Interested in selling a screenplay? Screenwriters interested in selling a screenplay will need to obtain business management knowledge and an entrepreneurial mindset. After all, you are a creative freelancer that is marketing themselves as well as their screenplay products. You need to have a business mindset in order to make money and be successful as a screenwriter. Firstly, you need to understand the importance of a SWOT analysis as it pertains to screenwriters. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. A SWOT analysis is what you should create for every screenwriting project and long term goal that you have in mind.
Let’s say your long term goal is selling a screenplay. This is a pretty straightforward goal that all new screenwriters have. So you have to ask yourself, “What are my strengths as a screenwriter?” Write down all of the strengths you have that make you a worthy and marketable screenwriter. This could be your writing skills, creative imagination, passion for film, the connections you have and any support system that gives you a leg up in the business. This will let you know what you bring to the table right off the bat. Then what you don’t have as strengths will end up being on your next list, which is your list of weaknesses. If you are a new screenwriter without an agent or any connections, then you will put that on your list of weaknesses. You could also put personal weaknesses associated to your writing skills and personality such as poor grammar, poor punctuation, missing deadlines, antisocial behavior, and whatever else you think hurts your opportunity of selling a screenplay.
Opportunities are something that any freelancer has to pay attention to. As a screenwriter with a desire for selling a screenplay, you will be looking for external opportunities and opportunities that you can create for yourself. Of course, paid gigs are what you will have in the beginning in order to gain experience and build a list of connections. But you don’t want to write other people’s stories and ideas forever. You will eventually want to create your own opportunities by selling your own screenplay and being an entrepreneur to do so. This will give you more ownership and control over your own ideas. Not only that, the profit potential is much higher. So what you want to do is write down all the opportunities you currently have in the business, such as the places or people you have that you know can give you work.
Then you want to write down the opportunities you have for branching out and selling a screenplay. This could include the names of festivals, investors, producers, and connections that you have. You may find some of these related to your strengths. But the difference is that you have to ask yourself questions about your ability to find opportunities. Ask yourself, “Do I network?” “Am I researching all the opportunities out there?” “Am I constantly self promoting?” Sometimes you may be good at these things, but you simply forget to do them for whatever reason. So by asking yourself these questions, they can act as a reminder of what you have to do to seize all the possible opportunities that are out there for you.
As for threats, this is a little different than weaknesses. Threats to selling a screenplay are basically all the possible problems that you could face as a screenwriter. Some of these threats could be lack of funding, money drying up, writer’s block, stolen ideas, and no paid gigs. After you make this list, ask yourself how you will overcome these obstacles if you are faced with them. Which of your strengths will help you overcome these threats? Which of your weaknesses enabled these threats?
How can these threats of selling a screenplay be converted into opportunities? For example, if the threat you face is that you have no paid gigs available, this will give you the opportunity to work on your own screenplay idea instead of writing a screenplay based on someone else’s idea. If your threat is writer’s block, then perhaps you could take a break from writing and focus on self promotion and marketing. This is the kind of mindset you need to have when looking at your threats. And now that your SWOT analysis is complete, you can refer back to it while trying to establish your original long term goal of being a successful screenwriter.