LinkedIn offers a unique path to uncover new contacts at Agencies and Brands, but only if you are using it wiselely. Not just a networking device, LinkedIn is a targeted research tool.
NOTE: This new series of posts will include both a screen-cast (at the top) and a written version (below).
LinkedIn is a powerful tool, but you need to be active there to gain the benefits. The more people you are connected to the greater pool of contacts you can find. LinkedIn is organized by degrees of separation, displaying those contacts closest to you first (a friend of a friend), followed by those farther way (friend-friend-friend-friend). If you’re not using LinkedIn I suggest getting started there, if not for networking, at least for its use as a research tool.
Here’s my profile page. This page displays the basics about me and offers me a few paths to learn about new people. At the top right is the search box.
Using the drop-down menu we’ll choose “Companies” from the list. And for this demonstration we’ll pick a big name, Ogilvy. I type that into the search box and click the button. The results display the different divisions of Ogilvy. For our purposes we’ll focus on The NYC agency Ogilvy & Mather. On this page we see some general company information, plus links to the subsidiaries. Scrolling down we see current employees that are a few degrees away from myself.
Here we see an art buyer, Jessica Fiore. I’ll add her to a list of contacts that I want to reach out to. LinkedIn shows me how I am contact to her, in this case she and I share a contact, the consultant Allegra Wilde.
A little further down I can see Ogilvy’s new hires, also by degrees or separation from myself. I see they have hired a new creative director, Leo Vladimisky (congratulations Leo!), who I am connected to through my filmmaker friend Adam Witten.
I click on Jessica’s link and visit her page. I see some of her work history, her list of connections, etc. Since I’m building a list of people that I want to call to opt-in to receive me promotional materials, I’ll cut and paste her name into a text document. I’ll make my entire list then give Ogilvy a call and seek to either speak with these new contacts directly, or find out in what manner they want to receive materials. You must find this out first, do not add these names to an email or print list and send them whatever. Find out what they want and cater your materials to match their suggestions.
LinkedIn keeps a tally of similar pages; they do this by displaying a list of the profile pages the visitors to Jessica’s page visited too. I like to scan this list as it offers a window into the same job type. As example, here on this list is a link to Leslie D’Acri, a Senior Art Buyer at Ogilvy. I’ll visit her page and cut and paste her name onto my list of contacts to call.
After I’ve done that I’ll return to the main Ogilvy page and look through the contacts that are connected to me. On the first page is the Art Buyer Sara Gold.
I’ll review her page. I see that I am connecter to her through the Rep Kelly Carson. I don’t know Kelly that well. I could ask her to speak to Sara on my behalf to make the connection, but when it comes to seeking permission to send materials, I prefer to opt new contacts in directly. After about 15 minutes I have a list of 5 new contacts to call.
I’ll discuss some calling techniques in another post, but in general the calls are simple. First seek information from the receptionist, see if they can offer insight on the best way to approach a specific contact. If not, ask to speak with them directly. In that call state plainly you’re an artist and want to send them examples of your work and that you want to know the best way for them to see the work. Follow their directions.
Let us know if you have any further questions by posting a comment below this post. Thanks!