Struggling to build an audience when you have long-term projects and no regular content?
Cory wants to be a film maker and produce feature length movies. However, he’s struggling with building an audience for such long-term projects. It’s easy when you’re regularly putting out shorts, but for projects that take a long time to complete, how do you build an audience?
In this video, I help answer some of Cory’s questions and talk about some of his fears with putting his stuff out there and getting past the discomfort with his own voice.
You Can’t Expect Everyone To Care When You Don’t Engage
Cory says, “I’m trying to stay on one project at a time, thanks to your advice in recent videos, but some of my projects are film-length projects and staying on one of these would mean a year’s worth of work before launch. I want to engage with people and I want them to be excited about this project before that, what suggestions do you have for me?”
Obviously when you’re spending so much time producing something, you don’t want launch to crickets! This actually has a lot of parallels with tv018 Generating Buzz For Your Product Launch. You want to build momentum.
The main thing is you can’t quietly build something for a year and then launch it expecting everyone to know or care about it.
What Type Of Content Should I Put Out?
You should share parts of the story along the way and put out promotional content through different mediums. Use different angles. Give the same message but talk about different aspects of it. Maybe that’s writing newsletters or blog posts. You can talk about how the shooting of the film went, what your vision for the script is, and how things turned out in reality.
Talk about the challenges you’ve faced with making this thing happen. You can even do audio or video recordings, and you could share clips from the film as you go.
“I have a bigger vision and greater stories to share than just short films. How can I do these bigger film projects, while still engaging with people on a weekly basis?”
You have to be creative. If you don’t want to do short films, you’ve got to find something to share on a regular basis. You could tell a piece of the big film’s story but put it in short form.
What If I Can’t Be Consistent?
“I don’t feel like I can always offer something on a weekly basis.”
It’s really powerful to be consistent with your content output. It gets in peoples’ minds. They think, “It’s Sunday, so there’s going to be something from Cory.”
If you’re serious, your minimum of optimal engagement with people should be weekly. That’s when everything resets for people. They have a cycle of expectancy each week and getting in that weekly cycle is key.
The minimum should be putting something about your project out once a week, but this doesn’t mean it has to be only one medium.
Certainly, the ideal is putting out content consistently and in a certain medium—for example: Tuesday you put out a video and Thursday you always put out a newsletter. However, consistent medium isn’t the minimum. The minimum is consistent content on a certain subject regardless of medium.
It’s better for people to know that something is coming from you once a week.
What If I Don’t Like My Voice?
It’s about telling a story. Why do you subscribe to the people you subscribe to on YouTube? What makes that content interesting to you?
Put yourself in the viewers shoes. A lot of people say, “I want to tell you what’s interesting to me and I’m interested in getting you to watch this film.”
If you only think about it that way, it’s not going to be an engaging message for people.
We’re creating content right now by just having this discussion and it’s interesting to people because they can relate to it. They’re struggling with these things too. You have to get in their heads and figure out what they want.
Ask the people who have already shown interest in your film what they would want to see from you. Take every angle of that story and use it as a teaching opportunity. Share when something goes wrong on the shoot and share what you learned from that experience.
Nothing can be a failure if you spin it the right way.
Sometimes inspiring people means being imperfect, being raw, and being vulnerable.
It’s easy for people to think that imperfections are inspiring but only when it’s coming from someone who has already made a name for themselves. People think that if you’re a “nobody”, then you shouldn’t be vulnerable but there is something to said for iterating in public.
Starting from the bottom and putting yourself out there creates a track record. People who come along in the future now have a backlog of your content to reference. They can see how you started just like them: at the bottom.
I’ve aways been tempted to delete my old work—podcasts, lettering, writing—but the reality is, people can go back and relate to you. Your old work is there from before you were cool and that’s a way you can level with people.
When you think you’re not great at something, that’s the best time to put yourself out there. Even if it’s scary.
The best thing to do is to just start, give it your best (90% it!), and people will relate to you. What’s holding you back?