I have recently been introduced to the world of self promotion, and we’ve gotten off to a shaky start. It’s definitely something to get used to, unless you’re just a super confident person, which let’s be honest, most people in the arts are not. I’ve learned a few things through my whining and complaining about how I now have to be a self promoter; so here are 3 common excuses and reasons why you should push past them:

1.  I feel like I sound conceited.

That’s probably the most common excuse to be honest. Nobody likes it when someone acts like they are God’s gift to filmmaking or whatever it is they are promoting. But I think there is a real difference when someone is promoting their work and not just themselves. Promoting should not be confused with bragging because yes, bragging does sound conceited.

A person who promotes their work is saying they believe in what they are doing, which encourages other people to believe in it as well. If people don’t see you believing in your work, why should they get behind it if you yourself cannot? You have to be the first person to stand up and say that what you’re doing is worth it.

2.  I feel stupid.

It’s very easy to start feeling embarrassed quickly when you’re face to face with a stranger trying to get them interested in your project. Standing in a crowd and shoving promotional cards in people’s hands is not exactly my favorite thing in the world.

But if you don’t do it and you have no one else promoting for you, who is going to know about your work? You’ll just be making films or writing books or doing whatever you do for yourself. The world will never know. I wish we lived in a world where a magical promotional fairy would come and take our projects to every home in America, but for now, it looks like we might have to be the ones getting it out there.

3. People don’t care about what I’m doing.

Well, that may be true for a lot of the people you’re trying to reach. It’s the most disheartening feeling when you’ve just gone into a huge description about your film, thinking you’ve got this person hooked, only for them to put your card back down and walk away from your booth. This was a huge mental block for me, but I have seen that although many people don’t care about my project, there are still a lot of people who do. And it’s for those people that I continue to promote my work.

So although it may feel weird at first, power through and continue to believe in what you’re doing and share it with others. It can be scary, but I think the benefits are worth it. It’s really fun when other people get excited about what you’re doing because then you can see that it really is about so much more than just you.

What are some embarrassing promotional moments you’ve had? Any other excuses people tend to make?

Rachel M Taylor

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Rachel is a writer/director. She loves character driven movies and really good cheese.

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