Monday, September 08, 2008

When your creative staff take vacation...who's your backup?

This is the time of year when the golf courses open, people make the trek up north to open the cottage, and employees everywhere start planning their summer vacations.
As a freelancer, this is not my favourite time of the year. It’s a limbo period. Like a skier in late November waiting for the first sign of snow, I am patiently waiting for the first (advertising agency) phone call wondering how quickly I can make myself available.

People take a vacation at some point during the summer. Usually taking an entire week off. As a freelancer, it can be a very busy and profitable time of the year. Having learned from years past, I try not to make any solid weekend plans in the summer that doesn’t involve my laptop because the telephone usually rings on a Thursday afternoon, with a CD asking me to come in to be briefed on Friday morning, so I can have concepts or layouts for Monday.
Why many agencies wait until the last minute before calling someone in I will never understand, but many times I have specialized in this last minute, weekend scenario.

This year I have decided that instead of sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring, I want to let the agencies and CDs know that I will be available when their staff are away in the months ahead. However, I haven’t pitched creative directors in a very long time. They have somehow always found me.

So here I sit, wracking my brains on how to proceed with this plan. The following are my thoughts on what I should do...

Send out an email blast.
Personally, I hate spam emails. The last thing I want to do is add one more to the mix. They probably won’t get opened anyway.

Mail a creative postcard.
It may work well. It could also simply get tossed into the Blue Box after I spend a few thousand dollars on it. Then there’s a month of work finding the addresses and proper names for the labels to go along with it.

Make cold calls.
My least favourite way, yet probably the most effective. It’s so much fun spending hours talking to voice mail.

Place an ad in an industry magazine.
It will cost as much as the postcard, maybe more, but will reach the masses quickly.

Shamelessly paste my website/portfolio link at the end of this blog post.

It's a start.
See you this summer.

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