You have to think outside the box if you want your greeting card designer skills to get noticed and bought by consumers. Most greeting card companies have in house greeting card designers that pump out designs for them all day long. They don't really need to see your designs.
Don't ever take it personally. It's easier for a company to hire a greeting card designer and pay them a salary than to take chances on freelancers. A company that prefers to hire can also claim your designs as their own once you become their employee. You design the way they want you to. Basically, you do the grunt work, they take the credit.
Another reason could be legal. A freelance graphic artist could claim their designs were stolen by the company and that spells trouble for the legal department. That can also cause a company to not look at your greeting card designs.
So where can you get help? I would suggest trying proper channels. Get an agent to represent you and have the agent submit your designs. Having the help of an agent will give you credibility as an artist and can help take care of possible legal problems.
Get a list of companies you want your designs to go to and have your agent submit away. Another option would be to get a job with a company you're targeting if you don't mind not having control over your designs. Getting hired means not being able to work from home and losing control of your designs.
Doing freelance work is better in the long run because you will have more freedom to design in your own creative environment without restrictions.
I remember trying to solicit some designs to a greeting card company years ago. I thought it would be easy to do. I like biblical stories and thought it would be easy to design greeting cards around them. All I would need to do is draw, paint and submit my art work.
I was really green at the time and didn't have a clue of how the greeting card design industry worked. In fact, I was so green I sent my original drawings in thinking the company would send them back. I never saw those drawings again of course. It was a long time ago and I don't remember the company name. Always submit copies of your art work and never your originals.
I never heard back from them and how could I prove I sent the drawings in to begin with? The envelope could have gotten lost in the mail but that is no excuse for sending in original drawings and believing I would get them back. The point is to protect your drawings. I never saw any indication that my ideas were stolen and put on the market but any idea you have can be stolen and used by making a few alterations.
How can you think outside the box and get your ideas noticed when all other avenues have been exhausted?
1. Use YouTube for exposure. Set up a YouTube account and create video presentations of your greeting card designs. Make sure your work is copy written.
2. Use an agent to submit your designs. Do a search online for Artist Agents and you'll find websites that list their clients. Scroll to the bottom of the page and find the contact us link.
3. Use cold calling techniques and make sure to never send in original art work. Try calling a few companies and see if they don't give you the run around. It will be worth the exercise to see what happens. You might experience some success.