If I was to offer one piece of advice, this is it; your clients tell you how to sell yourself. Listen to what they have to say; use their words when describing your business; show the most relevant work; share how you can provide a solution. It’s that simple.
When introducing your business over the phone or in-person, always let your client speak about their business first. Listen carefully to the phrases they use, what their needs are, and how these align with what you are offering.
Look for the marriage and alignment between your work and the direction of their business or the overall brand. Likely there is a reason you thought they would hire you. Is it proving true? Where and how?
Repeat Back What They Said
When it’s time to give your elevator pitch, consider what they said. Use the phrases that apply to your business. If they’re working on campaigns that require ‘authentic lifestyle with a documentary feel’ ‘have been producing a lot of online content,’ and ‘their budgets have been lean,’ how do these statements apply to you and your work?
If nothing they have said applies to your business, perhaps you’re not a good fit. Ask more questions until you know for sure.
If their words do apply to your business, use them when describing your work or approach. Perhaps you have a ‘documentary approach with a polished commercial feel’ ‘have been doing a lot of pre-roll and E-comm content,’ or you ‘keep a talented lean production team to keep costs down while maintaining value.’ Start with the most relevant to them and build out the rest as additional value.
Show Relevant Work
Consider what they have said and share your most relevant work. Have your best work at the beginning and end of your presentation to make the strongest impression. If you have additional relevant work that is not available at the time, follow up later on. It’s a great way to continue the conversation.
If you have little relevant work, be true to your point of view. If you have a style that touches on what they’re looking for but isn’t 100% the right fit stick to sharing what IS relevant along with your very best work. This way, if they choose to shift towards your style in the future, you have put your best foot forward.
Provide a Solution
Provide a solution by sharing how you are best suited to work together based on your shared style, approach, and their needs. By offering this suggestion and checking in if you are on the right path, you can confirm if you have understood their requirements correctly. You are also helping to do some of the decision-making process; it’s easier for the client to see where you’re aligned and the possibilities of working together if you have already laid out some options.
All of this gets easier with time and practice. The more conversations you have, emails you write, presentations you give, this process and your pitch will improve. The hardest part is doing the work.
Anything you would add? Any tricks you have found to get your winning message across? Please share in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Miroslava
Love your blog!! Great reminders and super helpful!! Thank you so much!!
Thanks so much Mari!!