Visual Communication

Team Snapshot: Our Director of Sales On Why Business Experience Enhances Creativity

By EyeEm Team - 4 min read

Find out how new hire Rob Shannon is using his years of experience in a business setting to help take EyeEm to new heights in the North American marketplace.

Since the beginning EyeEm has been founded on a love of photography. Yet, to continue to grow our stock photo marketplace and custom photo productions, we’ve relied on the talent and experience of our incredible team.

Having made the switch to the creative industry, our newly appointed Director of Sales, Robert Shannon is tasked with building the EyeEm presence in North America. Rob recently launched our brand new free-trial program for selective clients - giving the chance for team’s to sample the unique features offered by EyeEm’s Enterprise Tool.

We caught up with Rob to discuss his transition into the creative industry and how his previous business experience is helping EyeEm reach its creative goals.

Interested in our free trial? Send an email to robert.shannon@eyeem.com with your job title and business name in the subject.

Corporate To Creative: Your Mindset Is What Matters

If you could describe work at EyeEm in just three words what would you say?

Collaborative - I find that EyeEm is the most collaborative company I have ever worked with. I see this everyday with the engagement between sales and marketing. I believe it’s imperative for that relationship to continue growing strong.

Innovative - In my short tenure I believe the EyeEm team is inventive and willing to implement new strategies for success.

Challenging - Team members are pushed to explore and work at the top of their skill sets. EyeEm is challenged to disrupt a market that is dominated by a few large players. This challenge is motivating for us to have success.

You previously worked in the finance sector. What drew you to EyeEm?

I see that EyeEm has the ability to be a disruptor company; with the right leadership and thinkers to completely alter an industry that has been dominated by a few players.

I personally believe EyeEm is a technology company that specializes in customer satisfaction and content creation by partnering with our world-class community. This mindset is the recipe to displace the existing market leaders.

Many people are looking to make that switch from corporate to creative environments. What’s your advice for them?

I support the move to the creative space completely. I have learned a lot from my conversations with my co-workers, prospects, and clients. On a personal level, I don’t feel like I utilized the creative part of my brain that much so I have been enjoying expanding my knowledge. Also, The creative space holds a certain unpredictability which is exciting because each deal is something unique.

How do you feel your experience in the finance world has benefited your work in a more creative environment?

I consider my experience in finance to be a strong foundation for my success. I think I can bring a certain aspect of precision and sales structure to the team that will be necessary in growing the brand in North America. Additionally, my understanding of deal ROI’s, metrics, and KPI’s is a unique angle I can bring in regards to improving technology, innovative thinking, and closing deals.

What similarities (if any) and major differences are there between the two different environments?

One of the funnier differences occurred during one of my first prospect meetings with my colleague Steph. We went to a meeting in one of the hip neighborhoods in New York, where the office was located in what seemed like an abandoned warehouse. I was wearing what I would have normally worn for one of these meetings; a button-down, jacket, nice slacks, and shoes. I met the CEO of a really successful company who appeared as if he just rolled out of bed with wild hair, a wrinkled t-shirt, and maybe hadn’t showered in a few days. That memory always makes me laugh and is a good reminder that dressing well isn’t a sign of success!

Also, I think one of the main differences between the two spaces is the focus of ROI. The creative space seems to value the aesthetic while the finance world looks at the return of investment.

I do think there are similarities as well! For me, both spaces really care about the client and are willing to be flexible to support its users.

Since joining EyeEm, our team has been operating remotely. What advice would you give all managers leading teams remotely out there?

I would say the biggest challenge is keeping team comradery and being able to support each other in a workplace environment.

No matter how great technology is and how we can feel connected via video calls, there is nothing like an in-person white-board session to discuss strategy. The biggest advice I would give all managers is to trust your team. I am lucky to have Stephanie and Timberly. I know they are working hard to bring in business so having trust in their process is key. I feel it’s easy to get consumed in scheduling video calls but that becomes such a time-waster.

How has your working at EyeEm led you to start being more creative outside of work?

I am trying to learn about photography! On my first day of work I received the book, Read This If You Want To Take Great Photographs. My wife and I are expecting our first child any day now and I want to be able to take great pictures of our baby!

Since COVID is causing some restrictions for family and friends to meet our baby, I want to be able to share moments with them and taking beautiful pictures is a great way to do it!

If you’re thinking about trying out our free trial programme just send an email to robert.shannon@eyeem.com with your job title and business name in the subject! You can also join our LinkedIn network to keep up to date on other opportunities and unique image deals.

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