Let me be clear: I am NOT a team player. Well, not naturally.
I mean, I can be if a need to be…but I’d almost always rather just do things myself.
So, if you hear my advice that you need to reach out to designers and create a network of contacts and you think, “Oh, I’d rather not…” I get you. I do.
But here’s why you’ve still got to do it.
First, you NEED designers for your spec ads. And believe me, I know—you’ve already started to figure out a way around that.
I get it: No one wants to reach out to strangers! It even makes extroverts uncomfortable.
But you need to gird your loins and be brave.
It’s essential to work with designers on your spec ads because, first, they have put your very best foot forward when it comes to both design AND copy. If they look poorly designed, they reflect poorly on you. Someone visiting your site will think you don’t know the difference between ads that look good and ads that…don’t.
Second, a big part of what your portfolio demonstrates is that you know how to collaborate with designers. And it’s even better if you can demonstrate that you can collaborate with multiple designers.
You can’t demonstrate that if you try to design your ads on your own.
Second, a network of designers is essential to help you get work!
When you pitch a client and that client says, “Super, but I also need a designer” it reflects very well on you to have designers to recommend.
But even more importantly, when your design contacts are pitching clients and those clients say, “Super, but I also need a copywriter,” who do you think they’ll refer? YOU. You can get work without having to do anything.
Remember, too, that when you’re building your network of designers, you’re looking to provide value for both of you. When it comes to spec ads, you’re not hiring designers, you’re looking for designers who also need to build their portfolios so you both get something out of it.
When you reach out to designers, there will be plenty who won’t be interested. But so what? That doesn’t reflect on you at all! Just keep moving on until you find designers who DO want to work with you.
You MUST build a network of designers.
I get that it’s uncomfortable. I get that it’s not something you really want to do. But it’s something that you have to do anyway. And it’s something that’s going to have a major, undeniable, and unparalleled positive effect on your career.
So, here’s your challenge: If you’re at the spec ad stage of building your portfolio, I want you to make a commitment to reach out to a certain number of designers by a certain date. I’ll let you choose both of those, but I want you to make the commitment.
Feeling brave? Tell me about how many designers you’ll reach out to and when in the comments below. You can do it. 🙂