Shameless Promotion 101

Shawn Blanc wrote an excellent article regarding marketing etiquette for app developers that really struck me. It’s a must read, even if you don’t develop software.

The crux of what I got out of Shawn’s blog post is this:

Take the time to familiarize yourself with the person and their work before contacting them.

I can’t emphasize this point enough. Within the last two days, I have received no less than 5 marketing e-mails that were blatantly copied and pasted. These e-mails dive right into what they are promoting, without giving any ounce of consideration to the fact that I may not care at all. (Think annoying door-to-door salesperson.)

If you want to get my attention about a comics project or service (particularly if you are promoting something), please do the following:

  1. Familiarize yourself with my work. Let me know that you have at least read my work in your e-mail. Otherwise I think you’re a marketing droid. It’s okay to be specific – in fact, it’s the hallmark of sincerity. You can also interact with me on Twitter. Better yet, buy something from me. Then you’ll really get my attention. :)
  2. Customize your e-mails. I hate receiving generic e-mails that look as if they were copied and pasted and mailed to half a dozen other creators first.
  3. Be positive and confident. The shy, self-effacing e-mails are a turn-off. Check out my crappy comic. is not going to make me want to visit your site.
  4. Don’t ask me for a link exchange. Seriously, don’t. If I like your comic, I’ll probably say some nice things about it on Twitter.
  5. Don’t ask me for an in-depth critique of your work. I’m busy. Besides, there are message boards for that sort of thing.
  6. Make good stuff. If you’re going to invite me to look at your work, impress me.

To quote Shawn, Good marketing gets people to show up the first time; a good product will get them to show up the 2nd and the 3rd time.

Wise words, indeed.

-Krishna

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About the author

Krishna Sadasivam creates custom comics and illustrations for organizations, magazines and companies. A champion of comics advocacy, Krishna speaks, blogs, and writes articles on illustration and sequential arts techniques and the importance of the comics medium in both education and brand awareness. His clients have included Microsoft, Mashable, Other World Computing and EE Times. His work has been featured on many notable websites, including TechCrunch, Gizmodo and CNET. His portfolio can be found at krishnadraws.com.

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