The more time I spend perusing new clients, the more I realize the variety of gatekeepers out there. For example, the clearest path to an editorial job is through the photo editor of the magazine you wish to shoot for. However, there are often other ways of getting magazine work. Corporate magazines might be produced by the communications department or outsourced to a publishing / design firm. For other types of work the decision maker might be an art director at an ad agency or perhaps an executive’s assistant.
The key is to narrow in on whom is the person making the hiring decisions for the type of job you want and target them specifically. Often when your promos or emails aren’t getting the response you’d like it’s not that the work is bad, it’s just not reaching the right person.
Tracking down the correct contact can often prove difficult. The key is to keep your ears open. One thing my photo friends and I always ask each other is how or through whom we get new work. I also try to find someone working in the industry or even company I want to shoot for and ask them to find out who is the person that makes decisions regarding photography. There is no single approach and every field and industry is different. But if you’re confident that your work is good enough but still aren’t getting the results you’d like, stop and ask if you’re approaching the right people.
Illustration by: HikingArtist.com