Monday, June 16, 2014

A Guide To Freelancing Part 5: Five Steps To A Winning Pitch



At last, after all of the planning and prepping, we delve into what makes or breaks a successful freelancer; the pitch.

Note that the pitch is not just you selling your work, it's you selling yourself. The more accurately and articulately you can convey why you are the best person for the task, the higher your chances are of standing out and being awarded the contract.

So without further ado, let's see what does goes into a compelling pitch.

1). Address Directly.
When you craft your pitch, if the would-be client has included their name in their project overview, use it. Address your pitch directly to them. Not only does it show that you read the entire pitch, but people are more likely to read something that has been addressed to them by name.

2). Introduce Yourself.
This should be the first line in your pitch; your name. Not your skill set, not your years of experience (this comes later), but your name.

3). Demonstrate Eagerness.
Do you want this job? Then ask for it! Passion is contagious and catches like fire. Actually tell your prospective client that you're interested in this job. Everyone has to work in order to pay bills; employers will always notice a skill set. Those who couple their skill set with passion will stand out.

4). A Summary of Your Skill Set
I'm going to let you in on a secret. If you've bid on a job, the client is automatically going to presume that you possess the skills necessary to do the job. Otherwise, what would you be doing there in the first place?
Almost all of your competing bids are going to be saturated with lengthy explanations of their skill sets--and that's it. Your client may have hundreds of bids to sort through; they are more inclined to pause for the ones that get straight to the point. You will have a complete portfolio to demonstrate your capabilities if so requested, so keep your skill set to three sentences at the most.

5). DO NOT Use Templates.
I can understand that templates are time-saving and even convenient. They are also the biggest mistake you can make in your pitch.
While it's okay to craft your own templates, never, ever use the exact same pitch for multiple bids. The internet makes the world a small place, and the moment you appear robotic, you're done. The human mind is trained to recognize patterns and if your pitch looks exactly like everyone else's, you're going to be passed over.
But if you break the pattern, use a pitch that is wholly your own, your odds of getting noticed and hired increase substantially.

So there it is, in five steps. Demonstrate passion and desire to do the job, be personable and friendly, open to building a relationship with your client, state, but don't brag, your skill set, and above all else, be yourself. I promise, you'll find yourself gainfully employed sooner rather than later.

At the end of this week, I'll close this series with the best places to find work. Thanks for reading.

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