Shaunah Margaret is a lot of awesome things: a Detroit native, MAIP alum, Copywriter at Tribal Worldwide, and co-founder of a bad ass new mentorship program designed for women of color called Women Who Create (applications are open for Summer 2018!). This week, Shaunah shares her best tips for selling your work to someone, whether you're looking for an internship or first job, wanting to impress your new coworkers, or just practicing for the future. Here's Shaunah—
It’s that time, again. It’s the end of the semester and you’re on your grind preparing to get an internship or land your first gig. Portfolio Day is coming up and you need to sell yourself, you need to stand out AND you need to look like you’ve gotten more than 5 hours of sleep this week. (No to mention, that six figure school loan won’t pay itself.) Don’t worry. I got you.
Luckily in my experience, I’ve been able to tame my awkwardness and panic to make the most out of meeting new people, sharing creative ideas quickly and effectively, and making a lasting impression. Here’s where to start:
Smile. Now, Introduce Yourself. Breathe.
Alright so we’re on the court. It’s Portfolio Day or a job fair, and “So and So” from Wieden is walking towards you. Your move. Introduce yourself and ask if you can show them what you’ve got.
It should sound something like: “Hey, I’m Amanda, it’s great to meet you! I’m a copywriter and I just graduated from Miami Ad School, could I walk you through my book?”
So, I know, you worked on like 20 projects you super loved this year, but choose the top three that show off your creative potential. If you need help with this, don’t be afraid to ask advice from a teacher or mentor. When you have your top picks, practice LASER sharing these projects by summing each of them up in one to two sentences.
Example: “For Advil, we wanted people to know that without pain, anything is possible, so we created a series of videos that tell epic stories of how people from all walks of life triumphed over their pain to accomplish something amazing.”
Then you can give a brief description of the pieces you created for that idea. Keep in mind that this conversation is a preview of how you will present to clients, so practice in the mirror, with your parents, with your goldfish…you get the idea.
Give Them Something To Remember
Recruiters see A LOT of student work, so how do you make yourself standout? The key is to highlight something outside of school and your creative work that makes you an interesting person. Whether it’s bird watching, or Beanie Baby collecting, or rock climbing, find a way to weave it into your work.
Here’s how it could look: You love bird watching, so you build a birdhouse, and put your printed book inside it. It’s an excellent conversation starter that makes you stand out, it’s downright impressive, and you get to talk about what inspires you as a human being.
Gratitude & Acknowledgement
Great job! Give yourself a pat on the back, it’s not easy honing this skill. Thank the recruiter for their time and be sure to ask for a business card. Don’t be shy about following up with an email thanking them again, maybe even with an inside joke about something you talked about. E.g. A GIF of your favorite bird, the Australian magpie.
Once you do that about 500 more times, you’ll have no trouble feeling confident selling yourself, selling your work, and getting that coveted offer.