OK – so you’ve worked hard, practiced your craft, and still aren’t getting noticed. You haven’t sold your screenplay, been offered a movie role, gotten that position you dreamed about. What do you do? I’m proclaiming this the “The Year of Execution” which means we’re going to focus this blog on making things happen. To that end, here’s 5 critical things that will help you get your message, talent, gift, or skill noticed:
1. Invest in yourself. Start attending conferences, join organizations, and show up at events where you can connect with other talent. I’m always amazed at people who want to be writers but never find the time to take classes. We don’t hesitate to spend money on computers and mobile devices, and yet hesitate to spend money on stretching our knowledge. Stop being stingy when it comes to your talent.
2. Do it for free. I’ve published numerous books and I’m still submitting magazine and online articles for free. Everyone needs more experience, so position yourself to get it. Volunteer to be on a film crew, offer to do free work, become an intern, offer to help backstage at an industry event. Offer to speak for free at workshops and conferences. I’m writing this blog for free, in the hope that it a) helps people, and b) gets my ideas noticed.
3. Take social media seriously. We’re all equal behind a Facebook photo or Twitter avatar. You want to get shared and commented on? Then stop sharing photos of your breakfast at Denny’s or alerting us you’re at Starbucks. Give us some meat! Challenge us. Raise important questions. Share what it’s like to be you! Focus on your area of expertise. Stop asking people to retweet you and post ideas worth retweeting. Be compelling.
4. Start speaking and writing. When I started my career, I learned that most industry magazines don’t have a paid staff. For the most part, they rely on volunteer submissions. I had done a lot of filming overseas, so I started writing free articles about what producers need to know before they shoot internationally. People read the articles and thought I was an expert. Before long, I was asked to speak at workshops and conferences – better yet, I got hired for more projects. Find your niche (Read my book One Big Thing) and become an expert. You don’t need a license or diploma – only confidence.
5. Just Do it. What’s your goal? To write a book? Don’t wait for an agent or publishing deal, start writing. Screenplays? Don’t wait for your first one to sell, start on number two, three or four. Make a movie? How many shorts have you made? Get with it. My biggest mistake early in my career was to produce films and television for other people rather than myself. I should have taken more risk. I should have stopped looking for opportunities and created my own opportunities. The more you do now – no matter how small – the more credibility and respect you’ll get in the future.
Ready to start?