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Artists, This ONE Mistake Will Ruin Your Career Before it Starts

January 13, 2023

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So you’re scoring those clients. What happens if you reach out to someone whos unable to hire you or they have to indefinitely suspend business with you due to unfortunate circumstances like loss of job, illness, etc? How you present yourself during these matters can make or break your career. People talk.

I’ve had this problem with 2 artists who reached out. I don’t want to just put them on blast, more or less educate them that this method will actually do more harm than good.

Backstory

Someone reached out wanting to know if I am hiring. I wanted to improve my YT banner. I told them I needed to save up and I will come back after I’d saved up the money. Only for them to come back after like a day and ask again. I wanted to be nice so I said yeah whatever. I thought I could have them long-term. Sadly, my blog earnings took a hit.

i told them every time they messaged that my budget got tight and I don’t have the money at the moment. A lot of back and forth. Recently they asked about thumbnails. I said money is tight right now and they proceeded to say it was not expensive. I then proceed to say that I don’t get a lot of money. That my blog earnings took a hit and it caused me to struggle as a result.

Then they proceed to still insist I commission by saying it’s not expensive and I don’t have to pay the full amount. Half upon request and the other half when they’re done. I STILL would not be able to afford it. If I am down to 400 bucks after my phone bill, the bill for heating, and business expenses. And 4 thumbnails will be 400 bucks. 100 per thumbnail, that’s ALL OF my money. I’m broke for the rest of the month. Due to my earnings dipping on my crypto blogs, I can’t make that back. At least not as quickly that is.

Small creators want to hire you, but they don’t have the funds to do so and want you to be paid a living wage. Which is why some may need to save for the project(s) they believe they’re hiring you for.

Before originally when they messaged, I said I needed to save up and that I will be back when I have the money saved, and they were back a day later asking me if I was interested in getting a banner/thumbnail. IIRC it was 1-3 days later.

Rookie mistake, clients don’t want to feel like they’re being pressured

If a client, especially if it’s a small creator, needs to save up so they can commission you, let them save. You have to think like a small creator when dealing with one. Us small creators don’t have budgets like larger ones. Unlike a large creator who can commission you right away, we small guys need to save and it will take a while depending on your prices. Maybe a large creator will have the money in days ( eg Adsense pays on the 22nd of each month, sponsor just paid them, sales from their store coming in etc) vs us small creators who more than likely have to save from a full-time job (you still need to factor in we have bills, rent, utilities, etc) and the small amount they already get from YT (if they pull in affiliate sales) it depends on how small they are. I barely have 1K followers,

First mistake, just messaging random creators

There is a slim chance a small creator will have the funds to hire you. You gotta keep these things in mind. Reach out to someone with a bigger following. Preferably a YouTuber that’s monetized and say, for example, they can split their revenue with you, or for Twitch you get a cut of their tips. You both will have to work that out since AdSense pays monthly. I think on the 22nd of each month. When messaging tiny creators be prepared to hear “I need to save up. I will come back when I can afford this.” “I can’t afford it atm however when my platforms grow then I can.” or something like that.

Please, PLEASE don’t keep asking if they are interested every week or every few months. They will come back when they grow, get lucky and a tiktok or whatever blows up that grows their following or whatever. If the person feels like they’re being hassled, more than likely they will block you and you don’t want that. If a client is unable to afford to hire you don’t insist they hire you by saying it’s not expensive without knowing their situation. You’re not talking to Mr. Beast.

I just covered the second mistake

Don’t insist the person hire you. Just like this person insists I commission after being told my earnings dipped and I’m struggling as a result. We already feel bad we don’t have the money to pay you please don’t do this. No one wants to feel like they have to reveal private matters for you to listen because “money is tight right now” or “it’s not in my budget” isn’t enough for some reason.

We shouldn’t have to feel pressured to spend money we don’t have. Even with installments, If it’s 400 for 4 thumbnails and I pay 50 a week, I won’t be able to make it back before the next bill is due.

if this blog was big enough then by all means, I can hire someone and split the ad revenue. Adsense pays on the 22nd. Around that time I could schedule for you to check back in to start making the thumbnail or whatever. That’s not the case. it’s not personal. I think they thought it was and I was just lying to get out of it or something. I don’t know.

Maybe the person’s reason for struggling is a personal matter they don’t want to share which is why they keep it vague and say “money is tight” or “it’s no longer in my budget atm.”

Do this instead

Have you heard about Linkden? You can optimize it for seeking work as a graphic artist. There is a subreddit where you can post that you are an artist for hire and what you do. Make reels on Ig, Youtube shorts, TikTok, etc about your services.

There are places like Freelancer. Respond to the bids you believe you can do. You may not like that too much. It will help you build your experience and credibility. Nowadays, due to so many scams, people are more cautious as to who they work with, Just approaching me with a message that looks like a copy-paste, I’ll think its a bot or something and delete your message vs

Hello (creators name) I make YouTube/Twitch graphics. Are you hiring a graphic artist right now? Here is my portfolio. Or something like that.

Just like you submit a resume/cover letter applying for a job. Pretend the creator is the employer and you have to stand out from the crowd. You’re not gonna stand out with copy-paste messages. All the messages I’ve been getting look too similar. Those people don’t stand out vs someone who lays out what they do, shows me examples or reviews from previous clients, etc

You are going to face times when someone doesn’t have the means to commission you. It’s nothing personal. If they need to save up, give them space. If they have to indefinitely suspend business due to unfortunate circumstances, give them space. I’m pretty sure they didn’t see it coming. Heck, I didn’t know my earrings would drop. I didn’t know we had to quickly replace the furnace and I had to give my grandma 125 bucks for it. Things happen.

The best you can do is keep promoting your website or other means for people to reach out to you.

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