Ep87: [CASE STUDY] Why People Don’t Respond to Your Cold Outreach (and How to Get a Response) | with Scott Davis

Cold Outreach – Seriously… is there anything worse than that feeling when you’re about to send an unsolicited message to someone you admire or want to connect with to find work?

“I’m probably bothering them.”

“They’re too busy to pay attention to me.”

“I feel weird asking strangers for help.”

“I probably sound desperate.”

“Why even bother? Nobody ever responds anyway.”

There’s no question that if done wrong, outreach messages can be a surefire path to rejection, isolation, complete lack of confidence, and feeling like you have no way to connect to the right people that can potentially become your mentors, colleagues, or collaborators. But when done correctly,

A well-written outreach message can change your entire career.

In today’s interview I chat with Scott Davis who considers himself to be a “hopeless introvert.” As someone who recently made the major career transition from working in documentaries in New York City to working in scripted features in Los Angeles, Scott will be the first to tell you how overwhelming it can feel to have to rebuild your network from the ground up. But with the right mindset, the right strategies, and a little support, Scott’s new career in Los Angeles is not only surviving but thriving.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • Scott’s ‘origin story’ from New York to Hollywood with no connections and ‘no idea what to do’ (sound familiar?)
  • The terrifying feeling of trying to get into this ‘fortress of opportunity’ in Hollywood where the only way in seems to be from people inside who are working & too busy to help you.
  • The dilemma of just ‘finding the next gig to pay the bills’ vs. ‘playing the long game’ to pursue the career path you really want.
  • The counter-intuitive shift in focus that makes that effectively eliminates that so-called ’dilemma’. (Listen for this key takeaway!)
  • Why there’s no more important skill than networking in this industry and the step-by-step path to networking for introverts.
  • Discover the ’secrets’ to “cold emailing” / “cold outreach” and how Scott boosted his response rate from 5% to 75%.
  • The REAL goal of sending an outreach email. (HINT: It sounds so easy it couldn’t possibly work.)
  • How to ‘crawl inside the brain’ of the person you send an outreach email to and see it from their perspective.
  • How to get people to OPEN your approach email and why doing a few minutes of research goes a LONG way.
  • Why the idea of “nobody wants to help me” is just wrong and right way to tap into people’s natural tendency to WANT share their wisdom & experience with you.
  • Connecting the dots: Scott’s story of turning rejections into opportunities.
  • What it really means to “lead with value” and the power of ‘validation’.
  • The momentum that builds when you invest in building relationships over time.

If you’re inspired by Scott’s journey today and you’d like to up your networking game, specifically your outreach emails, then you’re in luck. Because I’m just finishing up something brand new called The Insider’s Guide to Writing Great Outreach Emails and as a loyal listener you’ll get first dibs. In this guide I’m going to break down the process of writing outreach emails so you understand EXACTLY what will get you a response. I’ll teach you why cold outreach is the most important soft skill you must develop if you want to advance your career, I’ll show you the 5 most common mistakes people make when writing their outreach messages, and then I’ll break down step-by-step how to write an amazing outreach message that will actually get a response so you can seek advice, connect with a potential mentor, set up lunch meetings, and possibly even land your next gig.

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Get The Insider’s Guide to Writing Great Amazing Outreach Emails

Apply for my Coaching & Mentorship Program (closes Jan 26th)

Read My 3-part Series on Writing Great Outreach Emails

Scott’s Website

Scott on IMDB

Contact Scott

Our Generous Sponsors:

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Guest Bio:

Scott Davis Photo

J. Scott Davis is an editor, assistant editor, outdoorsman, hopeless introvert and constant seeker of knowledge.

“I lived and worked in NYC for over 10 years working with some of the greatest documentarians on some really great films like: “Makers: The Women Who Make America”, “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies”, “Wagner’s Dream” and “Outside the Bubble”. In the fall of 2018 I headed west to Los Angeles to escape bad weather, lack of sunlight, and 5th floor walk ups. The lifestyle change is glorious but the true joy is I am now pursuing a long held dream of working in scripted features and series.”

Scott’s Website

Scott on IMDB

Contact Scott

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Glen McNiel. The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).


Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, and the creator of the Optimize Yourself program. He helps ambitious creative professionals and entrepreneurs DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time, your energy, and your creativity so you can produce higher quality work in less time (and ultimately become a productivity ninja). “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people, things, and passions in your life…all without sacrificing your health (or sanity) in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”