5 Tips to Create an Effective Freelance Pitch & Gain More Clients

10.10.2016

Making a pitch to a potential client can be intimidating; whether it’s your first time out on your own, or you’re a seasoned freelancer. There are definitely a few things you should do- and a few things you should avoid doing- in your proposal/pitch. These 5 tips will help you maximize your response and/or hire rate.



There can be an incredibly fine line between what makes a good, effective pitch and what makes a bad pitch. Regardless of whether or not you are new to the freelance business, it can be very difficult to decide what to include in your pitch, and what to weed out.

One the one hand, you want to wow the potential client with all of your skills, your accomplishments, your education, etc… But really, what does this accomplish? Showing off the feathers in your hat doesn’t tell a client what you can really do for them specifically, or really even what you’re good at. It comes across as either off-putting-ly self-impressed, or insecure.

Neither is desirable. Although, you really don’t want to go too far in the other direction either and leave the client completely in the dark about what it is that you do. Or feeling that you lack the necessary skills and/or communication skills for the job.

Thankfully there are some tried and true methods that really can help you create an effective freelance pitch and gain more clients. Below is a list of the five best tips for creating effective pitches that will land you a ton of clients. Remember, when approaching a pitch, to consider what the client is actually looking for.
 

1) Differentiate Yourself from Your Competition


‘How?’ You may be asking; when there are literally hundreds and hundreds of rivaling freelancers who specialize in the exact same thing that you do and that are also seeking regular work. First of all, don’t worry about other people. You can’t change it that hundreds of other people may be seeking the same position. You can however, change how you present yourself.

While you shouldn’t brag outright, you should definitely take a good long look in the mirror and figure out what your greatest strengths really are as a freelancer. Mention your strengths, but not long-winded-ly. Imagine that you’re a writer. You probably want to brag that you can provide them with the best content.

But that probably isn’t necessarily true. It’s just fluff. Rather than promising that you possess the qualities you think a good writer should possess, focus on something that you really do excel at. If you’re particularly great with turn-around time on tasks (clear communication, always on time or early delivery, etc.) then focus on that as your defining characteristic.
 

2) Don’t Over-Do-It


Do not over-do-it on your pitch. In any manner. Don’t emphasize your age or the number of years of experience that you have under your belt. Don’t include a bunch of unnecessary information. As mentioned above, don’t brag.

If it isn’t directly related to the job that you are applying for, don’t mention it. Basically, just try not to over-sell yourself. Over-selling yourself comes off as one of two things- either self-important, or insecure. Both make you look like an amateur.

Keep it short, relevant, and simple. If the client asks you detailed questions about your experience, skills, etc. make sure to answer their questions in your pitch/proposal. Otherwise, however, leave the client the link to your portfolio page and let them choose whether or not to bother drudging through the details of your career history.
 

3) Establishing Your Brand


Branding can actually save you time on pitching to clients if done well. Establishing a good brand brings clients to you, rather than you having to seek them out. Make sure that clients will see you as you wish to be seen; professional, reliable, and a specialist in your field. There are quick, easy ways to do this.

Establish an impressive portfolio site that has a companion blog about whatever it is that you do. Let people see your passion for what you do, in addition to your portfolio. Guest blog and stay active within the online communities that best match with your specializations.

Make sure that people know who you are, and what you can offer to them that is unique or noteworthy. Your brand is the impression that you leave upon others; client or otherwise. You want to make sure that it is the best that it possibly can be.
 

4) Network with Everyone


A lot of people recommend focusing on networking with people that work in other areas or niches than you, and this actually is really good advice. People that are outside of your niche are more likely to need your special skill set than someone with a job that is very similar to yours. On the other hand however, networking with colleagues can turn up job leads that weren’t the colleague’s specialty, or that they couldn’t fit into their schedule.

The thing about networking is that you really can’t know whether or not a new contact or acquaintance will turn out to be a great job lead. But as far as increasing your odds of finding a paying gig go, it’s a solid investment to talk to as many other professionals as possible.
 

5) Personalize Your Pitch (es)


Chances are, you aren’t just applying for one gig. Different jobs are going to have different specifications and requirements. Attention to detail is key when you are making a pitch to a client. You want to convey to them that you fully understand what they need, how they want it done, and when they want it.

Treat clients like they’re people, not an ATM. Give genuine attention and interest to the client’s needs and concerns. Express your own needs and concerns open and honestly as well. Let them know that you care about the success of their endeavors, and not just the pay out on one project.
 

Apply, Apply, Apply


Just a last bit of advice - apply, apply, apply. Statistically, you are much more likely to find gainful employment if you apply for more jobs. If you only apply for 5 jobs, you only have 5 chances of being hired. If you apply for 20 jobs, you have 20 chances of being hired. So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, and to integrate these tips into your approach. You’ll see fantastic results.
 

Put these useful tips into practice immediately at freelancermap! Apply for as many projects as you want, it's free of charge and we do not charge any commission fees!

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