a long way. It can be difficult, but success will come if you continue to work hard and stay positive.
5. Relationships (again!)
Networking is one of those things that does not necessarily pay off quickly but can help you set yourself up for success. Invest time in meeting people who are already working with entertainment companies. If you do your homework and build valuable relationships, it will be that much easier when you are ready to start pitching projects. Money does not always talk in the entertainment industry. Building relationships with decision-makers is often essential for getting your project noticed. Networking at events, maintaining an online presence, and attending conferences are all useful ways to get your name out there and build relationships that can help you along the way.
Practice makes perfect, and always remember that selling takes time to happen! This is a long, sometimes arduous process that is worth the payoff in the end. These five strategies will help you get your entertainment project noticed and increase your chances of making a sale. If you are serious about finding success in the creative industry, follow these tips and stay persistent—success is bound to come. Good luck!
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