Is Behance still an effective resourceful platform to have our work seen by clients?
I have received bid requests for my photographers found on Behance. The difference with Behance is how creatives use it for their work, similar to Instagram and LinkedIn. Going where the art directors, creative directors, and designers spend their time is a tried and true way to go.
I’ve been told many different answers on who I should be reaching out to. Creative Directors vs Art Directors. Who!? If there is not an Art Buyer or Print Producer, who do I focus on reaching out to? I’ve been told NOT to reach out to Creative Directors but recently been told I should reach out to them over Art Directors. I’m so confused!!
Your confusion about who to contact is natural since there is no absolute rule book. Client-direct business has a whole different setup vs. ad agencies and is even more ambiguous as they often hire a producer or production company to handle their photography. My secret sleuth style is to see which of the titles (art director/creative director/producer) have many photographer connections on LinkedIn. Then you know they are working with us!
Any tips or tricks on making the most of an Agency Access subscription?
I would not rely on a single source for your contact list management. Agency Access can help and be a good resource if you also collect names of prime contacts in other ways like social media, LinkedIn, and jury/portfolio review event lists. Today’s marketing is multi-dimensional, with all of our combined resources working together. I use Agency Access as a research tool offering info on the masses with valuable insights like client email formats and the brands they cover.
What’s the best follow-up with opened/clicks after sending email promos?
A clicked on email promo gives us a goldmine of valuable information. The gift is that now you know who is interested in your work. Take this knowledge further by adding anyone at their company who is not already on your list and research other companies with similar vibes to get them on your promo list. Follow up with your newly “warm” names who know you in IG with Feeds/DM’s/Stories comments. Finding their IG handles is not always easy; LinkedIn and their personal websites can help. Now it’s time to engage!
Doing the RESEARCH on potential clients is the difference between allowing your career to be guided by the calls you receive vs. shaping your future by going out there to get the clients you want.
We are moving on with the new year and one of the biggest, most important things to do is research. It is difficult. It’s a way to educate ourselves on the clients we want to get to bring our careers to the next level. We must keep a good database and keep researching on LinkedIn. We have to know who to contact, who to engage with and who to stay in front of. It’s really simple, but difficult. Research and contact people on LinkedIn. It can’t be like a mass email kind of feeling from you. You have to use their name and add a note. It takes time, but it’s probably the most important thing to do if you want to advance your career.
When approaching a potential client directly for the first time, do you find it’s best to send one email to multiple contacts you may have there or send individual emails separately to each person?
Since we are all overloaded with spam, get as personal with each client as possible. Sounds like you are only talking to them by using their name (spelled correctly) and mentioning anything you may have in common with them. Do your research on LinkedIn and social media to find some quick points of interest you can touch on. Those are the emails I bet you yourself would want to answer.
Have copies of your presentation in two locations! I used Canva’s pro app to make two shorter ports of recent work, and it worked great – I used the app in presentation mode when I shared my screen EXCEPT during 1 of my 12 reviews, the app was having issues connecting. NO PROBLEM – I had already downloaded the PDFs of the final apps so I switched over to the PDFs without missing a beat. So I would say have two locations open just in case one has a glitch.
If possible, use images that aren’t already on your website. I am fortunate to have had recent shoots and images for a new project, so I was able to avoid the chance of it just being a repeat of things they could have seen just by checking out the website.
Have your website open and waiting ANYWAY. In one review, the reviewer asked if I had additional images from specific shoots, besides the portraits. I quickly logged into a specific gallery on my website and began sharing that screen. For all reviews going forward, I also had that page up and ready to go if I needed it.
LinkedIn is always your friend. In my last review, I got the reviewer on the schedule, but she was also joined by an associate as she had been having childcare issues and couldn’t be sure she could stay on. I had five minutes to look him up and found that he’s a skateboarder, like my daughter, so I was able to open the conversation with that connection, and I mentioned it again in my thank you email. He shared a link to a friend’s project with a young girl skateboarder in response, and it helped solidify a new connection (who is now a LinkedIn contact himself).
I thanked each reviewer for participating in this new type format, and asked how it was going from their side, since it’s all a work in progress. They all said they were so excited to be able to meet photographers from all over the world. One said, “I just met a photographer in Africa!” So if you’re outside the main cities, emphasize how meaningful it is for you as a creative to be able to participate from where you are. Gratitude is important and memorable.
I had a digital promo card ready to go in the chat as soon as the review started. (Also created on Canva) Don’t wait till the end to give this, as you might get cut off rather abruptly in a group review format, and not have a chance to exchange information. I also mentioned that I was dropping it in, since not everyone keeps their chat tab open in Zoom.
Do a run-thru with someone who’s not on your WiFi. Some formats do these lovely dissolves between images or virtual “page turning” but depending on the other person’s connection, it may look choppy. I wanted to do the dissolve, but my daughter told me from school (she was on Zoom on her phone) that it looked halting and choppy and was distracting, so I did clean image breaks instead.
How do we reach clients? LinkedIn is my #1 answer.
The only way I tend to get the answers like email address + IG handle is to ask in several personalized follow-up notes instead of asking all in one message. It takes patience and follow through but hey, that’s called “marketing.”
One of our biggest challenges is figuring out who our clients are and how to reach them. The best way we have found is LinkedIn. Never ask for contact information without a note. Make it a quick note, introduce your name and who you are in two quick sentences. Ask for their email by asking if you can send your promo along with a link to your website. From there you can create a list of emails. We will also add these emails to our Agency Access list. It takes a lot of time and patience to create these lists. It’s very repetitive and it takes a lot of work.
Is there a good way to contact new clients? I have a home studio.
Right now photographers have more open doors than ever before, because we are all feeling more human right now. People are connected with each other and available more than I’ve ever seen. Instagram and LinkedIn are the best options, but clients do not want to hear a sales pitch. Be honest, be yourself while finding your clients on LinkedIn and then engaging with them on Insta. I know this process takes time but use the opportunity we are in right now to make it work for you in the long run.
I’m constantly frustrated about not being able to get a reply to emails or phone calls after sending out high quality printed promos to agencies or directly to a client. I’ve even started to create personalized 30 second video follow-ups in an attempt to get my personality across. I simply want to figure out if they want to be kept on the mailing list or not.
Should I go back to the mass mailing approach or continue to send the printed promos?
I wouldn’t waste your time and money on sending high quality printed work unsolicited. People are usually too busy to respond and their initial review of unsolicited work is likely to be from a digital source. Their lack of response is normal. The only quick responses I receive are via LinkedIn. So give that a try.