Suzanne Sease worked as a senior art buyer at The Martin Agency for 11 years, where she matched some of the world’s best photographers with international projects for Saab, Mercedes-Benz, Coke and many more. She gives her advice on how to attract new clients, part of BJP's 11 Tips for 2011 series of articles.
Dale Carnegie wrote the classic text How To Win Friends and Influence People in 1936, in the midst of The Great Depression. Laying out the basics
of good communication, the book outlined a series of simple rules, including strategies such as avoiding arguments, showing respect for others’ opinions and giving honest praise.
Nearly a century later, Carnegie’s advice is still just as relevant.
Mike Tittel of Salt Lake City has combined it with modern technology and has generated a phenomenal success rate, getting meetings with top creative people and winning the chance to bid on upcoming projects.
First off, we worked hard together to create a cohesive website, portfolio, database and e-promo campaign, including his brand on each aspect of the campaign. He now sends out e-promos every other month and uses the database to track both who goes to his site, and who he’d like to work with. Having identified possible future partners, he sends each one a handwritten note on his branded stationery cards, stating that he will be calling them to set up an appointment. He then makes the call, stating that he’ll be sending an email with the times and dates he’ll be in town, and follows up with the mail that also includes a link to his website. All being well, he gets replies, and after each meeting and shoot, he sends a thank you note on the same notecards.
Using this approach, Mike has seen several buyers who don’t usually meet with photographers. He has been to agencies from Wieden + Kennedy, Energy BBDO, Campbell Mithun, Colle + McVoy, Columbia Sportwear, Axis41, DDB, Publicis Seattle and many others, and shot for Columbia Sportswear.
Old-fashioned manners from the last depression, combined with modern techniques in the current recession, are a likely to equate to work with new clients.
This article, and the other 10 tips from our panel of experts [to be published each day until 31 January], were first appeared in BJP's January issue, published on 05 January 2011. It's still available for purchase from your nearest newsagent until 02 February 2011. To find your nearest newsagent, check our Store Finder.
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