Advertising and asking for anything: Why they are the same.

Conventional marketing wisdom says it takes five impressions before a consumer is primed for purchase.

The same is true when you’re a producer and your job is to get people to join your team, whether they are a director, a writer, an investor, or an intern.

Translation?  Getting anyone to do anything is all about follow-up.

A talented up-and-comer was asking me for some advice yesterday and she told me how she wanted a director to read her script, but was dismayed because she had sent the director an email and hadn’t heard back.

She sent just one email.  And was praying for a positive response.  That’s like placing a 1/4 ad in Time Out and expecting to sell out for weeks.

It’s easy for us to take this kind of lack of response as a personal slight, but it’s not.  The director is a consumer just like everyone else, and you’ve got something to sell.  If companies like Apple or Altar Boyz gave up after one impression, no one would sell sell a thing.

Does this mean that you should send four more emails?  No.  Think of asking for anything just like a media plan:  Vary your media.  Email (online marketing) didn’t work?  Try another form of direct response, like a phone call (telemarketing).  Or go to a party where you know the person will be and make sure he/she sees you (billboard).  Have a mutual friend mention you to him/her (word-of-mouth).

But don’t just give up and think no one wants your product.

Instead, think of every impression you make as getting closer and closer to your goal.

And the best thing about follow-up impressions?  Unlike 1/4 page Time Out ads, they are free.

Oh, and they actually work.

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.