Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Joe DeMaria.
About the interviewee
Joe DeMaria is the Founder of the Silicon Valley’s premier digital marketing agency JAD Digital Marketing. In a previous life, Joe lived and worked in Manhattan as a fashion marketer, writer, and civil rights advocate. Since returning to San Jose, Joe has instilled a culture of social responsibility at JAD, which is reflected in their growing non-profit, advocacy, and political portfolio.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
Sustainability is a major founding principle for what we have done at JAD. Instead of taking bigger offices and hiring a large team, we have reached out to other local agencies who are extremely talented in areas that are perhaps not our key competency. This network of firms and agencies allows for huge growth with minimal overhead. We are located in Downtown San Jose, and our main focus is working with organizations that we believe can benefit the community we work and live in.
What type and size of companies do you have as clients?
We like to say we grow alongside our small and medium business clients. We are increasingly passionate about our non-profit endeavors, as well as our political involvement in California (Congressional Campaigns) and our city (San Jose Mayoral Campaign). Typically, we only take on 1-2 large businesses per year, and focus the rest of our efforts on growing SMBs, non-profits, and advocacy groups in our community.
What comes to mind when you see this topic?
When I first got into fashion in NYC, I had no idea how to do the work of a publicist or marketer. I had to google what the day to day tasks of someone in that position should be. Without a mentor I was lost at sea, and I had no idea on how to find one. Finding a mentor is the same process as finding a client, just as I would come to find connecting with a new mentor is the same as connecting with a hard to reach prospect.
What are the best practices when it comes to this issue?
LinkedIn gives you a massive upperhand in contacting the “un-contactable”, because you have a ready made list of people that can make an introduction for you.
Always check if you share any connections with your prospect. Introductions move you ahead of 95%+ of the proposals they receive daily. Its easier to ignore a call or email, than to ignore an introduction from a trusted associate/friend.
If I have no connections, I look at who they interact with the most and try to connect with that person. Cultivate that relationship on LinkedIn, and move for the introduction fairly quickly thereafter.
My last step is checking what groups the prospect is in. 90% of users with over 500+ connections are active contributors or viewers in at least one group. You have a great opportunity to get in contact with your prospect, while participating in conversations that are important to them. Demonstrate value, make the introduction, and set a meeting.
This approach to prospecting can take <10% success rates to above 70% instantly. Asking for the introduction is a skill in itself, and will increase success even more.