The Importance of Sales & New Business in Creative Agencies, with Dan Fields – The Busy Creator Podcast 68

The Busy Creator 68 w/guest Dan Fields

Dan Fields (@danthebeast) is a Vice President of Operations at Aarra, an interactive management firm based in New York and Chicago. Once a humble Flash developer, Dan has moved into a sales and new business role, building relationships with large agencies and small shops alike.

Our conversations discusses the need for sales and relationships in creative businesses, how Dan made the transition to new biz, and some of the challenges facing the ever-changing advertising industry.

Catch up with Dan on his personal site or via his podcast, Save It For The Show.

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Show Notes & Links

  • Dan is “no expert” but is a working professional with a passion project on the side. (Aren’t we all?!)
  • Dan is a New Business & Strategy agent for a number of design & interactive studios
  • He started as a Flash developer, gaining an understanding of the creative process
  • Matt Keefe, Josh Miles, previous guests on the Podcast
  • The challenge is now “How do you get potential clients into the room?”

“You have to have the work in your portfolio.”

—Dan Fields

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“My work ethic was high enough that I could fake being a decent designer.”

—Dan Fields

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“You can be on the phone all day, up to date on your email, or you can actually get things done.”

—Dan Fields

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“At some point advertising forgot that it’s supposed to sell something, not just win awards.”

—Dan Fields

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“Advertising is weaponized media.”

—Prescott Perez-Fox

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“Every time you do something creative, you’re buying a lottery ticket.”

—Dan Fields

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  • If you’re a creative who’s shy, you need to push yourself
  • Create a side project or “fake” projects to build your portfolio
  • Force yourself out of your comfort zone, especially for things like cold-calling
  • BCC “” on your emails to receive a reminder to your inbox
  • Ask Siri to set reminders
  • Keep an open internet chat for goofing off; helps build office culture
  • Use video chat to supress miscommunication in email-writing shorthand
  • Don’t hide your budget — don’t waste each other’s time by keeping it secrets
  • Learn small talk, it’s part of relationship-building


  • Find a way to remind yourself; you won’t remember
  • Keep a running list of jokes or notes
  • Get ideas out of your head and into some kind of system
  • Drink coffee, don’t sleep (a by-product of children)
  • Avoid social media; it feels productive, but it isn’t.
  • Focus on email only for an hour; block off everything else.

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About Prescott Perez-Fox

Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 15+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.