5 classic mistakes to avoid when approaching an agent

agent mistakes

Sam Summerskill is the London Director at Bernstein & Andriulli

Bagging yourself a great agent can open the gateway to bigger clients, bigger projects and a better career. But how do you bag the right one for you? It's day one of OFFSET and Sam Summerskill of Berstein & Andriulli – a premiere creative management agency with offices in New York, London and Shanghai who represent the likes of Andrew Rae and Chrissie McDonald – shares the classic mistakes that will ensure you don't get a reply.

01. Not doing your research

Always check the roster of the agency. If your work is dark and moody, or sci-fi inspired, you're not going to fit in with an agency if their roster is fluffy and colourful. Do your research and find an agency with similar artists on their books. If you get it right, chances are you'll bag yourself a quick answer.

02. CC-ing every other agent out there

We don't want to see that you've copied us into an email that contains every other agency around the world, saying "Hello, I love your roster, can I be on your books?" We immediately recognise the falsity of it and will more than likely ignore the e-mail regardless of how good your work is. It's important to hone in on why a particular agency will work for you.

03. Copying and pasting emails

An e-mail takes two minutes to write. Do a little bit of research and find out who you need to be contacting; believe me, a 'Hello Sam' can really go a long way. It's obvious if you've copied and pasted and it makes it incredibly impersonal. We want to build solid relationships with our artists and that all starts with bringing a bit of personality to your original e-mail.

04. Writing an essay

Your initial e-mail really doesn't have to be an essay; a link, along with a bit of a vibe is all we need. A bit of intrigue is always nice, so you don't have to tell us your life story to get us to notice you. Be succint and be original. Agencies are incredibly busy, so it's important to sell yourself as quickly and as creatively as you can.

05. Sending big files

This is one of the worst things you can do. We don't have time to download huge files, so you need to show us your work as quickly and as easily as possible. Usually a short link works best or if you really want to, adding a few images in the copy of the e-mail can showcase what you're all about.

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Sammy Maine

Sammy Maine was a founding member of the Creative Bloq team way back in the early 2010s, working as a Commissioning Editor. Her interests cover graphic design in music and film, illustration and animation. Since departing, Sammy has written for The Guardian, VICE, The Independent & Metro, and currently co-edits the quarterly music journal Gold Flake Paint.