EPISODE #18 || Brian Hathaway, Director of Business Development at Canvas United


Brian gives us a look into the world of new business in an interview recorded during our NYC trip. Hear about his career shift from investment banking, why relationships and timing are everything, and the best pitch techniques he's picked up over the years. You'll find that there are a lot of parallels between winning new business and landing a job!

Heads up: Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no Minisode this Friday. Wishing you some rest, a belly full of food, and time with loved ones during your days off!

Topics Discussed

  • How getting fired from his job in investment banking led to a career switch to digital marketing/advertising, and how to position yourself when making a similar industry pivot.
  • What the heck a multi-platform experience is and how it differs from your traditional ad campaign.
  • The long, long game of new business, and why hearing “no” doesn’t necessarily mean “no” in the long term. 
  • Outworking the competition, putting your riskier ideas out there, and other pitch techniques.
  • Why people in new business are the ultimate optimists.
  • Parallels between reaching out to potential clients and reaching out to recruiters.
  • How he found/made time to write a urban fantasy novel. 

Mic Drops

“Make sure you follow up. Even if it’s, hey, here’s what we’ve been up to lately, or I saw this article that you guys were mentioned in. You’re just staying present. It also shows them that it’s not a sale. That you’re actually just creating a relationship. And that’s ultimately my biggest technique with clients—I try to make friends with them first, and so I’m selling to friends vs. someone who’s paying the bills.”

“The client is the steward of their brand, no one knows it better. But if you can come in with creative thinking that makes them look at their own brand differently, often, even if they don’t hire you, they’re going to remember you.”

“If it’s a conversation, that’s the best. If you can get them to ask questions in the middle of the pitch, that’s so ideal. It shows that they’re thinking about creatively what you’re bringing, what response that’s landing with them [...] What you don’t want is a very quiet room in which you don’t get any reaction.”

Resources Mentioned

Keep in Touch

About Brian

Brian Hathaway has been Director of Business Development at Canvas United for four fun, millennial-filled years. Prior to that, Brian was at Magnet Media for a year overseeing their financial services sector. Before Magnet, Brian was steeped in the financial world for the majority of his professional career. Except for that time right after college when he was in the original dot-com boom, working at Media On Demand, one of the first companies that provided video on the web (called webcasting back then). That's when he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Mark Cuban who had a competitor company called Broadcast.com. After Brian's equity went from being a down payment on a house to a security deposit on a rental to his Manhattan apartment, he went into finance.