For many people, the idea of writing and rehearing a sales pitch is off-putting.
But the true power of having a pitch comes from the process of writing it. Just knowing it’s there can be incredibly liberating.
When you know what to say when asked “what do you do?” you feel more confident. And when others know what you do, they’re more likely to remember you, to keep in touch with you and to pass your name onto others.
As a freelancer, developing a memorable and interesting pitch that captures exactly what you do, why you do and who you do it for can seriously help you to level-up your business.
Here’s how to write a winning sales pitch as a freelancer.
Reframing the idea of “the pitch”
First, it is important to recognise that a sales pitch isn’t really about selling.
On TV shows like Dragon’s Den, where deals are made on the spot, it’s easy to think that a sales pitch leads directly to making a sale, or getting investment.
But actually, a good pitch communicates an idea in a succinct and interesting way. Let’s look at an example:
If you’re a freelance web developer and you introduce yourself to somebody at a networking event, what do you say? “I make websites for businesses”
Cool. But so do a million other people.
Having a pitch enables you to wrap your core service into an interesting and personalised story.
A pitch tells a story
As regular readers will know, my core business is in providing web development services to charities.
But I very rarely tell people “I make websites for charities”.
Because that is just a statement of fact, and unfortunately as humans we tend to find facts boring. Instead, you need to tell a story:
“My business helps non-profits to increase their social impact through the use of digital technology. In our first year we helped charities raise over £25,000 in online donations through websites we built and marketing strategies we put in place…”
Do you see how wrapping your services in a story makes the statement significantly more powerful?
In the example above, I didn’t even explicitly state that “I’m a web developer”. Website development is simply a service I offer that supports the overarching mission of helping non-profits.
Your pitch enables you to stand out
There are so many web developers these days. And freelancing as a career choice is really beginning to take off. Standing out of the crowd is becoming essential.
So what’s your story? Spend 10 minutes writing down your personal history. Look for anything unique and think about how your experiences shape your work.
Then, think about how you can pepper these unique stories into your pitch.
Once you have a short statement that can be spoken in under 30 seconds, take the time to memorise it enough so that when you say it aloud, it doesn’t sound memorised.
You don’t need to say it word-for-word every time: the goal here is to internalise your own story. It is to be prepared when asked “what you do”. Your pitch provides an anchor to stop you waffling and keep you focused on the things that matter.
Use your pitch everywhere
Finally, the real value of having a pitch is that you can use it across contexts: when you introduce yourself to people, in your social bios, on your website… everywhere.
Your pitch is your go-to mission statement that succinctly explains your place in business, and in the world.
Go and draft one right now. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it can change over time, but having a pitch will lead to stronger connections, more followers and more customers than ever before.