I just finished sending out about 250 new direct mail pieces at the end of last week, part two of my current campaign which includes a set of three cards each in a very cool folder. Each card contains one large image on one side, the other side containing all of my contact information and the URL of my website boldly printed. This series of cards included a food image, an editorial portrait of a well-known Hawaii chef and a lifestyle image from an award winning advertising campaign we did last year. The first phone call I get this morning is from a client saying that she "had to have" the food shot for use in a national advertising campaign in one of the prominent travel magazines. I won't divulge either the client or the magazine at this point as we are still negotiating the use license.
I will say that some form of marketing I consider to be essential in keeping your name and your best work in front of art buyers on a regular basis. Competition for assignments, both advertising and editorial, is stiff with new competitors entering the marketplace every month. Art buyers have notoriously short memories. Turnover in the advertising agencies and art departments is pretty regular and it takes a concerted effort to build and keep relationships with these client. Direct mail offers me a chance to regularly put my best new work in front of them, if even for a few moments. It provides me the opportunity to remind them of my existence and alert them to any new awards of other information on my work that may be of interest.
This year my marketing goal is to get out one direct mail piece every three months. This will be followed up by a brief phone call with an inquiry as to whether they received the piece and whether there may be any potential projects on the horizon that may be suitable for my work. I concentrate these mailings on clients and potential clients in Honolulu and the mainland (advertising agencies, publication art departments, public relations firms). There are a handful of local island clients that I do include in these mailings, but I have found that almost all of the major resort advertising is handled by agencies outside the island of Maui.