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Email

Spam Filters

Q:

My consultant is helping me with emailers, although I notice they go unread due to spam filters at many agencies (confirmed by my direct outreach). Is there a preferred platform for an email list emailer? Something that allows for reading/open tracking that won’t get spam filtered?

A:

Every client has a different email guarded system that we can’t control. Clients tend to move around from company to company so often that we must constantly revise our lists. The one solution I go for is to get as many approved emails and try to send them in a multitude of ways. I’ll do just an email for anyone to open and click. Next to IG, monitoring this system is the 2nd best way to be seen by the most people in one day. If we stay on this as regularly as possible, along with our IG engagement, we can cover a lot of ground, even if the results look insignificant.

Professional Connection on Instagram

Q:

If I get a new professional connection on Instagram, is it overkill to email them as well?

A:

The correct answer for this is about consistent engagement. That can happen on LinkedIn, emails, lunches, portfolio showings, IG Stories and feed commenting, etc. The one engagement I don’t recommend is an inbox DM. Why? Every other type of engagement keeps your client in control where a DM message to a new professional connection is what Facebook used to be – the more personal space saved for friends. Warm up professional contacts to see if they eventually become a friendship; otherwise, we can become too pushy, and instead of marketing, it becomes “anti-marketing.”

Essential Marketing Tools

Q:

What are the essential marketing tools these days, and which past tools have become less relevant?

A:

Marketing tools tend to come and go, but the KEY is to be the leader of the pack by instilling new ways or the return of the old ones. Printed promos and portfolios are on the out, but I’ve seen it happen before; someday soon, they will be back. My job as a rep has always been about expanding and cultivating new marketing routes to see what works. I jumped on Clubhouse initially but no longer saw the marketing benefits as strongly as doing my webinar and podcast to be showcased on my YouTube. If a marketing trend goes cold, the right question is, what is the new replacement I can do asap?

** Marketing tools chart available on www.asksternrep.com downloads

Preferred Format for Emailing a Portfolio

Q:

When a prospective client asks us to email them our portfolio, what is the preferred format? A ready-made pdf portfolio or a unique online webpage and gallery put together specifically for that prospective client?

A:

Clients often prefer a specific submission of your work representing each project, be ready to do this regularly. The one place I do not recommend sending images from is Dropbox. They need fast, easy, clear groupings of images to zip through, comparing you to the other bidders. You can ask which they prefer, but a pdf is the norm.

Do’s and Dont’s of Cold Emailing Potential Clients and Reps

Q:

What are the do’s and dont’s of cold emailing/dm’ing potential clients + reps?

A:

1. Contact the correct people who look for your type of work, don’t waste their time.

2. Use their name (spelled correctly). 

3. Keep it short. 

4. If you are copying and pasting, make sure it isn’t blue, looking like it’s been reused. 

5. Sound like a human; imagine if you were receiving this email/dm. 

6. If you are asking for something, make it only one request. 

7. Ask a simple question for us to respond to so we don’t spend time thinking about how to answer.  

Reaching Out To Get Represented

Q:

I’ve been thinking of reaching out to agencies, local and international, to get represented.

Do you maybe have any tips on how to do this? I don’t want to make a bad first impression with a terribly worded email.

A:

Good point! Don’t be too “worded.” If you are repped and looking for a change, you can be honest about that. If you have not been repped and are on the business’s newer side, keep it short because reps know what you are saying. It’s not easy to say no, so email a question or relatable topic to encourage building a relationship vs. needing us to spend time figuring out how to say no creatively. Us reps know what you are saying, and if we are interested, we will accept talking further. We are happy to see a quick rundown of your situation, giving us a sense of the kind and confident person you are, but the more you say to us, the more we don’t read what you are saying. Make it easy for a rep who gets many of these emails a day.

What’s Helping You Run Your Photo Business?

What’s out there helping you run your photo business?

Let’s share our favorite resources.

Here are My Top Five:

  1. www.pixsy.com – get paid when your images are being used without your permission.
  2. www.hunter.io – valuable email formats for every company.
  3. www.aphotoeditor.com – loaded with today’s industry info.
  4. www.adweek.com/agencyspy – find the updates on the companies you want to work with.
  5. www.adsoftheworld.com – know who has worked on which ad.

Don’t Spend Time On Your Marketing By Looking Like Another Mass Spam Junk Email

Don’t waste all that you put into your Marketing by looking like another mass spam junk email.

Here are some simple ways to have potential clients take our marketing to that next level by clicking to see more. 

Easy ANTI-SPAM Checklist:

  • Send your emails only to the correct contacts. 
  • Sound like a human to human with real words as if you are talking. 
  • Email new images without repeating yourself
  • No need to sound “sales-like” as they know why you are contacting them. 

Advice on Sending Unsolicited Emails to Clients

Q:

Any advice on sending an unsolicited email when reaching out to a client that I want to work with? I just finished a project that I would love to share with them, yet I don’t know what are the right steps to take. I would love any thoughts or suggestions on how to approach this. Thanks!

A:

The question is, how do we make our marketing less UnSolicited and more Solicited because an unfamiliar name has higher odds of being deleted.

Here is a list of the top 5 steps to having your work seen vs. deleted:

  1. Emails need to be short, quick and to the point. Having a referral or something personably relatable will always help. IF you want a response, ask a question giving them a purpose to keep the conversation going. 
  2. Find the right person in the position who looks for photographers. 
  3. Make sure you send your work to a client with relatable imagery versus sending food images to Nike. 
  4. Invest in the consistent long-term process of marketing vs. a one-off promo now and then. 
  5. Engagement is readily available these days and can happen in many ways, so try them all and see what works. Engage, engage, and keep engaging!

Wait and Spread Out Your Commmunication

Quick sales tip that you may not have thought of is to wait and spread out your communication with a client. If it’s not a pressing production matter, use your response/question/personal note as a way of staying on their mind for a longer period of time.