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[Who to contact as a freelancer]

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Hashem Ali
[Who to contact as a freelancer]
on Jan 13, 2016 at 1:28:47 pm

When i'm sending out my short email pitches to bigger companies that have between 10 and 20 employees, how do I determine who to pitch?

I'm currently targeting small to medium size marketing companies in Canada.
My initial instinct is to send the email to the CEO or Director because I assume that they would be the final decision maker on weather or not to hire me. This assumption might be false though, and a CEO might have a lot less time and be a lot less willing to reply to my email. Especially if they do not micromanage the marketing activities.
My next guess would be to contact the head of marketing, but in a marketing company, it's never clear who that is. The titles are all over the place.
Finally I can send out multiple Emails to multiple people within a company but that would appear very spammy. The only way to counter that would be to create separate customized emails, but at the lead generation stage, that is not feasible.
When you're generating leads and sending out your initial email pitch, who do you think is the best person to contact to get the best response and close rate?

Would really appreciate the advice,

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Juris Eksts
Re: [Who to contact as a freelancer]
on Jan 13, 2016 at 10:53:08 pm

I think it depends on what you want to achieve, who or why you want to talk to in the end.
I think your best bet is to actually talk to people in the company you're targeting.
It's a long-winded and painstaking way, but depends on personal and constant phone calls, not arbitrary facebook friends, e-mail lists, or linkedin contacts.
Try the old method of finding the phone number of the company you want to approach, - phone them, you'll talk to a receptionist (or 'First Contact Executive' as I've been told they're called) - Talk to them.
Ask them (usually her) who your should talk to, about what you want to talk about.
Follow their advice!
Job done!

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Ned Miller
Re: [Who to contact as a freelancer]
on Jan 14, 2016 at 3:32:33 pm

I have been doing a lot of email marketing in January, I'm slow due to cancellations and the loss of a major client who always had work at this time of year, so I plant seeds with emails and sooner or later something good pops up, usually when there is a problem with their current video resources. All my tricks I learned from sales account executives.

First off, a company of 10-20 employees is not a "bigger company" as you wrote, there's usually not a CEO, rather, there's an owner/president, usually with someone titled a Creative Director. You should email almost everyone besides account execs, in-house artists, social media nerds and admins. If possible personalize the greeting with their name although I realize that's often laborious. Also, you skirt around the Can Spam act by having their name and including your address. By starting the email with their name the person has to make a millisecond decision as to whether they know you and have to read it, so if your next sentence is compelling you can equate it to the bobber bobbing when you're fishing. Also, by staying local you attract more interest. Clients prefer local vendors.

Avoid an agency that has someone in-house who does video. Your email should have benefits of using your services listed but most importantly it should have a Call To Action such as "Please call at your convenience to arrange an introductory meeting where I can explain in detail how blah, blah, blah." You can email me personally an example of what you're doing to ned AT

DO NOT CALL ANYONE ANYMORE! I used to cold call for decades but now it is considered an intrusion. You can call clients who haven't used you in a while but strangers resent the interruption.

When dealing with marketing execs in larger companies go for Managers and Directors. VPs are too high up to bother with which video producer to use and people with titles of Associate and Coordinator don't have decision making power, however, sometimes they are what I call "collectors" for their bosses such as, "Find me a few names in Chicago who can shoot such and such next week for no more than $X".

Customize the email so if you''re hitting up Marketing types that day you make it look like you're a marketing video specialist and the same thing for PR, HR, Corp Comm, Live Events, Conferences, etc. Use LinkedIn's Advanced Search function with a Premium Account and collect names with their company, then use a service such as Lead411, Lead Ferret, Zoom Info, Joe's Data, etc. to get their email address if you can't find it after a two minute Google search. If I can't find their email after two minutes I color code it and then when I am on one of the services, and some can be used for FREE if you learn on YT, then I will uncover their email address. It takes a while to get good at this but is worth it.

In sum, cold email has only worked for me when my email came at the exact right time, usually when their main video person is booked, blew the deadline, went over budget, no one can remember his name, etc. and then BAM! I get a call or email asking about availability and rates. So it's a numbers game, send out nice emails that are short and informative as to your benefits, definitely have the word Video in the subject line so when they go into panic mode and search for your email a couple of months later they can find you. On a slow day I can do 50-70 which includes a lunch hour.

I usually get a dozen positive response in a week, who will email me back saying they have saved my info "for future consideration", then I color code their email for periodic follow up. I get several jobs a year from cold emailing plus it makes it feel like I'm doing something instead of hanging around the dog park.

P.S. When hitting up decent size local companies I only go after these three specific industries which I know have tons of money to pour into marketing and LOVE TO USE VIDEO: anything involving any aspect of HEALTHCARE, FINANCIAL SERVICES and SOFTWARE, although the problem with the latter is that they have so many in-house tech geeks they try to DIY with video.

Good luck

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer

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Bob Zelin
Re: [Who to contact as a freelancer]
on Jan 16, 2016 at 10:08:23 pm

I know the answer -
you contact EVERYONE.
Everyone from the President, to the studio manager, to the receptionist.
Your goal is to bombard them with your name. So when the President throws out your information, and the head of production throws out your information, the receptionist will now ask "I have this email/post card from Hashem Ali, what should I do with it". Your name as (whatever you do for a living) gets bombarded into all of their heads. And 2 months from now, when "that person" that they use all the time quits, refuses to work for them, gets sick, raises his rates, etc, etc. then they will all say "where is that idiot's Hashem's phone #".

That's the game - that is the way it works. And when you do this to 20 companies, only one of the twenty will call you. And the day that they hire you, you contact all 19 of the other companies, and say " I am now working freelance for company x", and go thru the same process.

bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.

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