You’ve got to give (new media) to get (money)

Any reader here knows that I do all I can to get those around me engaged in the new media world, whether that is through podcasting, web sites, YouTube and other online video, it doesn’t matter. I just want them to get engaged.

I do this because I hate to see wasted talent — something that surrounds me here in Los Angeles. Everywhere you turn, there is more undiscovered (and under-utilized) talent than anywhere else on the planet. Whenever I come across someone who is making something great, I try to get them to expose their work on the Internet in hopes that it might gain a bigger audience than it currently has (which is usually, nothing). I always figure that 10, 100, 1000 people seeing my work is far prefarable to an audience of 1 — myself.

Exposing your work on the Internet is nearly free, except for your time, yet I am greeted with a host of reasons why people can’t, or won’t, make it happen. They’re too busy, too tired, too scared, too unconfident, too computerphobic, etc. Even worse, nearly everyone wants a company with deep pockets offering them the proverbial “bucket of money” for their content.

There are several problems with this scenario. First, if no one knows about you and your work, how will they ever know you are worth a bucket of money? You may have the best show, script, voice, smarts on the planet, but if no one knows about it, it doesn’t matter. If your content “tree in the forest” falls and no is around to hear it, it never really happened. Scripts don’t sell themselves in a drawer. Movies don’t sell themselves in the camera. Music doesn’t sell itself in your head. You need to do something with them!

The world of selling treatments, ideas, outlines, etc is gone — if it ever really existed to begin with. Distributors today want to see completed projects, shows, podcasts, videos, scripts, etc before they ever invest a dime. Harsh? Welcome to the new media world! When nearly everyone has the tools of new media, everyone expects you to use them to present and sell your ideas. You need to be a producer and take on all the duties of that role. One big benefit of this, of course, is you also get to retain the lion’s share of any proftis you do make, as well as complete creative control. Not a bad trade-off, really.

So folks, I am pleading with you — begging even — if you have something you want to sell, share it first. I’m not saying give away the farm for free, but you’ve got to attract attention to yourself if you ever hope to make money. Farmer’s Markets don’t hide the produce under the table, only allowing you see it after you give them the money.

Why are you hiding your light under a bushel?

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