1/9/2023 0 Comments
How I Went from 0 Clients to a Fully Booked for a Year (most of which are return clients)
Starting out, I had some knowledge in art and illustration, but children’s books were something completely new to me. It’s a different animal than any other art form and you need to learn the basics and fundamentals of the niche. I was living on my sister's couch at the time, broke and anxious about my future. I wanted to make illustration my full time career and I did not want to "get a real job" to pay the bills
So how exactly did I go from 0 clients to fully booked for a year?
I basically just repeated that over and over again, continuing to learn new skills in illustrations, continuing to bring more value to my clients and continuing to update my portfolio with each new book published. The more books I have illustrated the more my illustrations get seen and the more clients come to me. It’s like a snowball effect.
I have done 2 more books for my first client Tiarra and 2 more books for Jessica in the years following. When you have a few clients who keeps coming back and you have new clients that come to you from word of mouth your bookings will quickly start filling up.
Don’t expect immediate, overnight success. It took me 3 years to be fully booked for a year in advance. It started out with getting clients month to month, then having 2 clients booked ahead of time then 6 months. The main thing to remember is to do your very best now. Treat your clients like they are paying you 1 million dollars for your illustration work and they will come back. Most of my bookings are from clients who have worked with me in the past. Do your absolute best to deliver your best work possible and to give your clients a good experience, remember that they put their trust in you to make their book come to life. This is a very exciting time for them and you are a big part of their experience. If you make it a good one, they will come back to you when they want their next book illustrated.
How to keep clients coming back to you:
Other tips for illustrators:
Where to from here?
I have been so blessed for getting to work with amazing clients and I am so grateful for being booked up for over a year and having a waiting list for 2024 that I want to share in my success. I want to help other illustrators and children's book freelancers find and build a long term client base so that they can ultimately be successful in their own careers and be full time freelancers. I am launching my Children's Book Freelancer directory, Caterpillar Collective at the end of January to showcase other illustrators, editors, graphic designers, coaches, animators, formatters, etc. and help them find clients. If you are a children's book freelancer or author looking to hire a freelancer consider joining the launch team. Sign up here:
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