When you’re a freelancer, working from home, it can be tough to keep a full roster of clients. This is especially true when you’re just starting out and pulling clients in piecemeal, often from an online source. In order to do this and to stand out from the millions of people across the world trying to do the same, you have to know how to craft an effective sales pitch. However, it can be hard to sell yourself and your skills and do so as shamelessly as you need to in order to get going. Try out the following ideas for inspiration and assistance in building your client list and your paychecks.
Let the client know what your skill set is. Don’t just say “I am a talented writer,” say “I have an ability to write copy in a way that sells products,” or “I have an eye for detail that catches even the most sneaky grammatical error.” If you’re a graphic designer, let them know what your style is like; don’t just say you are creative. Every client has an idea of the direction they want their project headed in, and an idea of the skill set they are looking for. They also don’t have time to waste on people who provide merely generalities in their sales pitch without providing an indication that their skill set is a match for a project. And, if there are specific questions or qualifications outlined in a job posting, specifically address those in the beginning of your sales pitch. Don’t leave it to last, and certainly don’t leave it out. You’ll not only be showing that you have what the client is looking for, but you’ll also be showing you do pay attention to details and client needs.
In business, the phrase “under promise, over deliver,” is a common guiding principle. It doesn’t only apply to the corporate world, but can also help you to be successful in not only keeping, but getting clients. In your sales pitch, sell your skills. Make sure you aren’t shy about putting yourself forward, sharing some of your greatest successes and your thoughts on your greatest qualities, but also think through what you are sharing. Unless a client specifically says they need a 24 hour turnaround, don’t promise that in your sales pitch. It might be an extraneous piece of information that detracts from your skill set, but it also might turn out to be not true if you have another, bigger money client bite or something go wrong with your computer. Life happens, but when you don’t have to make a promise that could fall through, just don’t. Be careful with the information you provide. What you leave out of your sales pitch may benefit you as much as what you put into it.
It’s common sense that your sales pitch is going to include your qualifications, and talk about what you bring to the table. But don’t leave out how that benefits your potential client. They know they are looking for someone with excellent writing skills. In your sales pitch, you have to tell them why you want to put your excellent writing skills to work for them. Tell them what you offer them, and what the results will be from your skills. Will they see more page clicks? Will their website have a cleaner look? Will they no longer have to worry about embarrassing typos detracting from their message? Clients are looking for results, and if you don’t at least show an interest in providing concrete results for them, they won’t show an interest in you. A sales pitch, while it is about your qualifications, should be aimed at a client’s needs.
A sales pitch should not pussyfoot around the issues. It should be straightforward, to the point, and include all necessary information. Clients expect this from a sales pitch, and will not be put off by freelancers who talk themselves up and are good at selling themselves. Passive language in a sales pitch only hurts you, and it makes a client wonder why they’d hire you to sell something for them when you can’t even sell yourself. Don’t be shy - be confident. It will show in your sales pitch that you trust yourself, and that a client should trust you.
It can be tough to get the hang of a sales pitch to a new client, or even one you are trying to nab again to keep long-term, but once you have your tone and messaging down it will become second nature. If you have one specific freelance skill - data entry, for example - you can even create one template sales pitch and adjust it according to individual client needs, keeping the general outline the same. Freelancers literally can’t afford to have a sales pitch that fails. Be client-oriented and confident, and you’ll find success.