We often hear the statement of why we don't get the response we look forward to and often complain about how difficult is to approach someone than wondering and understanding where we might have gone off track. I have been on both sides of the table and in past many years of being a commercial photographer have had the opportunity to understand and rectify the errors. Over this article myself sharing the secrets to effective communication with someone so that you don't miss out on the opportunities you deserve.
Numerous aspiring artists look forward to various internship programmes and opportunities. Often they face disappointment due to the lack of expected response and truth to be told it has less to do with the work one has to offer and more about the approach and attitude one carries.
I must assure you, I have committed similar mistakes like you and it is very human and hence unavoidable. How you effectively minimize and explore the possibilities beyond it is something we need to learn.
On a side note if you are a millennial like myself and annoyed by how the present generation Z acts out, let's not forget this is how our parents must be feeling about ourselves too, Haha!
Our parents and grandparents had their own unique struggles to be where they are and we had ours but it doesn't mean the present generation Z has anything less to fight for even with the easy accessibility to reach out to someone at the tip of their fingers. To add to their favour, there are far more possibilities and people to compete with.
Hence Communication manners matters
In the past many years I have often found students dropping a one-liner "Hi, I wish to work with you" or simply "Hello" over my social media accounts. On an honest note, they just failed to gain my attention.
The very second strategy is to drop a Preset mail and if you do the same, let me tell you how bad an impression you just left over the receiver.
To conclude one fails to have the initial attention | conversation and often fails to have any.
Let me share a story with you to better understand what I mean.
A few weeks back I got a call around 10:30 in the morning from an unknown number. I did pick up the call considering it to be a potential work opportunity. On the other side of the Hello!, it was a 21-year-old photography aspirant looking for an internship. Post a simple and literal exchange of "hello!" and her name, she bombarded me with her, educational qualification, her desire to work with me and how it may add value to my venture which will help her to understand the industry better. It was all going well until she mentioned "wedding photography", please don't misunderstand me but I have the least experience in wedding photography, to begin with. When I enquired whom she is looking for, I must say it was the most embarrassing moment in her lifetime. She had no idea whom she is calling as she simply picked up the number from Google to add she had no idea what work I do and the worst she was completely unaware of my gender (yeah it does matter).
If I can be honest with you all, it was quite early as a working day to attend a call like this which often puts me off but instead, I was quite laughing my heart out and just wanted to keep it to that, and guess what, she simply lost my attention and any opportunity she may have.
If you have any lessons to take from the story above are following below:
phone call manners matters
One should be well aware and know the name of whom you are calling, what they do professionally and where they are based.
Exercise the act of addressing the person with their name at first to confirm the number and avoid any embarrassment.
Do try to have a brief conversation and to the point, many often don't have the time and pleasure to know your entire story.
Create a habit of concluding your conversation over a mail or a personal message as requested or you find it fit to keep it over the record for any future reference.
*Truth to be told, your target person gets numerous calls and mail every day seeking work or offering products and services and they are even topped up with professional and personal business to take care of hence it is not practical to assume that a mere call will suffice your approach.
Personalise...Personalise and Personalise...
Mail or personal messaging manners Matters
Everyone loves that attention and respect and however, it may sound vintage and boring but it works wonders. Remember the following points mentioned below when drafting your next one.
Address the person with their name and be careful about their gender.
It is a good practice to greet the person " I sincerely hope you are doing well" | " I hope things are great at your side" | " I hope you are doing well". Initiate with a statement that adds warmth.
Mention your reference point, it can be a person or simply a social link. To clarify how you got to know the person and be honest. (In case you are sharing a conclusion mail or message do mention the same "as per our last telephonic conversation")
State your full name, your location and your agenda.
Conclude with your contact details, attach a portfolio brief which mentions more of your work and needed qualifications only.
To note: It is good to have a preset or a pre-written formatted mail but feel free to edit as per the requirement.
Given said the above it may not fast track your success or land you places as and when you fancy. The above will definitely help you to have the very first impression the seeker looks for. The above doesn't guarantee or make you error-proof, be ready to face rejections and challenges as anyone else does. We all had our ways to chase our dreams and passion and we all had and have to learn to design what works for us.
I hope it helped you to understand and wish you the best in the coming venture!
Hello, I am Shovona Karmakar, a commercial advertising photographer, cinemagraph artist and product stylist based out of Mumbai, India. In the past many years I have found my love for portraits, products and food and have had the opportunity to work with various national and international brands, agencies and publishing houses. It has been a crazy rollercoaster and I am glad to share my knowledge with you all.
For any internship or business query, feel free to connect with me over a mail or simply use the contact form.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.