October 10, 2013

Printed Promos - Dos and Don'ts

It is unnecessary to spend a lot of money on showcasing your art to individual clients or reps. In my time working here, we're received art printed on necklaces, giant posters, dozens of high quality prints, and other miscellaneous promos. Our first thought is always: I'm so sorry that they had to spend so much money! 

Send an email first! We look through every single submission we get. The problem is, we just don't have to time to get back to each one. If you would like an answer, send a followup email. But DON'T be persistent to the point of obnoxious when looking for new clients. Chances are, if they don't get back to you within 2 emails, it's best to move on and try again when you have added a significant amount of new work to your portfolio. 

But of course, printed promos can also be something you want to do. Here are a few tips to keep it simple and affordable: 

- A simple, well designed postcard is enough to entice curiosity. Make sure you have your website prominently displayed so it's easy to go find you online. 

- The point of any printed promo is to drive them to your website. Make sure you have one! Nowadays, it's very easy to make a website for very little cost (Weebly, 1and1, Behance Prosite, etc). Using a blog or a profile on a large portfolio website can seem unprofessional and confusing. 

- Save the pricy promos for clients you already know. It's just as important to maintain relationships as it is to make new ones. Once you have started a conversation with the client or rep, than ask if they would like a copy of your new book or that cool new poster you printed up. That way, your package doesn't end up lost in space. 


  1. Hello,

    I am a mixed media Illustrator, but do not have a personal website of yet as I do not have the experience or the money to design a personal web space, even the simplest of codes intimidates me. I do have portfolios up on gallery sites like deviantart and facebook and tumblr, but I don't feel these look very professional. I have the majority of my work already up there though, including many pieces I no longer physically own or have lost the original files to. Is it okay to send you any of these links/use these links in a promo card? I really would like some helpful advice as to what I could do to network better. Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Danielle,

      That is a good question. I will say that including links to numerous non-portfolio or amateur portfolio sites on a printed promo is not the best way to go. Facebook, deviantart, and tumblr don't scream "working pro".

      There are a number of free and affordable web services you can use to create a website:
      - www.weebly.com is a free service and a very simple way to create a site. NO CODING knowledge needed. The domain will be yourname.weebly.com but for an extra $50 a year, you can purchase a personal domain.
      - www.squarespace.com/ is another great and affordable services. For $8 - $24 a month, you get a website builder (no coding knowledge needed) and a free domain.
      - http://prosite.com/ is a website service offered by Behance. For $99 a year, you can design a very elegant portfolio website. No coding knowledge required.

      These are only a few of the services offered online.

      Hope this helps!