Here are a few things to avoid:
- Typos. There is no excuse for this.
- Not getting to the point. Most creatives don't have a lot of time to wade through attempts at being clever. Introduce yourself, tell me how you got my name, and ask me to look at your book and give you feedback. Feel free to use my response (almost all creatives will give one if you ask) as an opportunity to continue the conversation. But don't try to cram your shining personality into an email. It's all about the work.
- Mass emails. Quick story: My sophomore year in high school a really pretty girl wrote some very nice things about me in my year book. She talked about how beautiful my eyes were, how funny I was, and what a nice smile I had. I had no idea she was attracted to me. Summer break was looking good. But when my friends and I realized she had written the same thing in all our yearbooks pretty much word for word, our attraction to her plummeted and she became a joke. Moral: Bait as many lines as you can. Just realize that my art director, the creative recruiter and I all talk on a regular basis.
- Cut-and-pasted emails. I recently received an email asking if I knew the creative recruiter at BBH. Even though there's no BBH in Chicago. And my email is @yr.com.
- Portfolios set up on Blogger. A couple of you have done this to get feedback on your work. That's fine when you preface it as a rough draft. Totally understandable. But I've seen a couple finished books that are actually set up in this format. Please don't do this. This blog may not deserve a better showcase, but your work sure does.