With the basics covered I wanted to answer some of the questions my lovely readers came back with from lesson one:
What if I can’t find anything to pitch for?
Where to find work is one of the most frequently asked questions. The truth is that different people find work from different sources and one size does not fit all. There are prospects all around us. I would never encourage people to pitch for things that they can’t deliver, but I would certainly think where there’s something you can deliver in theory its better to pitch and worry about the consequences if you win. You can’t be too picky when starting out about the sort of work you want to do.
How much time should I spend on a pitch?
My rule of thumb was always never more than hour on a pitch. I did spend a lot of time on the things that you use in pitches like testimonials, work examples, overviews, FAQs. The part where I was specifically addressing their project however, even if it was a huge project, I never spent more than an hour. Knowing that if they were interested it would more than likely develop into a longer conversation and usually in my pitches I asked a lot of question/made a lot of presumptions to prompt this.
How can I tell how much to pitch for?
Generally you pitch by how long a project will take you but its always important to consider other factors such as how much more work could you get from this client, how much will the client make if your X is successful, and also what can the client afford. Certainly bigger companies know that they will be expected to pay more.
Should I Undercut To Get Work?
Yes, certainly when you start out. With some clients it’s worth doing something cheap to get them on the books and make money off them during the life cycle. One thing to bear in mind is that cheap prices to begin with does mean that the client will expect that from then on. Often you won’t know what other people are pitching so its just not worth it to undersell yourself. All it does is create a race to the bottom.
How Can I Demonstrate My Skills In A New Area?
An especially good question if you’re just starting out. I’m afraid you need to go do some portfolio work. Do it for the sector you’d most like to work with, do it for free to avoid lengthy arguments at the start and do it for a testimonial. Don’t use something similar…but not corporate as this never works (ie short films to demonstrate your corporate video skills)