When working with Wonderful Machine via consulting, photographers first have a conversation with our project manager, Nadia Kiyatkina. Nadia begins her consultation through email and will sometimes have a phone call with the photographer to determine which consulting service is best. In the case of Atlanta-based Angela Murray, the commercial lifestyle photographer reached out to Wonderful Machine with hopes of establishing a relationship with a photographer agent. Nadia explained the steps of our Find A Rep campaign to Angela, connected the two of us, and the rest is history.
I began by reviewing Angela’s consulting questionnaire to determine which agents would fit best based on her experience, portfolio, existing client list, and location. We decided to research a national list of photographer agents with specialties including lifestyle, celebrity, and editorial portraiture work. I then drafted Angela’s initial and follow-up emails and sent all three items her way so she could review them prior to beginning our outreach.
Angela and I discussed whether or not we wanted to include her partnership with Ambient + Studios in Atlanta (funny story, WM produced a shoot with Delta at the studio back in 2017 and I was on set for it!). We decided to rephrase the partnership and mention that it’s where she shoots almost all of her in-studio campaigns. Once we made a few tweaks to the emails drafts, we began our outreach process.
Angela has a very impressive list of clients including Life Is Good, Disney, and Kohl’s and has been shooting commercially for more than fifteen years. We both felt that now was a good point in her career to explore an agent partnership. Still, prior to beginning our outreach, I felt it was important to manage Angela’s expectations and explain what results we can expect to see from our campaign. We can’t always guarantee that a rep relationship will be established through our outreach efforts, but from our list of 35-40 reps, we can guarantee exposure and constructive feedback. We almost achieved all three of these goals for Angela, an amazing outcome from our campaign.
Each consultant approaches outreach in their own way; my preference is sending the initial email, then the follow up about 4 – 5 days later, and then — if I haven’t heard from the prospect — I call them. Most prospects with respond the follow up email but if they haven’t, I like to then try to reach them directly through a phone call.
Angela achieved terrific results thanks to our campaign. We sent a total of 35 emails with an 89% open rate and a 46% reply rate. On the back of the high percentage of responses, we scheduled calls with two different reps — one with Agency MJ, whom we are still speaking with to determine if representation is a go, and one with Mark from the Gren Group for guidance/industry knowledge.
Even though Mark wasn’t a good fit for right now, it’s always good to have that relationship established for future endeavors. Two other agents also inquired about Angela after receiving our email campaign, but ultimately determined that Angela wasn’t a good fit for right now. Still, it was great to connect and begin to establish a working relationship.
Currently, I’m waiting to hear from Angela if she has established representation with Agency MJ. Regardless, I have to say that even with the current state of the U.S. and the pandemic, we received a higher level of responses than expected.
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