X

WORK

Do more with Les.


Instant Headline Generator

Need a headline fast?
Use the Les Overhead Headline Generator,
a random compiler of attention-getting words
GUARANTEED to draw interest.

Get Yours Now!

Les Overhead Blog

Send a carrier pigeon with your contact info or just email Les Overhead (les@) to receive the blog.

Lessons learned from a freelance Snake Charmer

BY LesOverhead / communication, crazy, Creative, humor, Snake Charmers, Travel, writing / 0 COMMENTS

IMG_3996

On a recent holiday trip to Morocco, I spent some time in Marrakech with various local freelancers, including storytellers, drummers, dancers with roosters on their head, fortune-tellers, cell phone hawkers, and one highly charming snake charmer.

I came away with five insights into freelancing that can be applied in any country, any line of work. Not just snake charming.

1. People will be leery of you and what you offer. When you approach prospects, do it in a light-hearted way. Be friendly and casual, make a joke, and ask a personal question (such as where they are from) to start a conversation.

2. Don’t beat around the bush too long. Get to the point soon and bring out your goods (snakes, roosters, rugs, design, copy, consulting).

3. Let customers try on your product – whether it be a cobra, leather jacket, or creative work). For instance, create an ad or poster for your prospect that shows your design and copy. Give them an idea of how it will look, feel and work. Then offer it at reduced cost and nurture the relationship. Bargain wisely and fairly.

4. Explain how simple it is to work with you. Keep it short and add some wit and humor to show your warm, engaging personality. If you don’t have such a personality, get a snake.

5. If the prospect turns you down, just smile and say, “Okay, friend. Maybe later.” It works. After first turning the snake charmer down, I went back later and paid for a photo.

Moby Dick for kids

BY LesOverhead / Uncategorized / 0 COMMENTS

photo_6

I don’t know if you’ve ever read Moby Dick, but it is one whale of an epic tale and I heartily recommend it. Over the weekend I came across a children’s version of Moby Dick at the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport. It has all of 11 words (with humorous illustrations for each word). I love simplicity and this is as simple as it gets.

SPOILER ALERT: if you haven’t read the book and don’t want to know the ending, stop reading NOW! And now, here is the condensed kids’ version of Moby Dick – 11 pages and 11 words long.

“Sailor. Ship. Captain. Leg. Mad. Sail. Whale. Chase. Ram. Sink. Float.”

Bravo. I doubt even Herman Melville could improve on that. I know I couldn't.

ARCHIVE!

A MOBILE ONE-MAN CREATIVE TEAM

20 Odd Years In Business

The true, sober story of Les Overhead.

Alt Text

I was leaving to buy a keg for a party in the mountains outside Missoula when the phone rang. I picked it up in a hurry. A woman asked if I had recently applied for a job with a radio station in Whitefish.

“Uh, yeah, did I get the job?” I replied, anxious to move the conversation along.

“Not yet. Are you available for an interview?” I wondered if she was in town and wanted to meet right then.

“Not for the next 24 hours,” I said. "To be honest, I'm on my way to buy beer for a party in the mountains."

“I meant next week," she said. She no doubt heard me hit myself in the head with the phone. Well, I blew that I thought.

But I was wrong. I somehow landed the job and showed up for work two weeks later, shaven and sober. After a couple years punching out radio copy on a Smith Corona and doing odd jobs like radio play-by-play for donkey basketball games I headed west.

Eventually, I ended up in Portland where I caught on with a series of ad agencies. I got into everything: print ads, brochures, radio and TV spots, creative disputes… Many words were exchanged. Nobody got hurt.

One day in the shower a hair circled the drain and it dawned on me. I should use my head and get off this manic ad agency merry-go-round. Go to work for myself and provide creative help to anyone with a good company or cause.

That day Les Overhead was born. Freelance Creative Director/Copywriter. A man of his word.

Contact us

Les Overhead and Tom Vandel would both enjoy talking with you.

Would it be coolto work together? Duh.

The best way to reach Les Overhead is by email (tom@), by phone (503-505-4723), or by banging on the door of his office at 208 SW Stark, Suite 306, Portland, OR 97204. You're welcome.