I’ve been embroidering long enough, and shamelessly advertising myself long enough, that I have had my share of opportunities from locals, online sellers, and agents for marketing companies. But I’ve had a lot more spammy messages from people trying to get me to sign up for a class I don’t want or need, or send my work out for free. I’ve gotten pretty good at investigating these opportunities when they present themselves – you may have seen my happy face snap tab in advertising for BP around the country! – so I thought I would share some of my tips for distinguishing a real opportunity from a faker.
- If anyone ever tells you to pay money for them to “represent” you, run!
Remember how we tell young women who want to be models, that if a photographer asks for a huge sum of money to take photos or do any “professional development,” it’s a scam? If someone thinks you could be a big deal, they’re prepared to invest in you.
We have the world at our fingertips. If you get a message from “Sarah at XYZ Marketing Agency” asking for a sample of your work to be considered for a big job, google her! Search for the agency. Searched for the individual’s LinkedIn account. Do some digging.
- Ask more experienced friends for help.
That’s what we’re here for, right? Ask in a Facebook group or Etsy forum. “Has anyone received a request for a sample from Molly at ABC Press?” Artists love to help each other get more exposure and succeed.
- Ask questions.
Ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable that this is a legitimate opportunity. What will be involved? How many? When? etc. If someone is out to scam you, they’re probably not going to spend too much time engaging in details – there are too many other fish in the sea to exchange emails with you for a week.
- Listen to your gut.
Finally, mind your intuition. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. It’s okay to say, “I’m not interested at this time, thank you for the opportunity!”