LYFT + BUSINESS CARDS
Hello from Brooklyn!
It’s been an interesting month. Two weeks ago I received an email from the creative director at Lyft (the US based car share company that rivals Uber) asking me to produce an illustration for them. This was great as I’ve been looking to work with more professions; I called back straight away.
My first question was, “How did you hear about me?” I was expecting it to be Instagram or via the recent update of Morpholio Trace (as I had just done a round of advertising for them). The answer was not what I had been expecting.
It was … “Pinterest.”
The reason for my surprise is that I’ve never used that social media platform and thought none of my work was on it!
Marketing / advertising is something I'm not a natural at, and I take a 'blunt force trauma' kinda approach to it, flailing around until it seems to work. Over the last few years, though, I've started to get the hang of it. I had always assumed ‘direct’ marketing would be the way to grow my business. You know, the method of knocking on doors and presenting, or giving lectures and demos. During the first year working for myself I spent two weeks every month on the streets doing this. Some by myself, some with Apple, and some via teaching.
I got work but, boy, it was hard and I’ve not done any direct marketing at all over the last year. Instead I’ve tried to be more relaxed about it all, more often than not just asking clients if there is someone they think will like my work, and if so could they introduce me?
Often those follow-ups appear to go nowhere but I’m finding that people are now contacting me one or two years after I first spoke to them.
How do they remember me? They don’t use Pinterest, they use my business cards. Yeah, me too. Business cards! It seems the more organized amongst us keep cards and make notes on them as to who and what the person does. My card collection looks more like an explosion in a snow factory than an organized data pile. Still, you live, you learn.
Mine were nothing special except I printed a picture on the back (so they remember what I do) and put them on thick card. When I started out I was told to do this. I didn’t see the point, but I did as told, and it is proving to be some of the best advice I’ve had so far. I’ve got most work from these three simple rules:
1. Make sure your cards look good (and will last two years in a sock drawer).
2. Go anywhere, anytime if someone wants to talk. (Where? That’s only 7 hours away, perfect!)
3. Be super duper polite and nice, nothing is too much trouble first time out. (This is tough; I’m not yet at a point I can say no to assholes, more's the pity.)
At the start I spent a lot of time on social media, blogging and keeping my website up to date. So far (as much as I can tell) I’ve only got one commission from this approach: Lyft, who found me on a platform I don’t use. Instagram followers and likes are great but they haven't brought in any work yet.
Anyway back to Lyft. Their approach was clear, direct and detailed. In other words, the prefect client. They were looking for an artist to illustrate their new approach to working with drivers. They didn't have a design, which meant I had to design the space as well as illustrate it. A lot more work / A lot more fun. Next email I will go though how I made it in 6 days; until then this was the image produced:
Here is the Medium post (which has since been published on over 100 sites from the Financial Times. All from Pinterest!)
Thanks everyone, more detail on the design, the 3d modeling and image soon!