Saturday, March 16, 2013

Brief Tips & Tricks in Art Licensing

Art submissions to manufacturers can take up a lot of time depending on how they are done and what the company's guidelines are, if any. After submitting, days or weeks go by and you may hear nothing back. What I do are follow-ups after a couple of weeks or even a month. I ask the contacts I submitted to about my art or I submit new work. Sometimes you get a nice "yes" back and sometimes a nice "no" back and that's all good info to have. Most companies are very nice about letting you know what they want. It's part of building the relationship to find out what is best for follow-up with that company and it's important to respect their perspective on this matter.

I also asked several professional artists and consultants about their follow-up routines with companies they submit art to for licensing. Their answers varied on the approach they take. Some said they don't do much follow up, some say they do it within 4-6 weeks from the first submission.

I am publishing a couple of tips from others in this field that I thought are very helpful. It's always best that each individual artist figures out a routine that suits them and their style of work as well as fits their client's preferences.

Artist Sue Zipkin -

"There is a fine line between being aggressive (in a good way) and being a pesky kind of an artist. Manufacturers really respect an artist who is persistent but also mindful of not overstepping their boundaries."

Consultant Maria Brophy -
  • 3-5 business days follow up after first submission;
  • Definitely continue to follow up, never stop until you get the account;
  • All of the above: do a 3 tiered follow up. First, send an email. A week later, make a phone call. A week later, send a postcard of your best work with a handwritten note. Then follow up again a couple weeks later if you don't hear back. If still nothing or if you get turned down, continue to follow up every 6-12 months until eternity or they sign on with you, whichever comes fist!
Often, we will be turned down for Drew Brophy art, but we never give up. There have been some licensing deals that took 6 years to get. We continue to keep in touch with a company so that when they are ready for what we offer, they will be reminded that we are still around and interested in working with them.

No never means no, it usually just means "no for now".


Carolyn said...

Great post. Follow up is the number one way to make sales.

Maria's advice is priceless!

AndreaBrooks said...

Thanks for all you great posts. I like this one especially because it is great information A reminder for those of us who have been in the business of the importance of persistence. Thanks Sue for defining the difference between nagging and professional fortitude and consistency.
And definitely very important advice for newcomers.
Took me a long time to do this comfortably and even now there are times when I try to avoid the follow thru.
But absolutely true and necessary.

Love the part about No, doesn't mean no forever........
Thanks again