How would you get into the corporate business as an independent professional?

I was speaking at an online conference called Weaver’s Space Online Conference and asked this question during the Q & A portion of my talk.

I love Q & A more than any scripted presentation for a number of reasons, but the biggest reason is because I know that someone walked in with something specific they wanted from the talk and walked away with an answer.

I’ve had my share of big brands and corporations in my career and it’s definitely a different beast to tackle. It’s hard to break in the door if you don’t already have an in.

Unlike small businesses, corporations usually have an agenda and roadmap of projects they need done. They fill the gaps by seeking out vendors, then vetting those vendors and hiring.

Once those vendors are approved, they most likely will continue to go back to that well time and time again, so I get the appeal of that as a target client for a lot of people.

However that outreach is a hard nut to crack. You essentially have to be in the right place at the right time.

Increase your chances by finding those right people

On LinkedIn you’ll likely have the most success in finding the appropriate person who handles hiring.

What you want to do is follow that person, make that person aware of your presence by potentially commenting on their shares, sharing their content to your audience, and maybe even just providing some resources to that person.

It’s a long haul effort, but you want to keep in mind being a “friend” here.

Congratulate them on milestones. Maybe their work anniversary or some launch they were a part of. Maybe even a new product or campaign that brand put out.

Be a good person to the brand and contribute to their success.

Follow the brand

Look for opportunities out there where that brand may be posting other things that could be relevant to the needs they have that you can fill.

Look even for those tangential opportunities as well. By this I mean if your solution is design, and you see a release of something that’s broken from a design perspective because it renders funky on the iPad, reach out and suggest connecting them to someone who you know may be able to fix it if they don’t have someone in house to do it. Even though it’s very likely they do.

But the idea here is that you are continuously adding tons of value to them.

Create targeted content via ads

If you have a budget, then you may want to even target them with ads specific to them.

It’s scary how precise you can get an ad in front of someone now a days. And by doing that, you can passively continue to provide value, only this time, it’s a free resource to your website that they see that would be of interest to them.

Like I said, it’s much different beast and a much longer lead time too. I have friends in that space that it’s months even a year long process to court big brands. But they land big money and long-term deals. So I can see how the effort can pay off.

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