Notes taken from a lecture by Leon van Rooi
While making a change in my career it has to be said that I started to ponder over the reasons of why success has been so elusive. I wouldn’t say it has eluded me but it is a fact that the illustration industry is straining under the pressures of recession and technological changes. Hence the reason I have chosen to update my knowledge and get these pictures of mine moving.
But how can I get more work, find work, keep clients and keep the ball rolling? And especially in my newly chosen career.
I’m not oblivious to the word networking, I phone potential clients and email them, plus keep a news letter, dabble with social media and my website is up to date. But there must be something more I can do because, till now it hasn’t gotten me where I want to be.
One thing that I do know is that your network is vital, it is the life line to your success. The majority of work comes via via and not just out of the blue, (unless you are well known and have an established reputation within the industry; although this comes from hard work and a good network).
Networking: a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.
Networking is an active word. It is something you have to work hard at. All the time. A bit like eating healthily. To some it comes naturally, to others, not quite. For those of us for whom it is a little more difficult, there are some guide lines that we can follow.
Bellow are some points I took from a lecture given by Leon van Rooi (Networking guru) which if we try and follow should keep our creative heads above water.
It’s all very well having a Facebook page and telling the world what you ate for lunch, but you can do a lot better.
- Keep a blog and tell the world about your work and what you are working on. Then link it to all of your other social media accounts (WordPress is great for this).
- Keep a news letter and send it to everyone you know and link it to all of your social media accounts (mail-chimp makes it professional and gives people the opportunity to unsubscribe)
- Look for others like you online. Be interested in others, make polite comments and suggestions and become online friends.
- Make contact, ask questions and share information. If you are a fan there is always a way to get in contact with that person. Try it, they don’t tend to mind and actually like the attention.
If you can get an agent some of your problems will be solved. It wont mean that you will never have to network again, but you will have someone to look after you when it comes to your paper work and money issues, with clients that they arrange.
If you want an agent make sure that you are unique, there is something recogniisable in your work and sell yourself…. Network! and let them know that they need you.
Workspace and Network Events
If you are a freelancer, get outside and find a workspace to share with others, or in a building where you can a least meet others. This will allow you to interact and tell others what you are up to and what your hopes and dreams are. You may even find someone who is like minded and help you make your dreams come true.
There are some places where several companies share the same space and when needed they can join forces and take on a larger project together.
If you are a bit of a loner though, don’t fret. Just make sure that there are times when you get outside and make contact with like minded peeps. This can be at networking events, but make sure it is one which has the potential clients you are looking for.
Showcasing your work
Never make your art for money – go for exposure! David Wilson, Animator/Director/Film maker.
The creative industry is a tricky one for those of us who wish to make a career out of our passions. Reason being is that we want to make beautiful things that satisfie our personal needs. And if we do not reach this satisfaction, frustrations takes over and no one is happy with the final result.
It is also true in that money needs to be made to pay the bills. So is there is a way to achieve both creative satisfaction and a few pennies to pay the bills?
It is possible. Although you need patience and to be willing to invest a lots of time and your own money.
If you want work which exploits your own personal interests, styles and techniques you must create a portfolio which screams out that you are the best in this area of creative expertise; and then use it as bait. And this bait should be used to lure in those clients who are willing to pay you for what you love and are so good at.
And when I say use it as bait, I mean go to that fishing hole and hold it in front of those clients you wish to work for!
DVEIN is a spanish company who did just that with a short video clip:
DVEIN took it to Adobe and basically told them they wanted to make something for them. And they got the job.
DVEIN had no budget but talent and a network to make the clip possible. All of those who participated in the clip also got to reap the rewards of eventually working with Adobe.
Your portfolio is your business card to those jobs you wish to have. If you don’t have the portfolio, make it. And then pluck up your courage and tell who ever it is that they need you!
We often see our colleges as negative competition. We shouldn’t. There are very few creatives who make the same sort of things as each other anyway and there clientele want them for what they do, the same as your’s want you for what you do.
Instead they are your network. And this network can help you get you to places that you couldn’t get to alone. They may know people you could work with in collaboration and/or they may know of someone you are looking for.
Talk to each other, tell each other your dreams, passions and goals and who knows who could help you.
It may seem trivial but being nice is something which everyone can appreciate. If your client likes you they will want to keep working with you.
Be nice, be friendly, work hard and you will get what you deserve! David Wilsons father.
Talk to people you meet and tell them what you do and what your goals are. Do this everywhere you go, not just networking events. Be interested in others and ask questions, listen and remember what they say.
Remembering small detail could get you that job, even if it is about a cat that had to go to the vet.
And keep moving! go to places and talk to people and eventually you will get the ball.
The tips are simple, keep moving, keep talking. It is something you have to do all the time, make it part of your life style and learn to enjoy it.
- Don’t work, just follow your passions; You wont get rich straight away but you will find satisfaction and happiness.
- Talk to each other, tell each other your dreams, passions and goals, and who knows who could help you.
- Get in contact with people, be it online or in real life. Meet up and talk.
- Talk to everyone about yourself, passions, dreams and goals.
- Use your network and get to know the people around you.
- Go to studios.
- Follow your passions.
- Ask questions
- And keep moving.
If you have questions and want to get the information from other professionals or those that you are interested in, just tell them you are writing a book. it always works! Even Opera does it. Leon van Rooi