Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Web Creators: A Call to Action

Marc Hustvedt over at Tubefilter News has written a wonderful Call to Action for anyone and everyone who has been comtemplating creating or distributing a web series.

Must reading.

Of particular note:

Your Audience is Out There - Go Find Them

I mean this, actively go out and find people who might be interested in your series. You have a series about the perils of dieting and dating in your thirties? Awesome. There are plenty of people who can relate to that. But they probably aren’t hanging out on YouTube every day watching Jessica Alba clips. Go find them. The world is niche.

To all the actors and writers out there, you have to get over the idea that someone else is going to promote you. This is an old school Hollywood relic of an idea that has to go. It’s time to find your own audience and connect with them directly. Having an actual personal connection with your audience means you have to be the one that responds to comments, emails, tweets, phone calls.

Think Startups Not Pilots

Web series are startups. Creators are entrepreneurs and need to think that way. Seriously, ditch the old Hollywood mindset right now. Stop waiting for someone to pick you, find you, groom you or pitch you. You have everything you need right now to grow your audience. So get off your asses.

Put every bit as much of the attention you put into your creations into your press outreach, your social media connections, your fan correspondence, your business development. A lot of you know every frame of the final cuts your series. I need you to take that obsession into knowing every pixel of your web sites. I can’t tell you how many web series I’ve seen with the most garish pieces of junk web sites. What gives? It’s like trying to sell people on a car with two shot tires and no paint. Doesn’t matter how fancy your engine is if they aren’t even going to open the hood.

Streaming video will go down as the single greatest advancement in entertainment since the television set. We owe Chad Hurley (founder of YouTube) and dozens of others for getting us where we are today. They have literally handed over the keys to a new entertainment medium, for free. There used to be only three channels that controlled all the moving images in you living room and now every single one of us can have their own channel. That’s a big deal.

And to wrap it up:

It’s time for all of us to start making a living doing this. It comes down to this: attention is moving online in leaps and bounds. That’s happening no matter what the economy does. And no matter which numbers you look at, the trend is this: online video advertising dollars are heading into the billions this year.

This revolution in entertainment means we’re all on equal footing here. Don’t talk yourself out of doing something great just because the ‘big guys’ have more money or a bigger name than you. Get that out of your heads for good.

The next Felicia Day or Joss Whedon is out there. This is the year to get serious. Trust me, the ones who do we’ll be talking about in the same sentence as those two this time next year.


Kevin said...

What I like about this is that is doesn't just apply to any one medium; this can be applied towards webcomics as well as web-based serials.

I am so referring back to this for the marketing section of my webcomic business model.

Cunningham said...

The internet isn't just one medium...

Kevin said...

True; I just picked that because of what I'm working on tonight.

It can just as easily be applied to self-publishing books, or art, or music.

Rolf Lejdegård said...

Man, I want in on this but I don't know how, damnit!
I want my comics and creations to reach the world, I want to be able to do it fulltime with out distractions such as "a damn day job". The stuff just needs to get out there, create a buzz and start rolling. The internet is one big sandbox.

Bill, I'll follow but I may wander off the trail.