I’m probably in the minority here but I don’t cold call at all.
-I’ll send in a portfolio teaser and email them 2-3 weeks later just to check if they recieved it. I give them time to let them respond on their own, they’re probably recieved 50 that week so it takes time for them to look at it, let it sink in, put it in their maybe pile, etc…
I also dont’ want to call and try to rush them into a decision. That just may be my personality quirk. I won’t shop at a store if salespeople approach, or I brush them off instantly. I like to be in control of my money and my shopping, and not being forced to make on the spot judgements due to salesman interaction. That’s how mistakes are made and you end up buying what you don’t want. If they have what I’m looking for, I’ll buy it. If I can’t find something or need more info, I’ll ask. My mentality is, if you have to sell it too hard, it’s probably something they don’t want or can’t buy at that time.
-Email is great because it gives people the choice of replying on THEIR time. It’s very “hassle free”. I would hate to lose an opp and get brushed off just because I called someone at the wrong time when they were in the middle of something or were in a bad mood.
-I’d guess that if my teaser shows what they need to see in order to compel them to contact me, then they’ll do just that and it did it’s job. If I don’t get responses, then it’s time to step back, critically reevaluate what I’m showing, and redo it so that it’s more appropriate. Either that or sometimes there just aren’t many projects available(for us freelancers).
-You have an even tougher job if you’re going for fulltime. You have to be seen as consistantly dependable for the amount of financial risk they’re taking and you have to catch them at the beginning of their quarters when they have new budgets to hire someone. All of your portfolio projects should be consistant in their quality level.
Now, the people I will call are those that I’ve worked with before (freelance) or have a direct personal connection (my friend/client/ex-coworker, etc… referred me to you…) That’s where that networking comes into play.
I wouldn’t really advise this for everybody. Some people have good salesmanship and could talk their way into a job without even having a portfolio (I’ve seen it done). I’m not like that so I tend to stay off the phone and try to let the teasers speak for themselves. Besides it’s probably a little easier psychologically, to read a rejection than to hear it.
As an exaggerated example: If you recieved that 2 page Astro spread from the 2004 ID review mag, I think you’d call them back if you had work available. They wouldn’t have to hound you.
D-flux, you’re corefolio looks nice, I dont’ see what the problem may be. I think some more “typical” ID type projects may be needed and I don’t think the offroad stuff is appropriate, but that’s for a porfolio review which this isn’t about. I think my portfolio is kinda crappy. My graphics suck so I keep them simple, drawing skills are just standard and I don’t have slick 3-d models. But my concepts are tight and appropriate for my “imaginary client”, and potential users. If you want to be hired to think and make decisions, make sure there aren’t blaring faults in design judgement. My teasers peak enough interest to get me callbacks and interviews. Then I get to smooth talk them in person.
-Make sure those teasers kick a$$ and don’t hesitate to do completely new ones and send them out every quarter. If it’s good, you should get some kind of response. Make sure you include a mailing address, phone number, and email for contact, some folks still send responses in the mail. If they give no response, not even a common courtesy email or form letter type rejection, I don’t think you’d want to work for them anyway. Good luck to you.