Jul 14 2009
It’s not the long walks on the beach or the candle-light dinners that made the difference – the big lesson I learned was to not spend too much time on-line before meeting. The same is true when you’re looking for that dream-date of a job.
I found some women that were engaging writers and I would spends hours reading and writing emails that continued for days only to have my hopes and dreams shattered in 60 seconds after meeting. It wasn’t always just physical appearance either. Its that we can convey so much essential information with our physical presence. The way we walk and talk all contribute to the equation.
My old dating rule quickly became to schedule a low stress coffee or drink date as soon as possible. I find the same rule holds true to make your presence known in the communications world as well.
On a simple level when I interview a new photo assistant I at very least want to see a photo and prefer to meet them in person. This is because I’m often in medical and corporate environments and a talented assistant with dreadlocks and tattoos that may be great on a fashion or entertainment set wouldn’t work with my clients.
This means that you need to have a physical portfolio to show. Yes a website is important as well, but you need a reason to have that meeting. There may be an electronic component to your portfolio, but if all you have to show is on the web there won’t be a reason to meet. I do all the usual routine of sending our emails, printed promos and have both a blog and portfolio website – and sometimes they are enough – but the real connection happens in the face to face meeting.
All the other marketing that I do also works better as a reminder of our meeting than it does as an introduction. This is most clear in my email response stats where I see who opens my email and continues on to my website or blog post.
So there may be work to do to format and edit a book. Marketing yourself could become your full-time job interspersed with some paying gigs.
The the good news comes from internet dating as well. Like the date – going on the interview is about you sizing up the company as much as it is about you being judged. I recall being saved from having to live in Buffalo, NY after visiting a graduate program on Creative Problem Solving that wasn’t as creative as my undergraduate schools.
Perhaps you’re wondering? Did the internet dating work? Yes, but not in the way that the ads portray. I ended up meeting my wife on an assignment. She was just another doctor to shoot. This time it was to show an example of clinical research. Then we met again in the hall – and she needed a photo for her talks. The multiple internet dates helped to train me out of my natural shyness and allowed me to ask her on a simple date. If it wasn’t for all of those bad dates when the woman wasn’t right for me or the where I wasn’t right for them I may not be married now.
So make a book, work your personal contacts and go out there and book some dates.