This past week, I had the absolute best time attending two industry events, Digital Hollywood and the Beverly Hills Film TV and New Media Festival. Not only did I meet some very intelligent people, listened to what is next in the industry and hopefully contributed to the mix as a panelist at these events. In between these two events, I was also doing a class with the Web Series Network on a hot topic for all New Media / Webseries creators: monetization of their content.
My background as a marketer / sales executive has taught me one big lesson – WIIFM. What’s in it for me? This has been at the base of every product launch I have been involved with on a strategic level. WIIFM. Web series creators don’t have the years of expertise that I do in marketing and sales so for them – marketing their product is not what they want to do, they want to create. However, with budgets being as they are on original content projects, you don’t have the luxury to wait until your project is in post to have marketing pick up the next step and get the buzz going.
You have to build the buzz before and during the production process.
But this is just one of the challenges that a “new” industry is facing. If you attended either Digital Hollywood or the New Media panel on Sunday that I was on you would have heard more about this disruption and change in the industry. There are so many people out there who are trying to figure this out from brands and agencies to creators and producers. The answer is there is no cookie cutter way to do business – you have to make it work for what your audience is as you are creating for an audience online – and if you aren’t making content that is bringing an audience, then you will have a hard time monetizing it.
New Media Panel - Patrick Bardwell, Slebisodes, Stephanie Piche, Mingle Media TV, Danny Ramm, Quick Bites, Joe Mantegna, Actor
At our panel at Digital Hollywood, Thursday October 21 st 2010 TrackAdvUp-27
Social Media, Brands and Target Markets: We talked about how to use Social Media and build out a fan base and following, integrate products into the media you are creating and how knowing your demographics and power of your audience with a brand is crucial.
On Sunday the 24th of October at the Beverly Hills Film TV and New Media festival’s New Media panel, we talked more about this same subject but as it relates to monetization of the media you are creating. So many people in the audience were creators with no “fans” or audience yet and had a finished product…
On Saturday, I met with a group of webseries creators who wanted to learn more about how to pitch sponsors on their project. Rich from the Web Series Network, put together the event as a first step in helping bring more education to creators/producers/writers of New Media/Webseries projects. We covered the basic techniques to some tips that I use to get meetings (and Monday – got an email from an attendee saying he tried one of the techniques I shared and he got the meeting so he was excited). More and more, web series creators and producers are going to have to equip themselves with business knowledge from a trusted source, someone who has the credentials and can guide and support them as they go to the next level.
Some of the resources available for web series creators are communities online where they can network and get support of others who are out there. The largest online community is the Web Series Network, run by Rich Mbariket. You can share your project, post up questions or give your opinions on numerous topics. The best part is you can speak your mind and network with others. There’s also a growing list out there that I am happy to share with you for other resource sites – so be sure to ping me on Twitter or post on this blog post for more info.