Why DIY is Not Rocket Science. I Swear!

I’m sorry. I’m getting tired of people who mystify the process of selling films. Granted I live in my little niche of libraries and academia where selling is fairly straightforward, but in my opinion, all sales follow the same, basic rules: identify your buyer and their needs, shape your advertising to meet those needs, contact your buyers in the most cost effective way, follow-up with analysis of what works and doesn’t work, make changes, and repeat.

Take a tube of toothpaste: some toothpastes are positioned for families with children, some for young people who want to be glamorous, some for the elderly. No doubt any would clean our teeth, but we buy what is “positioned” for us. In the same way, libraries and academia are also a patchwork of hundreds of small populations. Is it hard to find them? Not really. My upcoming webinar on August 21  will cover various techniques, but as many of the readers of this site know, email addresses of professors and librarians are available for the buying. In addition, all filmmakers know how to communicate to audiences—that’s why you’re a filmmaker!

Promoting something you want to sell isn’t much different. Of course it will take some time to build an effective DIY platform (a website targeted for your most likely academic, library or specialty buyer), but once that work is complete, all you’ll need to do is tweak it occasionally between sales campaigns, and those are likely to last for some years to come.

Is it because distributors have us so brow-beaten into thinking they’re doing the impossible for their 40% to 80% that we somehow assume DIY is beyond us?

Most of filmmaking is SO much harder and you’ve already learned that. Setting up a DIY platform for the first time may be challenging, but think of all the other films in your closet or the ones still in front of you to make. You’ve worked enough ‘B’ jobs to make ends meet. Invest a bit of time and money in yourself, and I promise it will pay off big!

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