If I type your name into Google, will I be able to find you? Do you come up on the first page? Will it come up alongside the word ‘scriptwriter’? Will I be able to find contact information for you? Samples of your work? A CV?
Hopefully, the answer’s yes. I hope you’ve all realised by now, the Internet is one of the best marketing tools anyone has at their disposal. Every time I apply for a writing job, or even chat to someone who might be interested in working with me, the traffic on my website goes up. Every enquiry I send out results in a search for “phillip barron” finding either my website or this blog.
I’ve got my profile on as many movie making sites as I can find – if I’ve missed any, please let me know. Having an IMDb page helps, I know the first thing I do when I get the opportunity to work with someone, is check out their credits (or lack of them).
I’ve had work purely on the basis of my website. People have started searching on UKScreen or Shooting People or whatever and have found my name; from there they’ve gone to my website and read some of my scripts. They’ve then got in touch about me writing for them, or sometimes asked if they can produce one of my short scripts.
All these things come from being open about who I am and what I can do. Other writers seem to try and hide their identity, why? When we were hiring writers for The WOW Life, we’d get letters from people who had no previous experience – fair enough, everyone has to start somewhere – but they wouldn’t send a writing sample; even when we specifically asked for one.
I have to say, the worst people for this were the ones with scriptwriting degrees; presumably on the grounds they had a degree, that should be all the proof we needed of their genius.
One of the best, and funniest writers I know has almost zero online presence. If you don’t know her, you won’t find her; and very few people do.
Is this really the best way to behave? I know a fancy website and a high web-visibility is no replacement for talent, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. It’s not the be all and end all of self-promotion, but it’s a good place to start and I think it’s the minimum entry requirement.
I check out potential employers’ websites, and the evidence suggests they check out mine. Occasionally they even comment on the site or this blog. So my question is this: who are you and what are you doing to make sure everyone can find out?