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October 19, 2012 @ 10 a.m. in The Marketing Lab by Jim Jordan | Jim Jordan Photography View Comments
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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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