How to Become Invaluable to Clients (aka the Macgyver effect)

The following is an archived post from February 2011... since this post OG has gone on to photograph countless superstars including Trey Songz, Gary Clarke Jr. and J. Cole. Not to mention become a dear friend and remain as one of the coolest and most humble people I know. 

Photo Credit: OG  

Photo Credit: OG 

A few weeks ago, Tim and I went to the El Ray theater to meet up with OG, an Austin-based photographer and director currently on tour with Big Krit.

I became a fan of OG's work when I was running GSD&M's twitter, and he connected with the agency. One look at his portfolio, and you know he's the real deal in terms of talent, vision and dedication. Photographers and directors, take note. He's killing it on Instagram, TwitterFacebook and through his email marketing to his friends and followers.

After years of being online friends, Tim and I jumped at the chance to meet him in person in LA. (You know you're passionate about creatives when you go to a concert because you're a fan of the photographer.) We chatted with him about the experience of being on tour. (We've been living vicariously through him on Instagram for weeks.) He said that he was signed on to do the first few shows, but was asked to stay on for both the first and second leg of the US tour.

"They call me Macgyver" he said jokingly, and went on to tell a few stories about life on the road. I loved it, and I think the MacGyver lessons from watching someone like OG can be applied to any creative looking to build their brand:

Be strategic
OG said he first met the team when he asked them to shoot some stills of Krit for a personal project. It was free content that Krit's team was able to use, introduced Krit's management to OG's outstanding talent, and helped further build his portfolio. When done the right way, you can do free work that leads to paid work. Are their people or organizations you want to work with that you can offer up something in-kind?

Put your strengths to use
OG understands new technology - it's part of his job. His pockets are full of batteries, chargers… you name it. Sure, he wasn't signed on to become the go-to tech guy when something malfunctions on the tour bus, but his skills have become invaluable on tour (hence, the Macgyver-esque reputation). Are there things you're passionate about beyond the service you provide that would be helpful to clients or to the greater creative community? When you share your passions, people will be drawn to what you have to offer.

OG was signed on to do stills and web content, but he's gone above and beyond creating a series that mixes music, interviews and off-the-cuff content. This kind of hard work not only makes your client love you, it creates a robust portfolio piece. Were you asked by a client to make a logo? Over-deliver with a Facebook banner, twitter icon, and printer-ready PDF.

Be the team member that your client cannot afford to pass up. And as OG's email signature reminds us, "Go the extra mile, it's never crowded"



How To'sNicole Delger