A lot of what I write is geared towards helping filmmakers better understand how to make a living in film and media. But without the support of their community, audience, and fans it’s impossible for a creator to make a living. So this week thought I’d break the mold and write a post for the fans and followers on how you can support your favorite content creators.
Since money is tight for most people, the majority of this list will show how you can support your favorite content creators without spending any money, or at least money you wouldn’t have spent otherwise.
This list is Prioritiized by how much they help the content creator.
If you have a disagreement with me on the prioritization, or if you think I forgot one check #6. Also, YARRR… that be affiliate links in this article. I practice what I preach.
Since you're reading this on my Patreon Only Ad Free Blog, two things. First, Thanks so much for being a patron! Second, there is an amazon banner ad in this post, and a right hook to my mailing list. Both illustrate points in the article.
With the qualifiers out of the way, let’s get started.
#1. Consume their content
It may seem obvious, but the most important thing you can do to support a content creator is consume their content. If a content creator doesn’t have people consuming their content, then they don’t have an audience, and without an audience the creation is for naught.
But consuming content differently helps them differently. If you watch their content through AVOD (YouTube, Hulu, anything with ads) or certain SVOD (subsription Video On Demand) providers like Amazon Prime or Fandor then every view pays the content creator directly. If you watch it through other SVOD platforms like Netflix, NBOGO/HBONow then that also helps the content creator, but not as directly.
If you have to choose a free way to watch your favorite content creator’s work, then Amazon prime is the way to do it. They pay the best.
#2. Buy their premium content
If you really want to support an artist or a content creator, show them buy buying their creations, or subscribing to their patreon. These channels often give the majority of the sale to the creator. Thank you for being a part of my Patreon Premium feed!
If you buy their content on VHX or Vimeo on Demand, they make around 80-90% of the sale. If you buy is from iTunes or Google play, Filmmakers make significantly less, although both are helpful for different reasons.
I make the most money per copy when someone buys a paperback through Amazon, but my favorite way for people to get my book is through their local bookstore, library, or Barnes and nobles.com. Even though I make about half as much, if someone requests it then it’s more likely to show up to other local bookstores or libraries and it spreads rather quickly. Plus, I get warm fuzzies helping support indie bookstores and libraries. Similar recommendation engines happen with iTunes and google play for videos.
#3. Leave a Review
Other than consuming content, the best way to support a content creator without spending any (More) money is by leaving a review. Sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Netflix, Goodreads, iTunes, and more have hugely powerful recommendation engines that help consumers discover new content that rely largely on reviews.
Apart from that, most potential customers will read reviews before buying a product. Some studies have shown that reviews and recommendations are the primary way people decide whether or not to buy a product, especially younger people.
#4. Join their mailing list
I know we all get too much spam. However, if you want to support a content creator who’s work you love, join their mailing list.
It’s the most stable way for them to keep in touch with you. Liking their Facebook page or following them on twitter doesn’t guarantee you’ll see their messages. Of course, it’s on them to not get too spammy.
If they do get too spammy, when you unsubscribe try not to report spam. Just say something like “No Longer interested.” Spam reports can really damage their ability to send messages that people actually see, so make sure it’s only used when it’s really necessary. Like, the exact same message multiple times in a week.
Related: FREE Film Market Resources
#5 Like/Follow/Subscribe their channels
A follow on twitter, a like on Facebook, or a subscribe on youtube doesn’t have the same impact as joining their mailing list, but it still matters. It means you’re more likely to view their content, and savvy investors or distributors will ask what their social media presence is.
#6 Share their content
If you like a piece of content, share it with your friends! There are some very beneficial things that happen when it’s shared that go far beyond whatever friends you share it with seeing it. If you share a sponsored Facebook post, the ad is more effective and reaches more people without the content creator spending any more money. Apart from that, sharing content helps it get discovered by search engines.
#7 Leave a comment on their content
Leaving a comment on social media will help with SEO, and if they use a plugin for Facebook comments (Like I Do) it will also help make the most more discoverable on social media. If you leave a comment on a youtube video, it also helps it be discovered by people watching similarly tagged videos. The more engagement the content gets, the more people the platform will show it to.
#8 Click an Ad on their content.
If you’re on a content creator you trust’s site, and you enjoy the content, you should consider clicking a relevant ad. You’d be surprised what it pays. It’s not uncommon I make more money from a singe google adsense click than I do from an E-book Sale of the Entrepreneurial producer. That’s right, clicking the right ad can support your content creator more money than spending 2.99 on an ebook.
Most creators use Google Adsense for ads like this, so you shouldn’t get adware from clicking a reputable blog. Adsense ads look like the ads below this link, or any non-amazon or Producer Foundry block on this post. Or, you could if you didn't pay me patreon money every month. Thanks again!
#9 Participate in their sponsorships/Affiliates
If you see a link for a product you wanted to buy on a content creator’s site, then you should consider buying them through the links on that content creator’s site. it generally pays them a bit of money for a product, or a decent amount of money for a service. Some of the common banners will look like this.
Amazon is far from the only company to do this, but they are one of the most common affiliates you'll see.
#10 Watch an ad all the way through on their content
If you’re watching a video on youtube and you see an ad that’s about 30 seconds long, you should want to consider letting it play. The amount of money the content creator if the ad plays all the way through is significantly more than the money they get if you only watch the 6 seconds.
#11 Engage with their social media posts
Sharing, Retweeting, Liking, or loving their content on social media has a huge impact on the reach of a post. this impact goes well beyond the direct expansion to your fan base. Engaging with your content creator on social media helps them grow their reach much more quickly.
Thanks for reading, if you like this post, feel free to share it with your friends, fans, and whoever else. Also feel free to follow me on twitter, like me on Facebook, or check out my book!
Thanks for Contributing to my Patreon! You make this blog possible. My name is Ben Yennie, I'm a Producer's rep, entrepreneur, and author. Since you pay me on patreon, you won't get any ads on my blog, and the blog will be updated automatically.
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