I am old enough to remember what it was like before the Internet. I interviewed in person for all of the jobs I wanted. As a freelancer, I have clients I have never met in person and some who have actually flown me to their city to work onsite. Almost all of the clients that hire me have never met me in person.
Recently, I have applied for gigs that I seem made to do. I have extensive experience in the industry. I have great clips that pertain to the industry. Yet, I am either rejected or I never hear from the potential client.
I honestly think sometimes that if they only met they would know how fabulous I was and hire me on the spot! I have the talent (you have to be confident to be a writer because you deal with daily rejection). Am I not making a good impression? So how do you make a good first impression when you don’t meet face-to-face?
You can find a lot of information online about pitching clients. I am a firm believer that one size does not fit all and what works for you may not work for me. But I think we can all agree on a few basic tenets that make a good impression.
- Don’t have spelling errors or grammatical errors, especially if you are a client pitching clients. I have a tendency to want to get things done fast. But if you take just a few minutes to read over that pitch you will likely find an error or two.
- If you are sending the same pitch to several clients (which I don’t recommend but hey, we all have to save time), make sure you change the address line. You are guaranteed to make a bad impression if you send the email to different client, especially if it is a competitor.
- Tailor each pitch or email to the client. It takes just a few minutes to peruse a website to get to know what the client is about. You may also get some ideas of how you can better direct your pitch based on their needs.
- I have read a lot of debate about when and should you follow up after you have sent a pitch. I will be honest. I don’t always follow up. Sometimes I look back on my pitch and I don’t think it was very good. Or I may not think the lead is very hot. My follow up is also determined by how busy I am and if I have developed hotter leads. This leads me to my final piece of advice.
- No matter what your niche or talent, there are thousands of businesses that you can pitch. Make sure you keep some sort of record on who you pitch. Some people use spreadsheets and some simply keep up with their pitches and follow up in a notebook (my method).
As I said earlier, one size does not always fit all. You can find a lot of amazing resources online. Develop a plan that works for you and success will follow!