10 Rules of Effective Self-Promotion « Escape From Illustration Island – Illustration Resources and Community

10 Rules of Effective Self-Promotion « Escape From Illustration Isla... http://escapefromillustrationisland.com/2010/01/19/10-rules-of-effec... Skip to content Home Podcast Books & Audio Articles Tutorials Resource Library About Community Contact EFII Network 10 Rules of Effective Self-Promotion (Illustration by Frank Hansen) One of your most important tasks as a Freelance Illustrator is to put your work in front of the right people, make them remember you, and make them feel compelled to h

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  HomePodcastBooks & AudioArticlesTutorialsResource LibraryAboutCommunityContactEFII Network Skip to content 10 Rules of Effective Self-Promotion ( Illustration by Frank Hansen ) One of your most important tasks as a Freelance Illustrator is to put your work in front of the right people, make them remember you, and make them feel compelled to hire you for their nextproject. As many of you know from experience, this is a full-time job in itself, and many artists are uncomfortable with the very idea of self-promotion or simply don’t know where to begin.Others would rather spend their time doing nothing but creating art. The fact is, without promotion, there’s no work to keep your business afloat.While there are as many ways to approach the art of promotion as there are artists, there are definitely some key elements behind an effective marketing strategy. Here are some basic rules to follow to get the most out of your promotional efforts:1. Be Unique In order to get Art Directors, Art Reps, and anybody else to notice and remember you, there has to be something about your work, your brand, or your marketing strategy that theyhaven’t seen before. The most common way to achieve this is with your portfolio, your website, or your promo mailers. Try and think outside the box to find other ways to stand out. 2. Be Relevant If you’re aiming for a specific market, make sure you’re promoting yourself to the people who work in that field and only show work that they can relate to or see themselves needing inthe future. 3. Be Consistent Try to give Art Directors a good idea of what they can expect to get if they hire you for their next book, t-shirt, or album cover project by showing a consistent style or method of working. 4. Stay Fresh Being consistent doesn’t mean you have to bore your potential clients, or yourself, with the same type of work day in and day out. Show your target audience that your Illustrationscan be dynamic and exciting. Try to be inspired and to inspire others. That is, after all, one of the things that makes you an artist. 5. Use Social Proof  Testimonials and a solid client history can help to convince Art Directors and Agents that your work is desirable by others and can help to sell their product or service. The power of “social proof” should not be underestimated. 6. Make Connections Seek out and introduce yourself to the artists and Art Directors in your target market. Build real relationships with people and become a part of the community. 7. Stay on the Radar  10 Rules of Effective Self-Promotion « Escape From Illustration Isla...http://escapefromillustrationisland.com/2010/01/19/10-rules-of-effec...1 of 810/23/2011 2:27 AM  Share this:20 15 Arr! Don’t make the common mistake of sending out one promotional mailer or email and then sit back and wait until somebody contacts you. Keep your marketing efforts on a regular schedule in order to stay on people’s minds and show them that you’re constantly creating new work and growing as an artist. 8. Don’t Overdo It Never harass an Art Director or send updates too frequently. This will only serve to annoy them and cause them to remember you for the wrong reasons. 9. Make a Splash Try to do something exciting to grab the attention of your potential clients, such a showing your work in a public space, creating unique and memorable promo mailers, or publicizinginterviews or features of your work. If you’re going to contact a potential client, it’s nice to have something to tell them about. 10. Create Personal Work One of the best ways to express your true artistic voice, as well as stay fresh, is to create your own personal artwork. This has the advantage of allowing you the freedom to let your style, passion, and vision speak for itself.If you follow these guidelines with your future self-promotion, you will have a much better chance of being noticed and remembered amongst a growing sea of Illustrators who are fighting for the attention of the same Art Directors and Art Reps as yourself.Promotion doesn’t have to be painful. In fact, it can be one of the more creative aspects of your business if you try to see it as another opportunity to express your true artistic voice. What’s your experience? Please share your thoughts in the comments section of this post. Related Posts: Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s Market7 Elements of an Effective Portfolio WebsiteHow to Be Attractive to an Art RepWould You Hire You for an Illustration Project? Stay up to date with more Illustration resources from EFII via email and social networks: ← 68 Useful and Inspiring Illustration ResourcesPodcast Episode 18 – Gary Taxali → 14 Commentsleave one → Melanie Matthews permalinkJanuary 19, 2010 8:31 PMThe whole promotion, marketing and making contacts part of the freelancing illustrator’s life terrifies me a bit, I’m not a social butterfly by any means. I’ll be referring back to theserules when I do start doing some major promotion though.I also wanted to say that the illo for this article is awesome!Reply1. 10 Rules of Effective Self-Promotion « Escape From Illustration Isla...http://escapefromillustrationisland.com/2010/01/19/10-rules-of-effec...2 of 810/23/2011 2:27 AM  Thomas James permalink* January 19, 2010 9:33 PMThanks for commenting, Melanie. It sometimes seems unfair that we have to spend so much time looking for new work, but I think the positives greatly outweigh the negatives.Also, if you can try to make promotion a creative experience, then it is another chance to be expressive.ReplyNate permalinkJanuary 20, 2010 8:10 AMGood rule of thumb. Definitely counterintuitive for artists to perpetually try to be social in some way , but at the same time we want our work to be noticed. Maybe the best way is tothink of one’s artwork as good friend that you’re promoting, if that helps us get over typical intoversion. (introvertedness?)I’m personally getting psyched about getting creative with my promo materials. However I’ve read Marshall Arisman warn that one shouldn’t get too “gimmicky” and avoid having thepromo distract from the work you are promoting. He reccomends a book(let) of a personal sincere series of illustrations. He suggests as an example sending a well-made bookletwhich he says would be substanstial enough to avoid getting tossed but straightforward enough to showcase the work.ReplyThomas James permalink* January 20, 2010 8:49 AMGreat points, Nate. I think I’ve read those comments from Arisman before, and it deserves going into greater detail in the future. If you come up with some creative promoideas, I’d love to see them or hear about them.ThomasReply2.Ginger Nielson permalinkJanuary 20, 2010 11:44 AMI value these tips and will add one more. Perfect your “elevator speech.” The elevator speech is an intro you create that tells about yourself in 30 seconds or less. It should inviteinterest in you and your work. The “speech” does not have to be given in an elevator, but should be short enough to deliver if you were caught for a few moments with an Art Editor or Publisher with whom you wanted to connect. Mine goes something like this:“Hi there, I’m Ginger Nielson. I create illustrations that are perfect for picture books and beyond. There is a dragon in my basement and a magic wand on my desk. Here is my card,please visit my website to see my current work.”(Actually that one is only 23 seconds so I have room for a smile or two.)You may have one or two of these short speeches ready depending upon whom you wish to encourage to see more of your work.ReplyThomas James permalink* January 20, 2010 1:17 PMThanks Ginger. That’s a great point. It’s a good idea to be able to get your message across quickly and in a memorable way.Reply3. 10 Rules of Effective Self-Promotion « Escape From Illustration Isla...http://escapefromillustrationisland.com/2010/01/19/10-rules-of-effec...3 of 810/23/2011 2:27 AM  Frans KusumapermalinkFebruary 16, 2010 1:12 PMAwesome information! Concise and straight to the point. This is too something that I quite struggle with. Self promoting is quite daunting; but, it will get easier overtime. We live in avery fortunate time where everything is at your fingertip because of internet.ReplyMax Scratchmann permalinkMay 18, 2010 5:33 AMHi Frans, it doesn’t pay to get too comfortable using the internet as there is still no substitute for face to face meetings and physical mailings. MaxReply4.M.J.C. permalinkJuly 9, 2010 1:28 AMMy big problem of all these points is that i’m not consistend and have a various style.People who know my work recognize my style (they say) because it’s detailled and i use the same kind of colors.But for somebody new, like an artdirector it can be confusing…- I make cute children illustrations, happy, soft, funny.- I make feminin, elegant, classy illustrations.- And i make freaky disturbed, “dark” illustrations.I don’t think that one is better than the other so it’s hard to focus on one. I also don’t want to focus on one style but let it grow over time. I’m thinking about splitting my portfolio insections.What do you think?ReplyThomas James permalink* July 9, 2010 9:01 AMI definitely think that some artists can be successful in multiple styles. Here’s an article about segmenting your portfolio:http://escapefromillustrationisland.com/2010/05/03/fine-tuning-your-portfolio-part-3-segmenting/Also, Christoph Niemann talks about his approach to working outside the bounds of style in Episode 38 of the Escape from Illustration Island Podcast –htt   p://escapefromillustrationisland.com/2010/06/07/podcast-episode-38-christoph-niemann/Hope this helps.ThomasReply5.Mike Nation    permalinkFebruary 14, 2011 7:52 AMHello,6. 10 Rules of Effective Self-Promotion « Escape From Illustration Isla...http://escapefromillustrationisland.com/2010/01/19/10-rules-of-effec...4 of 810/23/2011 2:27 AM
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