Be selective with projects and be selective with clients. The pitch has been made though a previous meeting. The potential client’s contact information was received. Now what? Continue the momentum through prompt follow up!
- Send an email to the contact within two days. The email should include the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. Use this example:
“Hello Ms. Jones,
We meet (where?) at Book Expo America (when?) two days ago. I was (who?) the somewhat funny illustrator. Your (what?) book about fairies sounds exciting. (why?) We can create a profitable story using both our talents. (how?) My contact information is listed below.
Our meeting was brief. Did you have any additional questions?
- Follow up one week later with an email that reminds the contact of your first email and ends with, “please kindly respond upon receipt.” They will feel obligated to respond or end the discussion.
- FAQ’s Section Reduce email time by creating daft emails with answers to frequently asked questions.
- Give correct information. If the information isn’t readily available, don’t make something up. Kindly respond, “Great question! I will research this topic and get back with you shortly.” This builds credibility and doesn’t cause frustration.
- Be a good listener. Observation is key. Ask personal questions using this simple F-O-R-M! F: What is your Family like? O: What is your current Occupation? R: What do you do for Recreation? M: What do you do for Money.? Here are examples:
- Mr. Smith do you come from a large family? I bet the Smith children love to read your stories!
- I bet you use your talent in your occupation. What does your employer think of your writing?
- I run for fun. What would Mr. Smith do for recreation? I noticed you like sports Mr. Smith, do you play?
- I bet working for your company is financially rewarding. If money were not an issue, what are 5 things you’d do for free Mr. Smith?
- Determine a deadline on the third email. Determine when a client wants to release their book. If the project is six months from starting, kindly email the client once every other month. Keep the enthusiasm you’ve created in the first email. Offer your windows of illustration opportunities. If a project is not of interest, give clients a referral to a trusted illustrator.
- Be in control of time. Don’t chase a contact! If there has been no communication, file the contact as tentative. There are hundreds of other authors willing to make illustrating easy.
Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines, Graphic Artist Guild