Are your pitches being ignored? Not sure why?
There might be one simple reason you’ve missed.
You’re talking AT buyers not TO them.
If you’re just copying and pasting the same impersonal, dry pitch to every buyer then that’ll be massively turning them off.
Why? Put yourself in their shoes. They’re spending their hard earned money on high quality content and they want to work with someone who’s really committed to giving them the best possible result. The only things they’re interested in are how you would take on this project and whether you have the skills to deliver what they need.
First impressions count, and somebody who’s just rambling off reasons why they think they’re amazing will make the buyer want to run for the hills.
To make sense of this, let’s look at some examples. Here’s two pitches for the same logo project posted by a gaming company looking to rebrand.
Would you rather be sent a pitch like A or B?
Hi, I am freelance graphic designer and I can make everything from logos to posters to brochures to websites. My clientele includes a wide range of businesses and organizations, both large and small.I have a B.A in Graphic Design and have been a freelancer for 5 years. I have expertise in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and will be able to deliver the logo in PNG and JPEG.
Hey Guys, I’ve been looking at your company website and love the concept of what you guys do! I’ve worked with a lot of gaming companies so really understand how important it is to develop the branding so that you’re appealing to the right customer profile. I have just looked at your website and understand why you say you feel that your current branding doesn’t fit the customer profile you’re now targeting. I think it’s really important to create a logo that increases the customer trust but also doesn’t deviate too much from the strong brand you’ve already created. If you look at the featured project in my portfolio then you’ll see a logo I created for another gaming company that they were really pleased with. I feel that a similarly geometric, funky and brightly coloured logo will work really well for you. It would be great to hear your thoughts on this and I hope to hear from you so we can chat more about this as I would love to work on this project.
Pitch B is far more likely to interest a buyer than A because it shows you’ve done your research and know exactly how you’d deliver the project for them. Even if you’re not exactly what they’re looking for, they’ll appreciate the effort you put in and might give you feedback on why you weren’t right for this project.
Yes, it will take a bit more time to write pitches like B. But it just won’t work to copy and paste the same text over and over again because it’s about building a relationship, so it’s worth spending more time to craft a really engaging, personalised pitch. Also, if your success rate is higher then it’s worth spending more time writing pitches to bring in more work.
So how do you write a pitch that will get buyers to take notice?
We’ve looked at thousands of pitches and identified 3 main ingredients:
1. Engage with the buyer.
A pitch is your first interaction with a buyer so you need to engage with them. So do some research on the company or person who put up the project. What do they do and who’s their target audience? If there’s not enough information in the brief then ask public questions.
In this respect, it’s no different to a job interview. Employers want to know that you’ve done your homework on the company and are aware of how you’d bring value and be the best candidate.
2. Describe how you’d tackle the project.
The main thing buyers want to know is how you will tackle this project, so give them some suggestions. This doesn’t mean you have to write a long proposal, just give them an idea of how you’d take on the project and why.
Something like paragraph two in pitch A would be enough:
“If you look at the featured project in my portfolio then you’ll see a logo I created for another gaming company that they were really pleased with. I feel that a similarly geometric, funky and brightly coloured logo will work really well for you”.
It just gives the buyer the confidence that you’ll be able to deliver what they want and can interpret their creative vision effectively.
Most importantly, they don’t want a long list of your qualifications or skills because that’s what your bio is for and they are well aware that they can take a look at your portfolio.
3. Tell the buyer how YOU are the best person for THEM.
Finally, you need to tell the buyer why you’re the best candidate for this specific project. What skills do you have that make you stand out?
For example, it’s a logo for an education company then show them logos you’ve created for education based companies and show them testimonials to demonstrate your expertise in their industry.
The important thing is not to just list your skills and experiences but pick out relevant ones that you think will matter to them and explain why they make you the best candidate for this project.
These tips won’t guarantee that you get hired for every job because the buyer might feel that another creative fits their creative vision better, but you’ll be far more likely to be successful than copying and pasting the same preset message over and over again.
Finally, remember this: A pitch isn’t a CV or a resume, it’s a cover letter. It’s your chance to make an impression so make it count. A great pitch isn’t enough on it’s own though, you need to make sure you have a great portfolio, which showcases your best work, and has a detailed and engaging bio. It’s not easy to be a successful freelancer but it’s sure worth it when you get it right.