I was reading and commenting over at AphotoEditor.com yesterday, and the subject of Cold Calling got my attention.
I think we all hate cold calling and most likely we hate it almost as much as we hate being cold called ourselves. But love it or hate it, it is worth doing and here is why... it will get you work!
I wanted to share two simple, real life experiences where cold calling has been instrumental to my business.
I was making a trip to New York for portfolio viewings and consequently cold calling a long list of folks who I wanted to see. I picked up the phone, made the call, got through and introduced myself. The photo editor I spoke with mentioned that she knew of my work (bonus point), had been on my site recently (sweet my email marketing is working) and actually had an assignment I might be interested in (this can't be real). 15 minutes later we were emailing backwards and forwards over the details for a shoot. I have since shot two other assignments for her including most recently a stills + motion assignment and I love working for her.
Similar story. I was making a portfolio trip to San Francisco and again I created a list of art directors and art buyers who I wanted to see. I made a call to one of them and secured a meeting to show my book. When I visited her she was super quick, efficient and polite and had me in and out of the office in under 25 minutes. Six months later I shot a multi-day, 8 image ad campaign for a great client.
The numbers are real. If you cold call you will get your work in front of people, you will put a real person to your emails, your mailers and your brand. If you cold call chances are you will get work.
Of course, it is important to note that cold calling alone will not get you work necessarily. You need to have your marketing program in place so that your cold calls are part of a comprehensive campaign to build your brand. Despite the digital world that we all live and work in we still crave human contact and we always will. Cold calling is the best way to get in front of someone with your book, shake their hand and let them know that you are a passionate, hard working artist.