BWW Blog: Get Noticed by Cold Emailing
As artists, we are in charge of our own career destinies and as such, sometimes one has to pound the pavement in order to advance in the industry. Any good business person uses "the cold call" to his or her advantage. However, I think that the cold email is the perfect tool for artists to book jobs, find internships, and get noticed. My definition of a cold email is a personalized email sent to a company or individual that you have had no prior contact with in order to achieve a specific objective.
In the fall of my freshmen year, I was determined to get a summer internship with the Alliance Theatre.
For me, working at the Alliance Theatre is my dream job. A Tony-award-winning theatre, the Alliance also has an acclaimed education program that I was eager to learn from. Instead of waiting until the application officially opened up, I decided to take matters into my own hands by cold emailing their education office. My objective was simple: determine the options for summer with the Alliance and ask if there were ways to make my application more competitive.
The beauty of a cold email is this: there is only potential gain; the worst that can happen is no reply.
In the weeks that followed, I anxiously checked my inbox, hoping to receive a reply. My cold emails have gone unanswered before, but I prayed this one would open doors. A few weeks later, I received an informative email about the Alliance's teaching internship program, made a connection with a staff member, and learned about an additional internship opportunity to work a national conference that the Alliance was hosting. My cold email was a success, and the two internships that I scored with its help have opened countless doors.
In order to compose a cold email, first determine your objective.
Think about what you hope to achieve by cold emailing. Do you want to get in contact with an artist or company you admire? Do you need a summer internship or job? Do you want to get your name out there? Determine what you want to get out of cold emailing and make it very clear in the email. If someone can help you, they generally will, but you need to make sure that they know how to assist you.
Second, research the company you are emailing and identify the most appropriate recipient for your inquiry.
Make sure to clearly communicate a connection to the company through your email. Individuals are much more likely to respond if they see a genuine interest in their specific company. If you are in search of a job and are sending cold emails to many companies, be sure to do your research and personalize each email. Also, if possible identify a specific recipient to email. An example of this would be composing an email to the education director of a company to get an education internship.
Third, compose the email based similarly to the formula below:
Dear Ms. Brown,
[Greeting] I hope this email finds you well! [Objective] I wanted to discuss the possibility of a summer education internship with your theatre. [Connection to Company] Broadway World Theatre is a company that I have admired for many years, and I would love to work with your company in some capacity this summer. [Background] I am currently a junior at Samford University, pursuing a major in Theatre for Youth and a minor in Human Development and Family Science. I am very passionate about working with young people in theatre. [Qualifications] In regards to my experience, I have taught theatre classes at the ABC Children's Theatre and Green Mountain Theatre Company. By teaching these classes, I have learned to adapt my plans to best suit my students and handle difficult situations delicately. [Ask to Meet] If there are no internship opportunities available with your company, I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. I look forward to hearing from you! [Offer Materials] I would be more than happy to provide additional materials, if needed.
Finally, wait for a reply!
Remember, the worst thing that can come from a cold email is not receiving a reply, and at the very least, you got your name out there. Keep sending cold emails until you get a reply. Once you get the formula down, it becomes fairly easy (and I think fun) to write and send more cold emails out. If you are like me, cold emailing will be daunting and scary at first. However, it has now become a normal part of my career-advancing procedures. Good luck!