Question: I’ve been working hard to reach new clients as an Illustrator. Every time I’m approached for a commission the moment I give a price they disappear, and when I send a cold email to a company that sparks my interest, I never get a response. Is there a trick that would help bring in more clients?
If you’re not getting responses back after sending your prices, you may want to consider lowering them. When I first started trying to reach new clients I priced my services incredibly low, just as a way to get my foot in the door — and it worked well. I even worked with a business for free for 6 months just due to how much clout they had, and knowing that it could potentially lead to paid work in the future — and it did! In fact most of the clients I gained with my low prices are still my clients today, even though I now charge about 3xs as much. We’re often told that we MUST stand firm on our prices to prove our value but I think you have to work up to that point.
If you know of a brand you want to work with, find them on social media and check to see if they have an email provided that has someone’s name included, not an info@ email. If they have a contact then pitch them via email with an introduction to your brand. If it’s a brand you really want to work with, I generally won’t provide a rate card unless they ask for it. I try to prove myself before asking for payment, especially if I am reaching out to them.
If I can’t get the email off social media, then I try DMing them first to see if they will provide me with one. If that doesn’t work, I go to their brand on LinkedIn and try to find a name of someone in the PR or marketing department. This way when I email the Info@ I can address it to an actual person.
We believe in co-branding which means finding other brands/businesses that we can partner up with (preferably those who are non-compete). By doing so you gain you a new pool of audience to connect with. It’s easier to warm pitch than to cold pitch.
You also want to think about giving away some sort of free info (lead magnet) that will be useful when trying to reach new clients. This also shows them you’re an expert in what you do. People always love free. The other thing to think about when it comes to consistent revenue for your business is maybe having some sort of package/subscription option for clients where there’s say a minimum of X months buy-in for a promise of X number of illustrations/services.
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