November’s One-A-Day Q&A – Question #28

28 11 2016

Q: What are some of the ways of finding licensing deals when you’re just starting out and don’t have any clients?

november-q-a-final

A: Everyone knows that you have to start at the beginning, so don’t be self-conscious. You just need to think about what you have to offer the manufacturers.  Nobody begins with a licensing story that starts, ‘Well, I have 20 deals and I’m with XYZ retailers…’

If you don’t have a licensing story that is sales and retail-oriented, you need to create a relevant story on your website and in your sales letters.  Think about what experiences you do have that would mean something to a manufacturer.  Here are some questions to ask yourself, which can help craft a pertinent story.

  1. Do you have comprehensive computer skills?
  2. Do you have graphic design experience?
  3. Have you designed products that have been produced and sold at retail for someone else?
  4. Do you have a large fan following through a blog, an Etsy store or another viable online retailer, or on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest?
  5. Do you have a sizeable portfolio?
  6. Are you up on the latest trends and styles?

You need to think about what is going to get the manufacturers attention and help you stand out from the crowd. Think about the consistency of your art and what you can offer them to help you stand out.  Maybe you have a unique concept that is on trend that they won’t find someplace else. Pitch these types of things and get out to as many manufacturers as possible.  When you do get a few deals under your belt, then you can shift the marketing of your website.

Also, make sure to address in your letters/correspondences to talk about whom your licensees are and how they’re doing. Certainly, if you have an agent, it would help to talk to your agent very clearly about what kind of things they recommend you say early on before you have something that you can leverage.

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