March was a busy month for Wonderful Machine and a little bit of a transitional period for the client outreach team. We have shifted focus in a couple of aspects to assure that we are getting to chat with new prospective clients and continuing to build a database of quality contacts. The team has always updated and outreached to the clients we already have while adding new prospective clients, but we wanted to put an emphasis on adding new companies and people to our database. This new process means more time is going into prospective client research to determine how well they fit the archetype of a quality prospect for Wonderful Machine’s photographers.
We spend time evaluating each client we add into our database to make sure that they are worth our photographers’ time. Do they use high-quality photography? Do they regularly hire photographers? Do they have a substantial budget? These are some of the questions we ask when determining whether the company fits our standards. As a result, in New York City alone, we now have over 600 agencies and 500 brands that we regularly reach out to. We are frequently adjusting and tweaking our process to make sure that we are using our time in the most efficient way.
Pat has evolved into our primary outreach correspondent, responsible for contacting decision makers at publications, agencies, and brands across the globe. This March, Pat was able to call a total of 311 people, leading to a few very promising conversations. He set up an online presentation with Aramark in which we were able to highlight our food & drink photographers from all over the country. His extensive outreach efforts have also resulted in phone calls with Kieran Timberlake, an architecture firm in Philadelphia as well as Somfy, a window and blinds technology company who was looking to schedule a shoot in within the year.
Claire rejoined research and outreach team this month after passing the baton over to David in the Publicity department. She was able to jump right back into her research and outreach on top brands around the world. From telecom & media companies to industrial clients & food retailers, she was able to focus on a variety of different specialties to meet the needs of our growing roster of photographers.
Another adjustment our outreach team has made is to meet with clients face to face on a more frequent basis. Meli spent time at the end of March training Matt on our portfolio event process, and he will be revamping it to schedule more in-person meetings with our clients. Building relationships with clients is much easier in person and will give us more opportunities to show off our photographers’ portfolios.
Between digital teching, shooting, and assisting with productions, Alex was able to add 78 new prospects, rattle off 101 calls, 95 emails, and made 18 connections. One of the most notable connections was with an executive creative director at an agency in Austin, TX. The timing was right, and they had a couple of shoots around Texas that they needed some help with, along with pricing and budgeting help. The first was a one-day food shoot for a restaurant chain, and the second was a multi-city architecture restaurant shoot. We were able to provide some great photographer recommendations, and the shoots are still in the works. Similarly, Alex had a great connection with the director of strategy at a California-based agency who responded to his email with:
Hi Alex, I look forward to connecting! I have a client who is looking to move quickly on a photo shoot and there is a ton of work to be done. Let me know when you can connect.”
Also, Alex received some encouraging words from an agency based in Texas:
Thanks for reaching out. I saw that you had called. I was on the other line. You guys look like a great resource! I will definitely keep you guys in mind moving forward.
Julian recently stepped into the brand research role, working on making new contacts with our current company prospects in addition to his design and code work. On the Wonderful Machine side of things, you might have noticed our new HTML email signatures. Julian created all of our new HTML email signatures to add personality and visual simplicity while increasing functionality to yield better connections in our outreach process.
Left, the previous email signature Right, New Email Signature as of March 2017
Julia began the month on brand research, adding new prospects to existing companies and switched to a research only role in the middle of the month. Through her outreach attempts, Julia made a total of 24 connections. The majority of her connections included phone conversations with prospects reviewing our directory and how to search via our website; a lot of the prospects have previously heard of Wonderful Machine, so she was able to provide a helpful refresher introducing our photographers, site functionality, and production services. Julia also had a scheduled phone call with Kristine Louie, Marketing Communications Specialist at BC Dairy Association in Canada. She was very open to the idea of Wonderful Machine and liked having us go through all of the features of our website and what we offer via the directory and production.
With these longer days ahead of us and our new research and outreach plans in order, we’re all looking forward to a sunny Spring and a new month of research!