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March 3rd, 2011

Contacts – Your True Pot of Gold.

Posted by liveBooks

Growing up in Ohio my basketball coach used to drill us non-stop on the basics. So much so that we often wondered when we would actually get to play ball. But once the season started we discovered we were in better condition and better prepared for the season than our competition. We ended up going to State and I’ve never forgotten the importance of having the discipline to work on the basics every week. It is what makes winners.

I suggest that taking time each week to work on your contact database is one of the most basic things that you can do to assure that your business continues to grow. Some of you may be asking, “so what is a contact database?” In the simplest of terms it is a list of all your past clients and all of your prospects. At a minimum it should contain their name, company, title, address, phone and email.

Do you know that 40% of creatives at advertising agencies change jobs each year? 40%! So that great Art Director that you worked with last month may not be there next month. Where did they go? Who took their place?

The average family moves every five years, every three years for those under 30. So for those wedding photographers out there who are interested in developing a long term relationship – the so-called “photographer for life”, you have your work cut out for you as well.

Take the time each week, let’s say Friday mornings from 9:00 am until Noon, to do research and maintenance on your contact list. For prospecting I suggest you do the following:

  1. draw four circles on a piece of paper
  2. in each of the four circles write down the name of one of your top clients
  3. start with one of your circles and write down key aspects about the client such as their industry, their title, who else you met during the project
  4. go to your favorite search engine and start researching for other companies in their industry or associated industries, then the names of people with similar titles at those companies

For example, let’s say that my client was Rick Jackson, the Chief Marketing Officer at VMWare. A quick search on Rick Jackson VMWare and I find in his LinkedIn profile that he was in major marketing roles at Borland and BEA. He has recommended two Borland Marketing people in LinkedIn. I’ll send Rick an email to say hello, mentioning that I saw he used to be at Borland and had recommended a few marketing people there, and I was wondering if he might make a few introductions for me. I also notice that VMWare is owned by EMC, so I will ask Rick if there are other people at some of the other brands within EMC that he could also introduce me to.

Within minutes I have identified prospects that I think I can get introductions to from someone that knows me, likes me and can vouch for my work style and professionalism. Repeat this every Friday for a few hours and I guarantee that your business will thrive.

What is it that you want with your business? Write it down on a pice of paper and put it above your computer. Why? Because success requires discipline and discipline often times is simply remembering what you want.


  1. March 17th, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Daphne Borowski

    Very helpful. Thank you! Did not think of this approach.

  2. March 20th, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Tim Luyten

    I could not agree more. Great post !

    Best regards,

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