Using social media to promote your work

Fred Ikezue-Clifford completed the MA in September 2017. While finishing his dissertation, he was also working as a freelance filmmaker in London, focusing on music videos and using Instagram to grow his client base.

FredBlog1Instagram is a social media platform that filmmakers and photographers can use to promote their work and get it seen by people from all over the world. As an aspiring filmmaker I began watching various YouTube videos on how to effectively promote your work and gain followers and discovered that Instagram was one way forward. I’ve always had a love for music so decided to learn how to create music videos in the most cinematic way possible and then promote them on social media.

I strongly believe that music video production is one way filmmakers can effectively make money because of the amount of artists who want videos. It may seem daunting at first but there are people who will need your services and creative eye! However, there is a lot of competition out there from other directors who may be more experienced then you or have better equipment but its all about perseverance! I was able to get my first client via Twitter. An artist who studied in Birmingham was looking for a local videographer and I happened to see him tweet this at the right time. So I contacted him and sent through my work, which convinced him to work with me. Once I finished his video and promoted it on social media, more work started coming my way and this cycle continued to repeat itself.Fredblog2

On my own Instagram profile, I make sure I upload the best quality pictures possible and try to be as creative as I can with how I upload my videos. For example, as well as uploading videos I also upload still frames from my projects as way of showing off my editing and colour grading skills.

Furthermore, I use hashtags such as #musicvideo, #cinematography and #directorslife when I post my work and make sure I’m consistent with the content I upload on a weekly basis. After doing some research I discovered that the best times to upload content on Instagram is between 8pm and 9:30pm on Wednesday/Thursday and virtually anytime in the afternoon on Sunday. These are the days and times you can drive the most traffic to your page. Usually once a potential client sees my post they message me directly and discuss their needs for a potential video. Back in June I had about 120 followers on Instagram and now in October I’m almost at 500 followers and that’s purely becausFredblog3e I’ve been consistent with the work I post. It may not be a massive amount, but slow progress is better than no progress.

I’m still learning how to grow my following and improve my content on a daily basis but I hope these tips will be beneficial and make you consider trying out music video directing, and promoting your work on social media platforms.

 

Fred Ikezue – Clifford

 

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Why All FTV Students Should Use Twitter

PostcardA decade ago, neither Facebook nor Twitter existed. Much as I’m an advocate of sending postcards and making a good old-fashioned phone call once in a while, I can’t deny that they’re fantastic inventions for keeping in touch and sharing information with dozens of people. However their use also extends beyond being a social tool, and I cannot stress enough how crucial networking sites such as Twitter now are if you’re looking for work or experience in the media industry.

Case Study – Me

Like a lot of people in their 20s, I’d been on Facebook for several years by the time I was doing my MA. Twitter, however, seemed a bit pointless and I didn’t think I’d ever find myself signing up. This all changed after my placement, where the people I worked with were tweeting several times a day and I realised that there was actually more to it than everyone just saying what they’d had for breakfast. I duly created a profile and now I can’t imagine life without Twitter. So many opportunities have been opened purely because of people/companies I’ve followed and the vast majority of film and TV related jobs I’ve ever applied for have been advertised on Twitter.

The following are all genuine examples of how Twitter has opened up new possibilities for me:

  • I found out about Birmingham Social Media Cafe @BirminghamSMC, a monthly networking event which I attended several times whilst job hunting. This subsequently led to a day’s work experience with one small production company and an offer of paid editing work from another company several months later.
  • Discovered a great website called @historyinanhour, that I now contribute articles to.
  • Was approached by a husband and wife filmmaking team about a new web series they were producing, asking if I wanted to be involved. They’d looked at my profile after I began following them and read that I was a Film and TV graduate ‘looking for work in Brum’. I subsequently got a credit as a Production Assistant.
  • I researched local production companies that I never would have found out about otherwise who I then approached about work experience. Several speculative emails later this led to paid work as a freelance researcher.

Of course, all the above examples have depended a lot on luck and my own initiative: I read the right tweets at the right time, followed the right people and marketed myself successfully when networking and sending initial correspondence. But the fact is that without Twitter, my CV would be much less interesting.

In Conclusion…

TwitterBirdIs there actually a good reason not to sign up to Twitter? It doesn’t have to take over your life and you don’t have to watch it constantly. The beauty of hashtags means you can direct your searches effectively and you can easily be pragmatic about who you choose to follow if predominantly using it as a job-hunting tool. Through the @FTV_Birmingham account I regularly retweet opportunities and there are dozens of companies for whom Twitter is now central to the recruitment process.

Just remember to keep it professional and that finding opportunities is only the first step – following them up is another blog post entirely!