One of the most important concepts in marketing is the one about the story you (and your brand) tell- And you're telling one, whether you know it or not.
Some time ago, while reasoning on how to help a small group of illustrators get the clients they wanted, I stumbled on a video published by a literary agency. In that video, two agents talked about the things they look for in illustrators before working with them.
One thing that stood out to me was the attention they paid to something I had until then overlooked: hands. Turns out that hands are one of the hardest things for an illustrator to draw, and at the same time something that you can’t really avoid drawing in your work.
If you’re trying to get more clients, you probably want them to perceive you as a professional. As an illustrator, turns out that showing hands you've drawn might be a good way to do that. But the lesson, of course, doesn’t only apply to illustrators.
The things you choose to show (and the way you show them) are one of the elements that make up the story your potential clients will tell themselves about you. It’s worth doing that intentionally.
This goes back to the importance of knowing who your clients are, what they are looking for and what kind of signals they might pay attention to. What does “being a professional” mean to them? If you get a chance, the easiest way to know is to ask them. They might not know how to answer, but it's worth a shot.
It's also worth noting that allowing them to get to that conclusion is not the same as telling them. You might want to write “professional” before your job title, but showing how you draw hands is probably a more effective way to do it.
ps. If you’re wondering, here is the video I was talking about 😉