With a plethora of media platforms on which to connect, it’s not surprising that employers are getting creative with job applications. Online retailer Everlane, for example, put out a call-out for job applications to be submitted via Snapchat, insisting it was the “best way to get hired in 2016”. A cold call or email feels awkward, because it is – so why not try connecting via a medium that’s a little more current?
Sisters and self-confessed social media addicts Britt and Claudia Jones built their own creative agency, Social Status, to fill what they noticed was a growing need for creativity among companies who seemed to put social media at the bottom of their list of brand development. With a background in PR and marketing (and sister Britt with a grounding in graphic and web design), the girls were perfectly poised to take on their passion for creating on-trend content.
“We noticed there were a lot of online businesses that were growing so quickly and would often neglect the importance of social media,” Claudia tells Collective Hub. “This is when we came up with the idea to manage these social accounts and style them in a cool, ‘blogger-esque’ way, so that page viewers would hit ‘follow’.”
And you won’t be shocked at how they landed their first client.
“Via Instagram, of course!” Claudia says. “We were approached by a woman who owns a beauty product company in Melbourne, housing five brands. She sent a brief direct message saying that they had let go their social team that day and were looking for someone to take over ASAP. Before we knew it, we added these five amazing brands to our client list.”
In fact, of the 25+ Instagram accounts the girls now manage, the majority of them have been secured via Instagram connections.
Capitalising on the power of the social media platform is a powerful way to reach new clients as well as customers, with everyone from illustrators to content creators able to harness this way of connecting… if you know how. Here are five things to remember if you’re trying to land a client via Instagram.
Realise the power of your portfolio
“When we contact clients via Instagram it’s a lot more personal because they can directly see what Social Status is and our portfolio,” Claudia explains.
Contacting a client via Instagram isn’t like a cold call – they can instantly connect with your talent, your experience and what your brand is about. Don’t underestimate how much your page can say about how well (or not well) you’re doing your job.
Make sure you align
Having a scroll through a brand’s Instagram, as the girls do before contacting a potential client, is more than just a pastime – it’s the best way to understand if you and the brand you’re hoping to work with are properly aligned. You’re much more likely to succeed with that client, if, like the girls attest, you’re contacting them because you’re genuinely excited about their product or service – there’s no substitute for real, honest enthusiasm.
“When approaching accounts via Instagram, we are contacting them because we genuinely like their product and it would be something that we would use,” Claudia says.
Put the feelers out there
After taking extended looks into the brand and objectives of potential clients, Claudia and Britt often drop a few comments and likes to build an initial rapport.
“Any time we see branding we love, we’re quick to give them an ‘Insta stalk’ and drop a few comments,” Claudia says.
Showing a brand that you’re genuinely interested is a good way to start – just remember to keep it light and not go overboard with frequent double-taps.
Remember: persistence pays off
“With the bigger account that we reach out to, sometimes our comments and messages get lost with all of their activity,” Claudia explains. “However, if this happens and we don’t hear back for a few days we usually follow up with an email.
Reaching out via Instagram is a good initial way to connect but eventually, if deals will be done, you need to consolidate things a little further. Sending a follow-up email adds a more serious, professional edge to your initial social media ‘application’.
“We usually just ask for an email address then send them a detailed email outlining what we do and how we can make their social media dreams come true.”
Perfect your planning
“[Gone] are the days of Instagram being ‘instant’,” Claudia explains. “If you want to build a strong brand story and create a page that people want to follow, there needs to be a plan in place.”
A brand might be skeptical of what you can offer them, so why not have a plan in place to reassure them? Showing them a glimpse of the colour scheme you’ve chosen, the quality of images you can provide and the direction of an overall identity you’d like to develop for them are great ways to prove to your new contact that you’re ready and raring to go.