"To me, honestly, texting is for asking your spouse to pick up some bread on the way home, and not [for] trying to discover clients."
Overemphasis on social media as primary communication has lessened the hands-on techniques of one-on-one contact with clients, Payne said.
"Especially young people who have that ability to speak intelligently to adults and to introduce themselves and to gain trust -- that stands out even more because most people don't do it," he said. "Most of the people who control the money that give you work -- they respond to that much more than the new social media."
Which leads to one of his more succinct pieces of advice: "Old-school values will never die."
After all, finding, securing and locking down clients is everything in the creative field, Payne said. "Without clients you don't have a business, but with great clients you have a business forever."
It's a fallacy that all you need to do is print up some free Vistaprint business cards, put up a Facebook page and launch an Instagram account and things will start popping," Payne said. "I haven't really seen that happen.
"Everybody wants to be discovered and save the day -- and I'll do all the hard work and you stay in your little room and create. I just don't see that happening very often."
But the hard, practical work of earning and retaining clients can suddenly take off.
"The good news is if you can gain momentum, then this phenomenon kind of takes over where, wow, all of a sudden I've got work, and I've got more work from people I've never heard from.
"It's pretty hard to push the snowball over the hill. But once you do, it gets bigger and rolls pretty fast."
You might say the final commandment is commitment.
"Totally committed to do whatever it take to gain knowledge, do the work, meet the people -- that's what it takes. It takes incredible commitment."
Reach Douglas Imbrogno at doug...@cnpapers.com or 304-348-3017.