The Art of Pitching
With the increased desire to have control over the whole process and the need to make decisions that benefit the entrepreneurial self, freelancing has become an option that many are willing to consider, many have already considered and leapt into.
However, there are many who deludedly think that freelancing is an easy endeavor, that they will just sit back at home and work for a few random hours sitting behind a computer. Sorry, no! Relaxation is not part of any job description. It is just like a normal job but with more control over what we do.
Freelancing is basically self-employment. The freelancer has to think business and like any business, visibility is the key. So there are always the basic defining marketing strategies and tactics that one may follow in landing clients.
However, there has been a recent spurt of job boards—websites that allow people to post jobs and hire freelancers. Many have clients who pay less than the market rate, but many say that it is a good place to start, to test out your skill. The part whether these job boards are beneficial or not is beyond the scope of this article and we will assume that these job boards do give out good jobs to freelancers, projects that pay a fair remuneration for the services rendered.
This article will hopefully also be useful to those freelancers who are pitching to their clients either via cold-calling or any other traditional techniques after they have seen a job post on a board or an advertisement.
In such a website that provides a platform for freelancers to find and bid on projects, there is going to be a lot of competition. A large number of freelancers are going to bid on the project. To increase the probability of getting selected, your bid has to stand out, be unique, and speak about yourself and your ample experience.
Pitching your services is the most important part in securing a job/project/client. Most new freelancers do not know how to pitch. So here, I will outline what the elements of a good pitch are. I’m not saying this will work out for everyone. These are just general guidelines.
(1) Salutation: I have seen a lot of freelancers put in “Dear” as a manner of salute. “Dear” is a casual term and makes the pitch look unprofessional from the start. Either use “Respected” or other noncolloqial terms or just use Sir/Madam. If we know the client’s gender beforehand, use Sir or Madam as may be the case.
(2) Opening Paragraph: Here, give your introduction and mention what was it about the job post that made you bid for this project. Be precise and concise. Don’t harp on and try to butter the client up. They hate it. Make it look as professional as possible.
(3) Second Paragraph: Speak about your experience and what makes you suitable for the project. Convince the client here why he or she should hire you.
(4) Middle Paragraph: There should be a continuity from the previous paragraph. Let your experience speak here. Read the job post carefully and outline here what you intend to do in the project, how you would solve the problem, ask questions, if any, and state the timeline in which you would complete the project. Make sure you do adhere to the timeline when you get the project.
(5) Concluding Paragraph: Thank the client for the opportunity.
(6) Signature: End the bid with “Regards” followed by your full name or signature.
Remember that there should be no typographical errors or blatant grammatical errors in your pitch. Don’t be that casual either. Keep to a formal tone and style. Be as precise as possible and use the pitch to convince the client to hire you.
Being an avid reader and writer with an enormous passion for both, Varun Prabhu never looked at corporate jobs for even a second. With a stern resolve to follow his passion, he has stuck to freelancing, ghostwriting, and editing for clients. Currently, he is the founding partner of Pen Paper Coffee, a prepublishing service that aims to help both aspiring and published authors put the best of their manuscripts out into the market. You may get to know more about it at www.penpapercoffee.net. Other than editing and managing startups, he reads a lot and watches English TV shows religiously.