On the Block with Christian Malarsie: Finding Sales and Abandoning LabelsStoryblocks Features
June 17, 2021
On the Block with Christian Malarsie: Finding Sales and Abandoning Labels
An interview with Storyblocks Sales Development Representative Christian Malarsie
My name is Christian Malarsie. I am a senior sales development rep for Storyblocks, focusing on creative agencies. So in short, my job is the front half of the sales cycle which includes finding and researching creative agencies and setting up the second half of the sales cycle for success. I started my career in TV production for shows like Entertainment Tonight and did some freelance work on the side. But I eventually realized that physically my body couldn’t take it. To advance in production you have to love it or be especially skilled at it. And I did like it but knew that it wasn’t what I wanted to do long-term. So I moved into the digital media space on the content acquisition side, similar to what I currently do at Storyblocks.
How did you find Storyblocks?
So my partner told me about Storyblocks. She had been using the Storyblocks audio library and saw that they had some positions available so she said, “Hey, Storyblocks has some positions open. You should apply.” Since she was a fan of the product and company I was like, “Well, at least there is a good chance that I will like the culture.”
Do you feel like your experience in production and digital media has helped you in your current role as an SDR?
Yeah, I think my experience helped in two ways. One, I understand the creative agency’s video production process. And the second part is that I can relate to our contributors. I often see clips that seem “easy” to capture but I know how difficult it is to get that clip. It takes a lot of work to get something so simple. I have so much respect for our contributors and when I see their amazing work it motivates me to promote our library.
Interpersonal skills are obviously important in your role. What other skills are important for an SDR to have?
The first is authenticity, I haven’t found any success in trying to be kind of flashy in my outreach. I try to write in my outreach the same way that I would speak to someone in person. The second skill is persistence. People will say no. So I think it’s just not getting super committed to any one company. It’s just looking at the forest, beyond the trees, for sure.
What do you think has helped you to become so resilient and persistent? Or is that something you’ve just learned over time?
It was really just working on confidence. I am introverted but in sales, you talk to so many people every day from all around the world, and I have learned that most people aren’t really mean. One other thing that has helped me is just accepting that you will fail and that’s part of the plan. If you accept that you will fail in the beginning it doesn’t hurt as much and you can keep pushing through. As cheesy as it is, those are good lessons that have helped me.
In addition to being an SDR at Storyblocks, you are a member Out at Storyblocks (OAS), a business resource group. Could you tell me more about why you joined OAS?
Yeah. I’m trying to decide what “label” I want to put on myself, because it’s pretty hard to pin myself down. But I am would describe myself as being somewhere between bisexual and queer. Those are probably the best words. So there’s one reason. But also, having a community of people to relate to is comforting. So, when I heard about OAS I knew that I had to join. Also, because of the size of the company I knew that I could actually have an impact in the organization.
What advice would you give to someone who is at a company where they can’t be their authentic self? The obvious answer is to leave but that isn’t always realistic.
If you can’t leave, find at least one ally or person to talk to, even if it’s just venting. But with that, I’d say, find your trusted person and expand your numbers. If both of you are experiencing something there are probably more.
With June being Pride month and inclusivity being demanded, more companies are openly supporting the LGBTQIA+ community. How do you feel about that?
It’s great. I think the challenge is when companies do the training and just check the box. But companies should really take the extra step to become a place where people can actually present and not have to second guess. Because there’s always that thought of like, “Well, if this comes up, then it’s going to be a long conversation about explaining certain queerness.” So I think it’s awesome that it’s talked about more, but what really needs to happen is that next step and not just checking a box.
Earlier you mentioned that you find it difficult to “label” yourself. Could you tell us more about that?
I grew up in a more rural area and had to push down a lot of myself growing up. Now that I live in a city it’s the opposite — I don’t feel queer enough. I think a lot of Bi people would relate to this feeling, “You’re not enough for one or the other.” Now that I am older I realize that there’s no need to put my exact dot on any of the spectrum of this.
And how freeing is it to not feel pressure to put “your dot” on a spectrum?
I mean, it’s still a work in progress, but over time it gets easier and more freeing. It’s really nice to just think and accept, “I’m me.” And it’s pretty cool.
Sales Development Representative