There is no long-term success in copy+paste.

In my journey on generating new business for our digital platform Creatubator, it is quite interesting to see the variety of approaches one can choose from in order to connect with creative talent.

Many of us might be familiar with the type of e-mails that are being sent by commercial businesses. They often start with ‘Hi, [their company mission]’ or ‘Dear [your company name]’ etc., etc.
The first piece of evidence they did zero research in you as a company or person.

Then they start by how “amazing and impressive” your profile is, which they supposedly “discovered” on Instagram or Facebook or any other social channel, and that they want to help you grow.
They can always help you gain at least 10.000 followers and grow your business online, by becoming part of their business set-up and use their services.

You’re probably still not triggered, I hope, by joining their party based on their standardized copy+paste email.

And then the amazing ending comes…

‘Kind regards,

[copy+paste their business details in here]’

Did you ever notice that very often the color of the signature is slightly lighter or darker than the rest of the e-mail text? This is because they copy+paste the e-mail into an existing template. How heartwarming and personal this is, right?

Now, the difference I try to make is this:

Approach each and every individual or business differently, sincere and with proper research. No matter how much time this takes. Although this might take up quite some time in your busy schedule, I can guarantee you it is well worth it.

Earlier this year I made a definite goal to scout two creative talents per day, for five days a week for the entire year 2019. Quite the challenge and it is actually taking me a lot more effort and giving me a lot more challenges than I expected at first.

On average it takes me two full hours to scout a creative talent, research their work, write up a personal e-mail explaining who I am and what I do plus telling them why I find them an interesting prospect, making an appointment and actually meeting someone in person (as much as possible). 
So when it all goes according to plan, it consumes two hours of my time for one person. When I have an extremely successful week, it can take up a good 20 hours of my time and energy, and at worst it will consume at least one hour per person and thus 10 hours a week of time and energy with the risk of having achieved zero.

But luckily so, I am reaping the rewards. Having set the goal in week 2, the results up to week 5 are:

  • 40 creative talents have been approached;
  • About 20 of them have actually replied;
  • 4 of them have agreed to join the Creatubator platform after talking with them in person or extensively via e-mail.

This brings a 10% success ratio, or successful engagement, on cold leads for an unknown platform. Humble as I might be, this success is above expectations. Why and how does it become a success?

The art of conversation.

Credits Cristina Gottardi

Not a single one of the artists that I’ve approached, have had a copy+paste e-mail with a standardized text explaining them what I do and why they should join our movement. By making an effort, by making time for someone else and by truly knowing what they’re doing, I firmly believe you will achieve more success. 

Modern-day methods for generating new-business is too much focused on targeting as many cold leads as possible, just to claim that “you did what you had to do” instead of going beyond expectations for both the company or person you target as well as for the company you work for.
Understanding how much it would mean for someone to receive an e-mail that is about them, about their specific skills, can give you much more in return than you initially anticipated.

It is the art of conversation that many of us have forgotten when we try to communicate. Give pure communication a chance. Get out there, talk directly and sincerely to someone on your list of cold leads. Or just contact someone randomly. Talk to people, understand people and understand the value they can bring you and vice versa. Do it by phone, by e-mail, by app, whatever works for you. But create by being pure, not by copy+paste.

The art of conversation is also the art of giving, remember that.

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