*Interested in learning more about how to be a freelance artist? Go sign up for my e-course Intro to Freelance to learn all about setting up a business like mine.
I get this question in my inbox often: Molly, how do you land jobs with your dream clients? There isn’t a straight answer to that question (anyone who claims that there is a secret equation is probably BS-ing you), but there are some tried and true practices that most professional freelancers use that prove some solid results. That being said, today I’m going to share 5 things that may help you snag your dream client…
1. Gain Traction
We all have to start at the beginning. As you build your solid portfolio, make sure you’re taking on lots of beginner-level freelance jobs that are in line with your big goal and offer up valuable experience.
2. Let Your Portfolio Speak For Itself
Your portfolio(s) should be crafted in a way that speaks directly to your target client. Want to specialize in children’s books? Ok. Make sure your portfolio is filled with artwork that speaks to that. Want to stand out even more? Create a cohesive portfolio that includes a section for children’s books and a section for children’s products. If you’re trying to gain work from three specific brands, make sure the work in your portfolio could fit nicely into the look and feel of those brands.
3. Make Friends
Yep. Sounds easy enough, right? Knowing the right people can possibly help you connect with your dream clients. The best way to make friends is to be nice and genuine – never demanding. Don’t send an email to an artist or creative you admire demanding information. Send an email to an artist or creative you admire and just let them know how their artwork has impacted you for the better. You’ll probably be surprised as to how many emails you’ll get back if you aren’t asking for anything in return. Another way to meet friends: attend workshops and conferences. I’ve taught hundreds of people through workshops and I’ve kept in contact with so many of my previous students. To this day, I’ll even get texts here and there from previous students (turned friends) asking in a pinch about how much they should charge a client. It’s helpful to have true friends who can also mentor you and connect you with the right clients.
4. Do Your Research
Have you ever sent a sample of your artwork to a random ‘hello’ contact within a company in hopes of getting work? I think we all have at some point and have sadly realized we won’t be hearing back anytime soon. Okay, so how do we know who to send our samples and portfolio to to get work from our dream client? Do your research. Finding good contacts isn’t easy, trust me, and takes a lot of cultivation within your professional network (see tip 3 above). Do your research through places like LinkedIn, Dribble, Working not Working, or other professional social platforms.
5. Stay On Top of Things
Okay, so I have to admit that I’m not always the best at staying on top of non-client emails (sorry in advance to anyone who received an email from me 6 months after reaching out) but I do my best to juggle everything. Make sure you do your best to stay on top of emails, follow ups, contest submissions, social networking, and updates on your portfolio. If you reach out to someone (me, even!), it will only help to send a nice follow up email if you haven’t heard back in a while. Did you send a sample to your dream contact a few weeks ago? Follow up with them and ask what they thought.
What did you think of these tips? Do you have any more that you have found to be helpful in your own work? Leave a comment below and let me know! Interested in learning more about how to be a freelance artist? Go sign up for my e-course Intro to Freelance to learn all about setting up a business like mine.
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