Talking To The Right People
(ethereal music) (camera clicking)
So, you've shot thousands of photos. You spent hours editing. How do you know you're ready to start approaching brands with those images? How do you know your portfolio is kinda ready? The thing is, you'll never really know. That's the nature of this work. You're always in this cloud of uncertainty, and second guessing, and I had it too. We all have it. It's just part of it. You gotta accept it. But, once you've showed friends, people you admire these images, you've seen their reaction. It's looking good. Ask people for honest feedback. And they don't always want to tell you, but insist. You're confident about it, you feel like the work's good. It's probably time to reach out. So, how do you go about doing that? So how do you approach these brands? Well, the key thing to remember is that you're not talking to a brand, you're talking to a human who's on the other side of a computer or the phone, and they have their life, their problems, and their goa...
ls too. So, for me it's about finding common goals and aligning with them, with the person that represents the brand. So what's the ultimate way I use to reach out to people? Instagram DM. (laughing) It's silly, but it establish instant credibility because they can see your work and profile, instantly. They don't even have to go to your website. How do you reach out to a brand if you have a small audience? Well, I love this question because it's a difficult one. And first, it's no big deal if you don't have a big audience. That's where you need to get creative. Whether you want to or not, you're going to have to work harder than all the others with an audience. So what does it mean to get creative? Well, it's taking money from your savings to go on a trip and personally bringing a portfolio you've printed. Or to show your work to the client just to get some face time. So oi gonna have to go the extra mile compared to the others. And it's not fair but it's the way it is. So getting face time, I would avoid the use of emails unless I'm introduced. I would ask every person I know if they can introduce me to that brand. And I'll ask everybody. Everybody I've talked to in my inbox. Ask them, hey I'm trying to get hold of this person. Do you know them? Do you know somebody who knows them? And you might be surprised of how that works. So I've talked to you about getting face time which is key, I think. Even if you have an audience. Face time is super important. Asking for introductions, if you don't have that credibility that numbers give you and I know it's silly ask for an introduction to everybody you know. That's gonna take a while but you might get there. But the coolest brand may not need you. But there's always the brand that's in the shadow of the super cool brand that needs you. So try to go for that one. Don't go for, like, the big shiny one that everybody wants. Go for the one that's not as famous or known but that's needs people like you. I'm thinking Apple, Microsoft here. So Apple's all shiny, everybody wants them. But Microsoft is not as shiny but they're still a massively important brand to work for. And they need people like you, per example. So this is just an example. Pick up the phone. You know why? Because nobody does it. So if you go and just call... Find the HQ number, just reception desk. And prep through 10 second elevator pitch to that person. Hopefully, that will get you to the next person up and then you might end up talking to the marketing manager. Or you might leave a message. They might call you back. But everybody's using email. So just try to use stuff that people don't use. Send them a letter, a post card, a book you've done. Just use channels that are not used right now. That'll get you closer. When you're trying to reach out to that brand you want to work for you want to be very self aware. How do they see you? Because let's say you want to pitch them a massive commercial production that you can handle, for sure. But do they see that you can handle it? On your Instagram, or your website or our social. Is it clear you can do that? Because they're going to be very critical. In one second they be like "no he cant' do it." So make sure you're representing yourself for what you want to pitch them. So you wan to show... So you want to appear like you're a big deal. You know, you can handle productions. Well list a bunch of your friends on your website. You're a studio just... But do that if you can handle it. Otherwise, if you can't really handle it and you're shooting super high. You're gonna burn yourself to the client. They may get you once but they won't get you a second time. So I'm not telling you to be disingenuine. I'm just telling you to kind of bump up your chest. And show off a little more that you need to to get the client excited. So how do you get face time and what do you do when you get face time with the client? One of the easiest ways I found to get face time is to plan a trip to a city where I know a few clients are there. So it could be New York, L.A, or in Europe, Paris, Berlin. Book some flights in advance. And then I'd reach out to all these different brands and be like "hey I'm coming to town for some meetings this week. Can we sit down, I'd like to talk to you about this." And that this, should be in the clients interest. I don't think they want to sit down there and talk about you. It's not about you, it's all about them. So what can you entice the client, the person you're talking to to sit down with you? Why would they sit down with you? What are they gonna get out of it? Is it all you telling them stuff about you? That's boring. So seeing it from their perspective Well then, "hey X. I'm coming through town. I'd like to talk to you about ways we could improve this part of your marketing. Or I'd like to talk to you about this new industry trend. Anything you can find that's gonna help the client not you. You're there to talk about them. And you're there to help them. You're not there to help yourself. I have this quick role that I use always. When I'm doing a call, usually it's on the first call. when I'm doing a first call with a client, first meeting with a client. I wanna be doing 10% of the talking. And I want to let them do 90% of the rest. It doesn't mean I just sit there and be like, "hi." I'm just trying to... I'm just trying I want to get them talking about what they're doing. And that's gonna help me a lot So hey, client. What are you working on? What's exciting? What's coming up next? And I'm not just asking random questions and not listening. I'm active listening to what they're saying so I can use it after. Or even I can bounce live? I'm just trying to get as much information about their problems, their struggles and what their goals are so I can best meet them. So that's for the first call. But then there's call where you need to explain what you want to do. So for these ones, you gotta know that you're gonna be doing most of the talking. And for some people that's uncomfortable. But just keep it short and to the point. They have a limited time so they'll appreciate you getting to the point. And start the call by saying, "hey, I want to take five minutes to go over this. 10 minutes." just give them a time references so that they're not looking at their clock all the time. Just give the, "hey I'm gonna take (mumbles) minutes to take you this idea. This how we gonna do it. And this what you gonna get out of it. Thank you. Sometimes, there's also clients that I don't have affinities with. And that's alright too. We just keep it professional. Still being kind and probably chat with them every now and then to tell them what I'm working on. What's the latest for them? I'm just trying to add value to them all the time. But it's good to be top of mind. Right? Out of sight, out of mind. So you wanna go out of your way to think about them all the time. If you're not in a timely manner in their inbox. Or on the phone with them often. Or you see them, they'll just they might award their job to someone they see more often. So keep the lines open and try to add value all the time. So if you see something they might like send it to them. Just keep them updating on what you're doing. They'll just appreciate it. (ethereal music)