“A List” of how to get noticed by a marketing firm
I get lots of queries from freelance designers, potential interns and consultants looking to collaborate. Lately, I’ve gotten a bunch of mediocre (and some down right awful) requests. So, to make it easier on those who truly are interested in working with me and my company (and to try and lessen the amount of junk requests that come in), I’m sharing my five tips for partnering with a marketing communications firm (or any employer, really).
If you can master these five you’ll stand out among the rest. Crazy, I know, but trust me, even these five aren’t being hit all the time. Understand the following, and it’s a safe bet that you’ll hear from me:
1. Do your research.
Here’s what is great: people who take the time to visit our website, learn a little bit about what we do and cite examples of previous client projects, where they came across our work or who they know that referred them to us. And what’s not so great? The people who send queries to the wrong company name or offer a type of service that doesn’t follow our line of work. So do your research. If it’s obvious to me that you didn’t glance more than two seconds at our website or realize that we have a blog, e-news, Twitter account, etc., I won’t be calling you.
2. Reach out online (and be available for me to do the same).
Just as I expect you to get your facts straight about my company, potential employers and partner agencies are doing the same to you. If I’m interested in working with a designer or communication consultant, I’m all over them on Google and Twitter at the very least. I’m well aware if you’ve initiated a follow on Twitter or have asked to be taken off our e-news list (but then later send us your portfolio for review…weird). Even if I don’t have a project for you at the moment, I’m still interested in keeping tabs on creative, smart folks who open up in the social space. So reach out to us online and we’ll do the same to you.
3. Give me a reason to call you.
To be honest, I don’t typically respond to cold calls or form letters. However, if you’ve taken the time to look into my company and send me some information about yourself, you should follow-up. In other words, don’t wait for me to come searching for you when I need help. Initiating a follow-up call or email demonstrates an understanding of customer service (and this is huge in my work–one of the number one things I pride my company on providing–wonderful customer service).
Imagine if you were sent a sample of work in the mail. That’s it. Just a sample. No card, no note, no letter explaining why you are receiving said sample. It happens more than you might think. In fact, the other day, I received a beautiful sample from a photographer in the mail–without an introduction letter or additional contact information. You know where that sample ended up? In my recycling bin. If you’re going to take the time to send samples of your work, you need to also show me that not only can you do your research, but you can sell yourself. Ask for the sale. Include a greeting. Use complete sentences. Check your spelling.
4. Skip the boilerplates and get creative.
I’m not looking for a five paragraph run-down of your résumé (which you also happened to attach on the next page). Wow me. Tell me why I want to work with you. Tell me why you want to work with me. Show me exciting work samples and prove to me that you know how to be a creative, out-of-the-box thinker.
5. Be prepared when I do call.
Here’s the deal: When I do make contact it’s because I have a need for your services. Which means, I also need to know a few basic things like your hourly rate, your specialties and your time commitment. Know what you’re looking for in your partnership. Set your hourly rate before you reach out to potential agencies (this goes for salary requirements, too). Don’t package yourself as being able to do it all (I won’t believe you). Know what your strengths are and be honest when asked about the scope of your projects.