I’ve been working with several newbie freelancers, and this week, we worked on pitching. A creative pitch is basically just an offer to do something, for pay. If you want to get clients, pitching is the best way to get them. You can charge the fees you want — you’re in charge.
If you’re not au fait with pitching, get your feet wet on the freelance marketplaces like Upwork. Once you have some experience in pitching, you can get the clients you choose.
One of the group asked: “What’s the easiest way to get clients?”
The easiest way is via referrals, but you still need to pitch your ideas. 🙂
Get clients the easy way with referrals
Your clients are your biggest resource. They’re the lifeblood of your writing career. If people have worked with you once, they’ll work with you again, and most importantly, they can REFER you to others.
After the tech wreck disaster of the early 2000s, most of my tech magazine writing gigs vanished like smoke on a windy day. I built up my copywriting stable of clients quickly. From memory, it took just a couple of months before I was fully booked. Copywriting paid better than magazine writing too — so there’s a lesson in there somewhere. 🙂
One of the ways I encouraged my former copywriting clients to refer me to prospective clients was by paying a fee. I paid $100 for each referral which resulted in a gig. I paid out some money, but the results were much better than advertising for clients.
By the way, I encouraged my clients to tell their contacts that they were referring them for a fee. Not only does honesty pay, it immediately took me out of the ranks of the unreliable, flaky, “creative” copywriters who consider themselves artistes, rather than commercial writers.
What if you’re a total newbie, and don’t have any clients who can refer you? Mine your own contacts. Tap your friends and relations for their contacts too.
Now let’s talk about online proposal generators, which are a boon to anyone who needs to pitch.
Online proposal (pitch) generators: they take the boredom out of pitching
Online proposal generators have become very popular, and for good reason. Back in the day, creating a proposal which looked great could take an hour — or much longer, if MS Word happened to be buggy that day.
Today, you can plug your pitching ideas into a proposal generator. You won’t necessarily spend less thinking time, but you’ll definitely spend less formatting and delivery time.
Disclosure: none of the following links are affiliate links. I don’t have a relationship with these companies. Please don’t take this list as a recommendation; it’s merely meant to give you an idea of what’s on offer.
This little list will get you started. However, there are many dozens of these apps. Type “online proposal generator” into Google to find more.
The benefits of using a proposal generator:
• You save time;
• Professional formatting;
• You’re prompted for sections, so there’s less chance you’ll miss a section;
• Electronic signatures — get acceptances faster;
• QWILR lets you accept payments right within the app;
• Most integrate with popular accounting software.
Generators to help you to get clients
QWILR: free to use if you’re just getting started. This is the perfect app if you’re just getting started pitching. The app comes with a free template library, and the Starter option is free to use. Not only is it free, but you can create ten proposals a month, and can accept payments right in the app. Definitely worth investigating.
QuoteRoller offers unlimited documents and signatures, and includes templates and content blocks, so you can create precisely the proposal you want with a few clicks. You can also use QuoteRoller as a product catalogue. Fees start at $19 a month per user, which includes using your own branding.
Proposify: beautiful proposals to set you apart from the pack — this app creates gorgeous proposals. I like this tool because I’m definitely challenged, design-wise, but I like things to look pretty. 🙂 Also, the app makes it easy for clients to sign on the dotted line. The program keeps all your boilerplate: your bio, your fees, as well as your preferred sections of pitches. Syncs with popular accounting software. Current fee, $25 a month for 1 user, with 5 active proposals.
I love online proposal generators. They make pitching fun — and they help you to get clients. Start pitching. 🙂
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