It's easy to talk about concepts; get a bunch of creative types in a room and they will talk about art until 3 in the morning, but ask them to create something and half will find a way to escape.
It is also easy for me to aggressively write about the necessity of marketing yourself, but today I'm going to give you something more useful: Here is how to actually do it.
Full disclosure: I am doing this on the fly, so the plan may adjust depending on feedback and analytics. This is normal. The thing is to come up with a plan, implement it, see what works, and adjust accordingly.
Today's subject: Me
An actor in his 40's with multiple credits, He has had small roles on television, starred in a few independent films, and has had one national commercial. He has a production company,he his produced 1 feature, 1 documentary, and is in the process of shooting another film on nights and weekends.
He has a couple of un-produced scripts and has begun to submit them to festivals to test the waters for interest.
CURRENT MARKETING PLAN:
He has Instagram, Facebook, a YouTube channel, and Twitter, but is really only active on IG and FB. He has started using a social media scheduler (hellowoofy) but has not spent much time creating posts to be scheduled.
Strengths: He understands the importance of marketing and his posts are unique.
Weaknesses: Not consistent enough
Recently, he has had some success in screenplay contests which resulted in some interviews.
Since one contest liked his work it is likely that other contests will also.
The plan is to find mid level contests with a low cost of entry that are far enough apart on the calender (about 1 month) so that he can consistently leverage these events and get attention for himself, his production company, and the projects themselves.
Since there is not an official website for every script he has written, success will be measured by the IMDB starmeter on imdbpro.com. This is a ranking system in the film industry that shows the relative popularity of actors, films, etc. The lower the number the better. If after 6 months, any of these speculative scripts ranks 100,000 or better that will signal enough audience interest in the product to raise funds or self produce the project.
Step 1 is to create a press release for the contest that the script last competed in. Ideally, this should have been done the moment his selection was announced, but it is still recent enough to give it a try. He is going to use pr.com because, quite frankly; it's free. You should spend money on promotion, but there is no reason to ignore free press.
Step 2 is to research script contests, film freeway lists pretty much everything and you can sort contests by price, date, genre etc.
Step 3 is to select 1 contest per month from February to July and submit a script. Now, there is no guarantee that the entries will be selected. If the budget was higher, I would probably select 2 or 3 for each month. However; the past performance of the script indicates that it will be noticed, at least among the smaller contests. Aiming for small contests with an entry fee of around $30. Also, submitting to fewer contests will give you a chance to check out the contest rules and make sure that you are not giving up any ownership by participating.
Bonus: these steps are probably enough to test this campaign, but the Filmmaker also has some previously shot footage. It may be smart to edit that into a 5-10 minute short film and test the waters with that.
Finally, any finalist status, awards, or interviews gained through this campaign should be shared on social media (all active platforms), with the client's manager, and via press release. Also, any press contacts should be saved for future projects.
This marketing campaign is focusing on script contests / festivals to spread the word and test audience receptiveness for these films. Success will be indicated by a starmeter of 100,000 or better. The two methods of promotion are contests and free press releases.
I hope this makes sense. Let me know in the comments, and keep making art.