Read these 12 Marketing Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Screen Writing tips and hundreds of other topics.
It is possible the greatest writer ever might be unknown. How? Writers are an enigmatic lot. Some wilt at the thought of others' eyes poking through their carefully chosen words. The path to success as a writer runs through connections. And anyone can make them. Stay involved in the film community for the most chances at the luck required to make it as a screenwriter.
Writers' conferences are great places for writers to network—and networking can help you in many ways. Screenwriting conferences are not limited to Southern California. Whether or not your region has a screenwriting conference, attend other types of writers' conferences. Go and network with all types of attendees—not just writers, and not just decision makers (because you never know who might help you in the future).
Sure, film festivals are about screening great—or at least interesting—films, but the best ones have special events for attendees—panel discussions on screenwriting, for example. No matter the film festival you attend, look for all chances to professionally exchange contact information with (hopefully) industry professionals, and also other aspiring screenwriters. Network! Self-promote! Self-promote! Network!
You write a killer screenplay. It takes months, or maybe a year. You had to write three drafts. You battled perfectionism at times, procrastination at others. But you did it. Now what? Find ways to promote your story to your market, whether that market is major-player Hollywood, independents, or both. You can't solely write and expect to make money. That's like hiding your new screenplay under a bush. Get it out there! Pitch it! Make contacts!
If pitching troubles you, or if you have done very little, try starting with the phrase “This is a story about,” or “I have written a story about.” Follow those words with a succinct description of your main character and your story's unique, compelling conflict, and you have a good chance of drawing the attention of someone in Hollywood.
One way to connect in film is to volunteer in the industry. Help promote your local film festival or writer's conference. Search for opportunities in indie filmmaking (where any compensation is often deferred) in your area. You will meet people. If you do a great job, you can easily stay connected to anyone you meet. A connection made at a festival could lead to an introduction to a producer, for example. Who knows? Get out there and try!
Selling your writing will almost certainly depend somewhat on your sales ability. Don't worry that you have to sit through an all-day self-improvement conference on sales techniques. You just need to realize that you must promote yourself and your work to be a success in any highly competitive creative field, like screenwriting.
Screenplay competitions can give you the chance to see how your writing fares against that of other new writers—often thousands. Some competitions put the winners' work before industry eyes. When comparing competitions, research for those that give you the best potential reward for your time, money (spent on entry fees and materials), and genre, and only send your best work. A good place to start your research is Done Deal, which maintains a list of screenwriting contests.
Egos can be tough to tolerate. And groups of artists often present significant ego-related challenges. Still, wading through a sea of egos to discover the best writers' group for your personality has the potential to improve your writing, help you make friends, and get you connected to potential future screenwriting opportunities. If you cannot join a group near you, search the Internet for kindred spirits.