Unless a client has said expressly that he or she doesn’t think your work is a good fit, I don’t see any harm in sharing a new piece in hopes of working with them in the future. I’ve booked jobs from a sample or promo card years after it was sent, so you never know when something will resonate with a client – and sometimes you have to be diligent and very patient.
Some clients may like a piece and file it for the right project where that style is a better fit. The trick is knowing when to keep on pursuing…and when to give it up.
The No. 1 factor in determining whether you should continue pursuing a client is understanding whether you’ll ever fit his or her mold. Sometimes, an artist and a potential client just don’t fit and never will.
Make sure to do your research on the company you’re submitting to and confirm that you’re a nice fit for that potential client’s unique aesthetics before you make your approach. Being a good fit and having appropriate samples to send – appropriate in style, subject, market age range, medium and other changeable factors – will avoid wasting the client’s time, and yours.
Just as importantly, it won’t require them to dig too deeply to see the correlation between your work and their product – and this can help you determine later whether or not you should continue chasing this client, if you don’t get a gig right away.
Avoid sending emails with attachments without asking permission first, as they’ll most likely go into spam filters. If that happens, you may not know if potential clients have actually seen your work – and whether you should bother sending more.
Once you’ve gotten permission to send files, make sure they’re low resolution and only send a few to show who you are as an artist. You could also ask permission to send a link to your work as well. It makes for a nice introduction.
Remember, clients receive many unsolicited emails. You can’t take it personally when someone doesn’t respond – and even this apparent slight doesn’t mean a client isn’t worth pursuing. I get emails daily from artists looking for representation, and although I want to answer everyone, it’s not always possible.
I do, however, look at every link that is sent to me…eventually.
A few mistakes to avoid: I wouldn’t continuously leave voice messages, boldly ask for work, or bombard anyone with emails or direct mail promos, especially if you haven’t made any prior connections with a potential client. Nobody wants that.
But sharing a new piece to stay fresh in someone’s mind – perhaps once a month, at least until they tell you to stop – is fine in my book. Remember, there’s a fine line between vigorously promoting your business and just being a pain in the neck.
Michael Thibeault is the founder Art Rep NYC, an agency representing the very best in illustration and motion graphics talent, both independently and also provide full illustration/motion graphics packages. Some clients: The New York Times, Williams Sonoma, WNET / Thirteen, Simon & Schuster, The Wall Street Journal, Proctor and Gamble, New York Magazine, Nickelodeon, Harper Collins, Penguin, Scholastic, Mattel, MAC cosmetics, Nylon Magazine and more. Art Rep NYC
Copyright Agency Access 2015. All Rights Reserved.