7 Common Pitching Mistakes Made By Freelancers (And how you can overcome them)

pitching mistakes
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One of the biggest challenges of being a freelancer is that you have to actually go out and pitch your freelance services. Problem is, freelancers are great at their unique skills but aren’t natural-born salespeople. Therefore, they’re make pitching mistakes when trying to get clients.

Here are the 7 common mistakes to avoid when pitching clients.

  1. Too long
  2. No effort to research the client
  3. Not results-driven
  4. Not having a portfolio
  5. Lacking in confidence
  6. Not following up
  7. Keeping track of your pitches

Too long

Freelancers pitching new clients are wanting to send an email that tells the clients everything. Everything about why they’re qualified to do the job and every result they can give. Stop doing this immediately. This is a huge mistake freelancers are making.

Don’t send this 12 paragraph essay on everything you do and breaking down all your services. That’s going to go right in the trash.

Get rid of these common pitching mistakes and keep your pitch short, simple, and to the point. Getting straight to the point of how can you can help.

Your potential client is possibly receiving loads of other pitches. So, if you’re lucky enough for them to open your email, the last thing they want is an essay to read.

Keeping your pitch short and sweet

This is what you want to put in your email.

  • How you came across the potential client
  • What you can do to help the potential client
  • Results the potential client can expect from working with you
  • Link to your portfolio of previous work
  • A call to action so the potential client can start working with you or get to know more

To write this short and sweet email pitch that’s straight to the point you need to know about your potential client first.

No effort to research the client

If you’re not researching the client first before pitching them, you’re heading for failure with this pitching mistake.

Consider looking at your attempts at pitching through the clients eyes. They receive a pitch from you that’s generic as to how you can help them. But you’ve not shown

  • Any interest into them online
  • What the business is about
  • Future plans of the business

Seriously, if you want a client to be interested in working with you, you need to show a genuine interest in your client. Not doing so are mistakes freelancers are making.

Strategy to research every client first

If you’ve created a spreadsheet of potential clients that are a great fit to pitch, then you would have listed their websites. Check out their websites and see what social media they are on.

Look at the social media platforms they use. See which they are most active on and if there is an additional social media that the direct contact you want is using.

Pitching clients using your research

Start off your pitch is by how you know the client. Show that this is a true statement by referencing something you’d seen that they posted. Even better make this reference relevant to the rest of the pitch, so that it’s more of a smooth transition into the pitch.

Make sure that whatever you’re saying is personalized. Resonate with them, so that they really feel like this is a personalized solution for them. 

When you’ve not researched your potential client, you end up making these really big pitching mistakes of a copy and paste pitch.

A copy and paste pitch where it’s not personalized at all, not even knowing the name of the potential client. Not knowing the potential clients business, what it is they do or their future projects.

These types of pitches just go straight into the trash without a second thought. Overcome this second pitching mistake by always researching your potential client first.

Not results-driven

Freelancers know how important it is to be results-driven throughout their copy. Results-driven from their elevator pitch to their upsell. Results you’re bringing to the table is what potential clients are wanting to read in a pitch.

Clients don’t want to read about the problems they have that you’ve come across.

If you wait too long to mention your results, the client will lose interest in the rest of your pitch. Clients will be asking themselves,

“Where is this going?”

Answer this question easily by using the power of the bullet points. Cover in 3 bullet points the 3 big results your offer will bring the client. By giving the results in bullet points, the potential client’s eyes will naturally skip to the results.

Therefore, they become more open to reading the rest of the pitch if it’s a result that interests them. But because you’re done your research into the client, you know precisely what results will interest your client.

By being results-driven in your pitch to clients, you’re one step ahead of the competition by overcoming this problem and land more clients.

Not having a portfolio

Having a portfolio of some description is essential to have in your pitches. Whether you’ve got an offline portfolio, using a free website, or your own website, you need a portfolio of some sort to get clients.

If you don’t have a portfolio, read here how you can build your own winning portfolio in a 3 step roadmap.

You need to have a portfolio in your pitch as you’re essentially pitching clients on a partnership with you. Having a portfolio elaborates why it’s great to work with you, why you’re dependable, and how they can count on you to be the best partner for them.

In your pitch you want to add links at the end of your pitch as a PS here are links to my previous work for you to check out. But don’t expect clients to look at links or attachments to your portfolio if you don’t tell the client about why they should take a look or click.

If you don’t ask your client to click the link or look at attachments to your portfolio, then they don’t look. The best time to ask clients to look at your portfolio is after the bullet points to your results.

If you’re struggling with what to put in a portfolio to win clients, try using an example of a past experience. Past experience that gives your client an idea of what you’re offering.

Choose a past role, project, or partnership that shows off your skills. Explain what you did, how you did it, and the result. What did you learn? How did your product, service, or skill bring positive results to your client or audience?

Lacking in confidence

When you’re lacking in confidence you can come off desperate whilst pitching clients. Do you sometimes say I really need work or like I’m looking to get more work right now I’d love to you know I’d love to work for you or I’d love to help you out.

Don’t do that. Be confident in what you can do. Linking to or adding attachments of your freelance portfolio to specific projects shows that you’re confident in your work and the results you can deliver.

Be confident in your background, in your skillset, and don’t come off desperate like you’re just some scrappy freelancer who needs money. Desperation tells potential clients that when they hire you, you’re super cheap.

Resulting in the project not being worth your time at all. So be confident in yourself and your abilities as well. Though don’t get over confident and become arrogant in your abilities.

Nobody likes someone who’s arrogant. Always be humble but confident in yourself. This translates in your pitch being accepted by a client and willing to communicate with you further.

Not following up

The magic is in the follow-up when pitching. If you’re not following up with your prospects, you’re missing out on a big opportunity. An opportunity to dramatically increase your response rate. 

Increase your response rates up now with the follow-up strategy so you don’t make these mistakes. 

There is a sequence of three different emails to follow-up with a potential client. 

Your follow-up emails are usually sent every three days after your initial pitch. In your follow-up emails, you want to be answering questions potential clients would have about working with you. 

By sending out follow-up emails you’re showing that you’re serious about working with the potential client. But spacing out how often you send emails is showing that you understand the client is busy and can’t get straight back to you.

Keeping track of your pitches

Sending out various pitches to different potential clients, you need a system to keep track of your pitches. Keep track so you don’t commit the sin of these pitching mistakes.

When you don’t keep track, you can easily send out the wrong emails and information to the wrong people. Leaving you look like a complete amateur.

Keep a database of your pitches with a customer relationship management (CRM) system. These help to keep you on top of the relationship you’ve got with potential clients from when you first come across them to when they are a long term client.

Read here my review of the CRM tool Pipedrive

In A Nutshell,

Pitching clients is something that every freelancer needs to do so that they even have a business. With the rise of freelancing, you need to make sure that you stand out for the right reasons. Therefore don’t make any of the 7 pitching mistakes freelancers make.

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