Pitching is essential for a successful freelance career. Yet, most freelance writers do not like pitching. The cold calls, unsolicited emails, selling your services to strangers can be a deterring experience.
However, with the right attitude and a good strategy, it can lead to great clients and rewarding career.
Small businesses are a great place to start with pitching.
Why? Most small businesses are run by owners, as such, it is easier to reach the top management and consequently faster decision making. Furthermore, small business are often under staffed hence the owner will appreciate some help with achieving the intended goal.
Successfully pitching to a small business requires some skill for you to win a client and earn reasonable compensation. Below are tips that will help you pitch to small business like a pro.
- Carefully analyze the business’s needs and priorities
Andrew Martin, A freelance web developer points out the differences in priorities between small and large businesses. Small businesses are focused on design while larger businesses are keen on their overall communication framework.
Notably, small businesses do not have a team dedicated to marketing and branding as it is the case for larger businesses. As a result, a small business owner will be more concerned about the feel and look of their website as opposed to matters of technicality and usability of their website as is the case in larger businesses.
To win a pitch to a small business, consider aligning your conversation with their priorities. For instance, tell them how you will help enhance their website design and page ranking. Focus your pitch on how you will help them achieve a more desirable look of their website.
Keep in mind that, not all small business owners understand the technicalities of a website, as such, start with the simple and tangible goals and eventually you can introduce a conversation on more complex goals such a customer conversion, branding, social media strategy and SEO optimization.
- Compare them with their competitors
No matter the niche of a small business, there are going to be competitors. Every business person wants to do better than their competitor. If you can weave this aspect effectively in your pitch, you will surely win the pitch. Find out what their competitors are doing better and propose to help them do better than their competitors.
Ideally, you must clearly in your pitch how you will help the client attain a competitive edge. Ensure to align your pitch with the clients priorities otherwise it may be difficult for the client to connect.
- Don’t sound like a scam; make a realistic pitch
You must have come across one of these pitches:
Increase you website traffic in three days!
Increase you sales by 100% in these three steps
Well, undoubtedly every small business owner has encountered it too. Unfortunately, as a result, many small business owners become jaded about receiving business service proposals from strangers. Hence, it is vital that you are not perceived as a scammer.
This can be achieved by personalizing your pitch. Do a thorough research about the business. And tailor you pitch to the particular company. If you can find the specific name of the person of the your are addressing your pitch to, then use their name.
For instance you can:
- Refer to the recipient by their name.
- Explain how you found out about them.
- Give your reasons for contacting them
- Show a clear understanding of the problem at hand how you can be of assistance
- Make a call to action
- Be prepared to provide consultation
Working with small businesses will require that you guide them more as compared to larger business. The nature of your relationship with the clients is more personal and intimate for smaller businesses. Working with small businesses requires that you take the lead on the services you are providing because most likely the owner is not skilled in that area.
Therefore, to successfully sell your pitch to a small business, you must be perceived as an expert in the subject matter. You are offering them something they cannot do themselves. Tell them what you will do for them as opposed to asking them what you can do for them. Explain to them why they need your service as opposed to seeking their permission to render them your services.
It is paramount that you assure them that they can rely on you with their baby because essentially their small business is their baby.
- Clarify your worth
You have to ensure that the client clearly understands how your services pay off in the end. Let them understand what they are investing in.
Often times, when quoting your compensation value, the client can feel that you are asking for too much for the services you will render. Create an understanding that your job involves much more than just putting words together but you offer valuable services such as analyzing and applying the most appropriate strategies to persuade readers.
Many small business owners think that anyone can make a website, that anyone can write copy. To sell them on your services, you have to make them see your unique value.
- Go the extra mile
If you succeed in landing a client, you should continue to point out areas of improvement, and offer to help.
Instead of waiting around for more work, point out other things you can do for the client. For instance, you could go ahead to offer them help with their SEO, social media management or website management and maintenance. Convince them the tasks are necessary and that you are the best person for the job. This will help you acquire a long-term contract.
Unlike larger businesses, smaller businesses are more concerned with the daily operations hence their goals are short term. Hence, a different pitching technique is required for smaller businesses in comparison to larger businesses.
When approaching, ensure your pitch appeals to their priorities. Explain your value to the business simply and precisely. Prove that you have what it takes to deliver and create a rapport.
Ensure that you pitch to as many prospective small businesses as you can. It will surely payoff at the end.