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A Portfolio Website As Your Honeypot [Marketing For Screenwriters]The Story Department

10/18/16, 11:17 AM

common sense advice for screenwriters and writers

Where Is Your Portfolio Website?


[Marketing For Screenwriters]
February 10, 2016, Karel Segers in News, Pitching & Selling, Screenwriting Life

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A Portfolio Website As Your Honeypot [Marketing For Screenwriters]The Story Department

10/18/16, 11:17 AM

uild it and they will come, right? In other words: just


write an amazing screenplay, and producers will start has

sling you. Well, not really. And Im not the only one to disagree
with Kevin Costners character in Field Of Dreams.
We
live
in
the
age
of

noise. Everyone is trying to get your attention. TV commercials, banners on your favourite
website, YouTube ads, in-app advertising on your phone.
The same is happening in the writersphere. Screenwriters are spamming producers; ser
vice companies are spamming writers.

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A Portfolio Website As Your Honeypot [Marketing For Screenwriters]The Story Department

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Getting someones genuine attention has become a tremendous challenge. My default


mode is to keep the noise outside, and I suspect the same from you. In order to get access,
you will need to come through a door of trust.

Back To Common Sense


If youre desperate, and you want money from your writing now, you will be susceptible to
scammers. They will promise you an agent, to get your script in front of this or that pro
ducer, etc. The sobering news is that nobody is going to open the gate of screenwriting
heaven for you tomorrow, for money. Why not? Because there is no gate to screenwriting
heaven. And if you still believe in it, youll have to die first.
To die, in this context means: doing the hard work.
Before answering the calls to adventure from unreliable mentors, think about it critically
yourself, first. There are gatekeepers, alright, and you need to know who they are. Once
you have identified them, you need to network your way through to them. You may do this
in the real world, or online.

Online And Oine

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A Portfolio Website As Your Honeypot [Marketing For Screenwriters]The Story Department

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Most will agree that the best networking is still done o!ine. Unfortunately, you may not
have many opportunities to meet your target gatekeepers in the real world. If you dont
live in a metropolitan area let alone Los Angeles you are not going to casually bump
into the Hollywood decision makers.
The great thing is that online, you can.
Years ago, when Toy Story 3 was about to be released, a friend texted me: Do you know
Lee Unkrich just tweeted you?. Indeed, the director of the most highly anticipated movie
at that time had responded to one of my tweets. It could have been the beginning of a
conversation (After all, if I had been an animator, I would have had a link to my portfolio
website right on my twitter page.)
So lets see what else is possible online.

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A Portfolio Website As Your Honeypot [Marketing For Screenwriters]The Story Department

10/18/16, 11:17 AM

The Google Truth


Say so-and-so has read your work, and they like it. Before they enter into a collaborative
arrangement with you, Theyll want to know more. What do people do when they want to
know more about you? They google you. Depending on how many others share the same
name, they will find a LinkedIn profile, YouTube video, or Amazon book. In the worst case
scenario, the search may lead to some unflattering Facebook photos a friend tagged you
in.
Not if you have a portfolio website.
In that case, almost certainly your site will be the first result (unless of course Justin Bieber
is their namesake). Your website is the only place online where you fully control how you
want to be seen. And if you are the right person to work with for people googling you, this
will be clear from your site.
Your website is the first, and most important place to market yourself.
My two most exciting jobs of the past decade both came to me through the website (and
it wasnt even a portfolio website). One was the o"er to work on a high-profile feature
film. The other, to travel and lecture in Europe. How cool is that?? Both opportunities have
opened up subsequent business that continues to this day.

Where Is Your Portfolio Website?

http://thestorydepartment.com/portfolio-website/

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A Portfolio Website As Your Honeypot [Marketing For Screenwriters]The Story Department

10/18/16, 11:17 AM

Today, when I google screenwriter web


site, on the first page I find the names of

Caitlin McCarthy and William Nicholson.


Neither I must admit I have ever heard of
(although Nicholson co-wrote Gladiator).
But now I have.
If you look for a writer by googling [their

name] screenwriter website , in 99% of


the cases, the right person will be listed
first.
Try Emily Blake Screenwriter website,
and the first listing will be Bambookillers.
Thats Emilys blog. In fact, its also her
portfolio website, as it lists the screenplays
she completed, and those in develop
ment. Her last post dates back from 2014, but the website strategy is so powerful that it
still lists her site first in Google.

Build Your Portfolio Website, And


If you build it, they may not come.
If you dont build it, they most certainly will not come, no matter how loud you scream.

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A Portfolio Website As Your Honeypot [Marketing For Screenwriters]The Story Department

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For me, setting up WordPress sites is a hobby that got out of control. Out of the 55+
domain names I own, a few dozen are hosting sites that I built. It all started with this
site, followed by Logline It, and The Story Series, (which is moving from an o!ine course
now online).

Over the past year, I helped a few writers build their portfolio website.
Leon is a lawyer retiree, who committed himself to screenwriting only a few years back.
His site now lists eight screenplays, both original and adapted. If anything, it shows Leon is
dedicated, and he works fast. If I were looking for a screenwriter today, these are critical
qualities.

http://thestorydepartment.com/portfolio-website/

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A Portfolio Website As Your Honeypot [Marketing For Screenwriters]The Story Department

10/18/16, 11:17 AM

The other writer is Lachlan, who is an internationally celebrated playwright. He doesnt


really need the site, because right now he is busy enough as it is. But Lachlan knows that
in our industry, things can change at the drop of a hat. At that point, he will have an
impressive portfolio online, and Google will honour the seniority of his website, as well
as his frequent blog updates, by giving him a prominent ranking.
A good quality website is a potential honeypot for writing gigs right now, while you are
saving marketing collateral for the future. It is a no-brainer.
If you dont already have that portfolio website, consider building it this week. It doesnt
require rocket science, and you can a"ord it.
In truth, you cant a"ord not to have it.

-Karel Segers #

I am hosting a free webinar for writers who would like


to set up their own professional WordPress portfolio website:

http://thestorydepartment.com/portfolio-website/

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A Portfolio Website As Your Honeypot [Marketing For Screenwriters]The Story Department

"

10/18/16, 11:17 AM

Tagged as: blog setup, creative website, marketing, portfolio website, screenwriting, website setup,
writer website, writers website, writing blog

About Karel Segers


Karel Segers wrote his first produced screenplay

at age 17. Today

he is a story analyst with experience in international movie rights acquisition, script


http://thestorydepartment.com/portfolio-website/

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A Portfolio Website As Your Honeypot [Marketing For Screenwriters]The Story Department

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development and production. He has trained and consulted to filmmakers all over
the world, including award-winning screenwriters, and Academy Award nominees.
Karel founded this website, as well as Logline.it!, ranks among the most influential
people for screenwriting on social media, and speaks more than a handful of
European languages (which should come in handy in his present hometown of
Sydney, Australia).
VIEW ALL POSTS BY KAREL SEGERS

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A Portfolio Website As Your Honeypot [Marketing For Screenwriters]The Story Department

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