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5 Rules for the Confident Cold-Caller

Question: Anyone can market behind their computer or mail, and I know I can’t just let my work speak for itself. Can you give me some confidence-builders so I can make phone calls and meet potential clients?

Cold-calling potential clients can be very intimidating, but it’s necessary if you’re pitching yourself as a photographer.

When I pitch a potential client who may not be familiar with me or my work, I have five rules I always keep in mind to help build my confidence:

When it Comes to Marketing, There’s Room for Pushing and Pulling

Question: I’ve heard of two types of sales strategies, push versus pull. How can I pull a client in versus push a client in and make a sale?

A “push” promotional sales strategy is when you use a variety of activities to get your message in front of your client. Using this approach, your marketing materials are “pushed” in front of your ideal client and buyer.

In a “push” approach, you actively promote your brand through traditional marketing tools such as direct mail, emails and cold calls. You are in complete control of the message you send out, how it is seen, when and where.

4 Ways For Illustrators To Be Better Salespeople

Question: Any tips for building sales confidence in new commercial illustrators? I don’t want my sales inexperience to reflect poorly on my work – and I do want to turn interest into sales.

As an illustrator new to the field, learning how to build sales confidence can be daunting. There are so many variables to consider when working in the advertising, publishing or editorial worlds.

In the field of commercial illustration, potential clients don’t want to feel like they are being “sold to,” so effectively “selling yourself” comes from a combination of things you project on the phone or through your emails – once a potential client reaches out to you. When it comes to turning potential jobs into actual sales, the key areas you should be aware of and work on include:

Pump Up the Personal, Skip the “Salesy”

Question: How do I market myself without coming off as too “salesy?”

Marketing is all about having a great product or service, getting it exposed to the right audience and having people remember it and know how to find you. In my last blog post on "cold calls," I stressed the importance of avoiding the strong sales pitch when calling potential customers. The same ideas apply here: By marketing yourself correctly, you can sit back and let the jobs come to you – no lasso needed.

First and foremost, it's best to know who your audience is. Rather than cast the net too wide, be sure you are fine-tuning your marketing list to those who hire your services. This will avoid wasting their time and yours. Agency Access’s database and list-building tools make it easy to find out exactly which agencies hire your services, and which are receptive to your best marketing efforts.

A Strong Foundation for Successful Cold Calls

Question: Does cold calling really work?

This is a topic that has and will continue to have a lot of discussion. In my opinion, yes, it does work – but first and foremost you need to have a strong foundation:

Sales and Marketing: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Question: How exactly is sales different from marketing?

Although often confused for each other, sales and marketing are very different. But they both require a good balancing act and require business owners to wear multiple hats!

Secrets of the Successful Cold Call

Question: What kind of questions should I be asking potential clients during a cold call?

Cold calls, thy name is hell!

As someone who’s worn many hats in this industry – photographer, buyer, producer, agent – I can tell you anyone who enjoys making or receiving cold calls is a rare breed. But I can also tell you that cold calls are a notable component of successful marketing plans, and if done right can be both highly effective and completely painless for makers and receivers alike.

The most important ingredient in successful cold calling is knowing what to ask when that potential client picks up.

Blending Your Creative Nature With Your Sales Efforts

Question: How do I get into "salesperson" mode and then switch back to "creative" mode?

Though it may not feel that way, these are really two sides of the same coin.

Almost everything you do in “creative” mode is sales. The images you deliver, the things you do to make your clients feel special and important, your attention to detail, the way you handle problems on set – these are all sales activities.

Likewise, everything you do in “salesperson” mode should benefit from your creative side. How you suss out prospect needs and expectations, the voice messages you leave, the way you engage in social media, how you package and present your work – these are all opportunities to display your vision, creativity and problem-solving skills.

Artist & Client Relationship Q&A with Clare O’Dea, Owner, Clare Agency LLC & C20 Agency

Interview with Clare O’Dea of Clare Agency LLC. & C20 Agency

Welcome to The Lab’s third round of questions, interview style, with Clare O’Dea. With over 15 years of experience in the photography industry, Clare chats with us on what it takes to form those crucial, yet special bonds with the photographers she represents, and the clients they work for.

8 Ways to Market Personal Work to Art Buyers

Question: How can I make my personal work work for me - as in how do I market it to attract clients?

We believe that it is often personal work that attracts creatives and the assignment work that sells the client. Because of this, we encourage our photographers to shoot personally as often as they can.

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