My big question is this: does anyone have any advice on how to reach out to prospective business partners or clients without scaring them off? Are there any cold-email or cold-call tactics that have worked for you, or should I find better methods of connecting with the people that I'm looking for that are more grassroots?
Context: I recently founded an online print gallery - check it out: Axeandhammer.co. Our goal is to curate high-end photography by partnering with talented photographers and selling quality prints of their work.
Our website is up and running and more or less everything is in place, save for the blog content which is coming soon. I've been working my *** off and am feeling confident with the website (but would obviously love any type of feedback).
As you can see, however, there aren't many photographers involved, yet. I've been manually reaching out to certain photographers via Instagram and email, but very few of them are replying and even fewer are agreeing to work with me, even though the business model I'm offering is risk-free and easy to get out of. What am I doing wrong?
Having an array of talented photographers is vital to the business, so I'd greatly appreciate any and all advice.
Thank you in advance,
What exactly are you sending these people? What does your email "pitch" currently sound like? Are you providing enough incentive for them? What exactly are you offering by way of partnership? Is it just exposure? Is it a percentage favored in their side? Are you offering anything "up front" for exclusive distribution rights?
These photographers -- obviously, from the look of your site, they are very good. Are they photographers by trade? Or photographers by hobby? That's not to say a hobbyist can't be better than a professional. It just seriously changes how your pitch should be structured.
The other thing to consider is that, even if you have everything structured magically, you're going to have a hard time sending something to these people that doesn't sound like spam. I don't mind email techniques... I think they have their place... but I think email marketing is best done when you are casting an extremely wide net. You have a small amount (I'm assuming) of highly-qualified prospects. You might have to employ a more personal, gift-based, in-person-networking-based approach to get their attention.
First off... thank you for the investment of your time. Appreciate you helping me tackle this.
Let me answer your points backwards - re. email... yeah, I agree. I almost always see email from anyone outside of my contacts as spam. My net is small. I handpick the photographers that I want to contact based on how I think the content will fit my brand. I agree with the personal, gift-based tactics, but without addresses or physical run-ins, there isn't much of that I can do. I'm wondering if there's any sort of email structure that resonates more with inidividuals. In other words, especially if I'm writing each one of these messages individually, is there anything I can say that indicates "this email is quite literally written for you, and you only"?
Regarding the photographers - the benefit of joining our site is #1 commission, #2 visibility. In that order. To me it doesn't matter whether they're full-time or hobbyest, as long as the quality is there.
Attached is my current pitch (name/picture blurred out) (Instagram DM).
Again... thank you and anyone else for their help. It's a tricky art...
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