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So You Want to Work in Advertising?

Welcome to the club, we all want to work for top clients and huge agencies with big budgets. Here’s a primer to get you on the right track. Remember, we’re not doing brain surgery we’re simply setting ourselves up to succeed.

Two things: In order to succeed you must obtain a realistic view of the landscape. Next, you must be able to bang on all cylinders simultaneously in order to seize opportunities when they come knocking.

First things first, you must understand the ad world, seek and know where to look for opportunities. You must get a subscription to Adweek and Ad Age. Both platforms give you a window into what’s going on in the business. 

Next, be sure you have a buttoned up crew that is professional and reliable.
This takes time, I know. But know this, no matter still life or lifestyle nothing is more important to your long-term success then having a team of pros who will help you in your production.

Presentation is your calling card; it must be impeccable in every way. Be it your site or portfolio make sure your work is current, clean and showcases your work in the most beautiful way. The book must blow people away with killer image after killer image. Don’t worry about the number of images; only concern yourself with the quality.

Promotion, this drives everyone crazy with what to do. Instead of the mass emails bullshit that only leads to anxiety and frustration get lean and focused.  Do your research and curate a defined list of potential clients. Be realistic with your approach and execution, which means: less is more. Instead of sending out 10,000 post cards, mail a six to eight page booklet that is beautifully designed with great content to a list of 100-targeted clients. 

Competition, understand whom your bidding against and why you win and lose jobs. Here too the bidding process can make you want to set your hair on fire, don't do it! 

The key to a successful bid is firstly being realistic on what the project is worth. Be sure to have all your production elements in the bid. There’s nothing worst in the bidding process then not having in what you need. 

Next don’t second-guess yourself as it relates to your numbers. Be realistic and fair to the process. If you need help in the estimating there’s plenty of trade resources to reach out to. I do estimating & negotiating for photographers as a one-off as well as brainstorming sessions that gets you moving and motivated. I love doing this!

Remember this, the most important part of this process is connecting with your potential client in a way that truly matters. This connecting piece is where relationships are built and jobs are awarded.

You can only succeed if your relationship with the client if it’s built around quality of work, competency of you your bid and a burning desire to create beautiful imagery. I could write a book on the subject. Maybe I will!

Frank Meo
973 896 8680

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