What We Can Learn from a Basketball Team

As a photographer or videographer, you’re probably always looking for ways to make your business better. If you keep your eyes open, you can learn a lot from the strangest sources. Like the Minnesota Timberwolves, for example. If you don’t know, they are a professional basketball team. And their response to a random kid turned some heads in a good way, which we can all learn from.

Read this article for the story.

An organization like this probably gets countless emails and letters every day. They can be easy to overlook when you have schedules to maintain and business to attend to. But the way the Timberwolves responded to this kid not only made a difference in his world, but also made a splash online as this article was shared – definitely a great PR move on behalf of the Timberwolves, whether they were intending for that or not.

So, we don’t run huge organizations. But what can we learn from this? I think there are at least a few things:

-Chances are, a lot of people who come across your website are browsing. You are one option among many, and they have to do the scouting research before making a decision of who to hire. The way in which you treat them, in the initial booking stage as well as throughout the entire project, can turn them from a casual client into a raving fan. Of course we want all of our clients to be completely satisfied with our service and products. But it benefits you too. Casual clients won’t bother to bring your company’s name up in conversation; however, raving fans will make it a point to talk about your business to others.

-It’s not about competing or “one-upping” what everyone else is doing. But it’s taking who you are as a person and/or business and treating clients (prospective, current, and past) with respect and value. My guess is that the Timberwolves  didn’t know that no other teams had responded. But whoever read the letter took the time to pay this kid attention by sending him a signed basketball and a letter back made a difference.

-It’s worth it. Writing a letter and giving away a signed basketball probably didn’t cost the Timberwolves too much money, but it was an extra step in someone’s work day. And to that person, it was worth it. What are you doing that might have some sort of immediate cost (time or money), but is invaluable in the longterm? Sending handwritten thank you notes, including some sort of gift with the final product, even the time you take to delicately formulate the exact wording of every little email. Most would agree that the main goal is to provide a high quality product to clients, but all of these small things are just as important, yet often neglected.

Not just what we communicate and do, but how we communicate and how we do what we do is crucial. Are we approaching clients from a place of generosity, or is everything we do a transaction? The answer to this question says a lot about the heart of your business.

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James Kessel

Cinematographer/Editor by celebration. Michigan native. Eager student. Disciplined creative. Jack of all trades.

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