Artist interview: Stephen Foster, actor
Stephen Foster is a comedy filmmaker based in Hollywood. He’s currently traveling the festival circuit with his short film.
"That's Opportunity Knocking" is an award-winning comedy short about 2 wanna be thugs and 3 roommates. We have won 16 Film Festival Awards.
Wow! The laurels are showering down. What do you attribute that success to? What is it that’s unique about your work?
We started in theater and have successfully made the leap to indie film. We create screwball comedy that is character driven.
Right, down to business. I’m going to assume that you’re all over social media…
So, which platform do you have the biggest audience? Don’t say the moon!
We have the largest audience on Facebook coz our fan base are those in theater and now at film festivals.
Do you have any secrets to building a following?
People have found "That's Opportunity Knocking" thru hash tags, networking at film festivals, writing strange and interesting slogans and adding pictures, videos and hash browns…hashtags…selling hash. You know, anything to get attention.
If someone came up to you in the street and said, “how can I get more people onto my Facebook page?” What would you say to them?
I've found that tagging our cast and people we meet at festivals (taking pictures with them) help spread the word and increase our "brand". Posting clips from the film and outtakes helps engage people.
Do you boost posts or pay for online advertising at all?
No, I do it all with my 10 little fingers. I thinking paying for social media is kind of lazy and doesn't really engage people on a one on one basis. People like the fact that we are accessible.
Now for the million dollar question (ha, ha), do you make sales?
It can sometimes be difficult to get fans to open their wallets. Have you found techniques for converting followers into customers?
Engaging them with questions and offering promotions like "free sheet music" for our songs for "the green room".
Do you have a marketing philosophy?
"some will, some won't. so what? NEXT!"
What are your top 3 tips to help other creative people learning to market their work?
1. don't be shy about your intention to use social media as your work. Don't post cute pictures of your cat, dog or kid (unless that is what your pushing)
2. make and USE those contacts
3. remember this is a business and you ARE a salesperson and think of every post as an advertisement of some sort!