FINDING NEW CLIENTS: SEND THE EMAIL
Who knew that sending a simple e-mail to an outdated contact form would lead to one of the most valuable experiences of our career thus far? In May of 2017 we contacted It's-It Ice Cream to see if they would be interested in letting us shoot their product. We weren't trying to find paying clients, we simply wanted to build our portfolio.
Not expecting a reply, we spent an abnormally long time crafting an email, then hit send and hoped for the best. To our surprise, they responded and requested a phone call. Over several conversations, the project grew, and It’s-It realized the value of our work and offered to compensate us, and this is how they became our first client.
This experience made us realize that there was a need we could fill, and prompted us to actually start a business instead of just filling our portfolios for free. Before sending the e-mail, we didn’t feel like we were ready to take on a full paid shoot for a client, but working with the team at It’s-Its pushed us out of our comfort zone. We felt like we were doing what we were meant to do.
Everyone has to start somewhere, and sending that e-mail might be just what you need to make something happen, even if you don’t feel ready. The first person you contact may not be your first client, and that’s ok. There is no harm in being persistent and following up with each lead. Reach out to companies that are well-known, the worst that could happen is you won’t receive a response, so you really have nothing to lose.
Here is the e-mail that we wrote:
My co-worker and I are working on building our creative portfolio. We are currently shooting local brands and products and are interested in shooting It's-It Ice Cream.
We would like to know if you would give us ice cream sandwiches to photograph and in exchange we will give you all of the photos for your own promotional use. We were hoping to shoot 4 flavors and would need 8 sandwiches of each flavor. We would like to shoot green tea, strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate if possible.
If you would like to view our work, you can go to arabelaespinoza.com and ellemitchelldesign.com. We are both based out of San Jose.
Please let me know if you are interested and if you have any questions.
Best, Elle Mitchell
Moral of the story: Put yourself out there and hit send, you might be surprised at what will happen.
Is it the weekend yet?