Marketing, at least for illustrators like me, is one of the most unpopular aspects for persuading illustrators to make an impact in the profession. However, it is also the most vital skills illustrators need to learn to build successful careers. In addition to honing their artistic skills, illustrators in marketing need to know their image and how will it appeal to people in general. This is where knowing your audience comes into play. There is a lot to cover for this topic, so for the sake of time, allow me to highlight some key advice about knowing your target audience.
For starters, you should start by creating a marketing strategy that focuses on appealing to your target market that you can be certain that employers will hire you based on your credentials. In short, look for clients that can get your name on the map. Knowing who they are will be much easier to focus your motives to a selective group as your audience. Afterwards, focus on polishing your portfolio to a professional extent, along with a list of your clients’ contact information to set up meetings for them to view your work. Think of this as a regular employment procedure, if your clients like you enough, your will be working with valuable names that will give your career a jump start towards success.
Another idea is making sure you have materials (both online and offline) for people to look up information about you. For offline purpose, business cards are a must, especially when given to yours clients. They can relay the contact information to employers and they in turn will contact you for their interest. For online purposes, making a website and a logo with your name is necessary for building social status and presence. Websites like WordPress, which offers free memberships, can really help showcase your portfolio work and allow you to write blogs for your clients to get an understanding about your public image.
Protecting your work is another necessity. While you build connections with clients with examples of visual art, there is also a chance where people may try to steal your work and claim it as their own. Do NOT allow this to happen to you! Get your work copyrighted and shield it from foreign claims. Think of your work as your own children, if you can relate to that, you can save them by getting legal rights to protect them.
Finally and most importantly is to aim for better performance. No client will ever recommend an artist if their work does not meet their expectations. You can either look for another client that make take interest or work to improve your skill that can appeal to them more effectively. Take it from me, the latter option is better. There is always room for practice and growth so make sure you know that you can put on the best visual artwork you can make!