5 Mistakes to Avoid When Pitching Clients
Pitching clients is a big part of a freelancer’s life, which is only natural in today’s gig economy. On one hand, freelancing provides greater freedom for workers. But it also comes with the anxiety of an unreliable workload. In fact, a study by Contently found that securing enough work is high on freelancers’ concerns, with 34% of respondents reporting it was their biggest daily obstacle.
So it’s only natural that most freelancers follow what we like to call the “ABP” philosophy (Always Be Pitching). But pitching isn’t always easy. Below we take a look at some common mistakes freelancers make when pitching clients, and how you can avoid them and increase your chances of booking your next gig.
Mistake #1: Sending mass emails
Even if it might save you a bit of time, resist the urge to send a templated email to a bunch of different potential clients at the same time. Sending mass emails will turn many clients off, and if they see an email where they’ve been BCC’d as a recipient, they may not even take the time to open it before it hits their trash folder. Pitches are not “one size fits all,” so take the time to personalize your emails to a specific client or company. Even a small detail like including a person’s name can make a difference. So ditch the mass emails, and focus on personalization. It will take up more of your time, but your success rate will rise.
Mistake #2: Not preparing
Treat pitching like an interview—to win a client over, you need to show them that you care about their business. Do your research on a company before you pitch them. Check out their website, their social media channels and relevant industry news and trends. This will help you figure out how to best achieve their goals, and help you find the right tone of voice to use when pitching. When clients feel like you know their business, they’re more likely to trust you to handle their project.
Mistake #3: Putting style over substance
You might create a beautiful looking pitch deck, but if it doesn’t focus on how you’re going to solve your client’s problem, it won’t do them much good. Make sure you don’t just provide a nice looking overview of your business and offerings—include specifics on how you can help them achieve their goals or solve the problem at hand. Include results from similar projects you’ve worked on, or share portfolio work from other clients to give a clear idea of what value you’ll bring to the table.
Mistake #4: Making your pitch too long
Clients are busy. They don’t have a ton of time to spend reading pitches. So make sure to only include the most important details in your pitch, nothing more. Use bullets and/or bold headers to make it easy to skim through information. The easier you make it for clients to get the information they need, the better chance they’ll like you right from the start. Plus, by delivering relevant information to your client quickly, you’ll also demonstrate your communication skills—a key component to a remote working relationship.
Mistake #5: Forgetting to proofread
Grammatical errors in your pitch will make potential clients think you’re unprofessional, unorganized, or that you don’t pay attention to detail—all negative attributes for a potential employee. Remember, everything you put out into the world reflects on your business, so even if writing emails or pitch materials isn’t your forte, take the time to double check everything for spelling and grammatical errors.