For you to succeed online, and in life (wealth, relationships, happiness), you need to have two things.
- To learn to be awesome (or to know exactly where your awesomeness lies since we’re all awesome).
- To make other people see your awesomeness.
Once again, you’re already awesome in SOMETHING. Make sure you figure that out. It helps to get your trainer to check your sample (at least 2) to see if you can really do well in your skill, or need improvement. You can’t go far without a good skill.
So in this post we’ll talk about pitching, which is where you show others your awesomeness. Let’s go right in…
This is some form of pitching. You’re reaching out to a client who has already stated that he wants someone with your skill set. The competition aspect is there since many of you are bidding at the same time.
To bid well, you need these things:
- Start with a greeting e.g. “Hi John”. Please don’t EVER say “Dear Hiring Manager”.
- Lead with strong sentences that highlight your main strengths.
- LINK to a sample. You can publish your sample on LinkedIn, Medium, your blog or other authority blogs then link to them. If you don’t have a link, just attach a sample, but publish soon so that you can be sending links.
- Be creative and respond directly to the specific needs they highlighted in their post (don’t send a copied pitch)
- Close with some form of gratitude and a sign off.
Here you’re applying for a job from someone who HAS NOT expressed that they need your services. You basically research and get a couple of companies/entrepreneurs who you feel may do better with you in the picture.
Competition is not so high since they’ve not called for applications. Success rate per pitch can be low so you may need to send so many before you get hired. Success rate overall is so high, to the extent that most highly paid writers prefer this to anything else.
Here’s how to do it (once you’ve created your highly targeted list of prospects)
– Have a specific subject on what you want to do
– Don’t forget a simple greeting e.g. Hi John
– Lead with an ice-breaker sentence, preferrably one that says something nice about their company/business/website/blog etc. The more specific you are the better.
– Follow the other steps used in bidding i.e. talk about your strengths, link some samples, give some form of gratitude.
– Follow up a couple of times (preferrably weekly). 3 to 4 follow-ups should be fine…but in some instances you may need to do more or less. Be wise.
This is just one way of cold-pitching. There are others, some don’t even need samples on the first encounter. Google for more on this and test to see what works best for you.
3. Warm Pitching
This is easier to do. In fact, try and do it right now if you’ve never done it.
Here you’re approaching people who already know, like (or love) and trust you. For instance, you can go to the contacts on your phone, WhatsApp or email and politely DEMONSTRATE how their lives will be better with your service.
Being people in your circles, you may have to call or meet a few. Answer all their questions on how your product will help them succeed.
Many of us have done very well with this since it’s simple and warm. Do it now if you’ve never done so.
Is that still pitching? Yes, it is! One day some of you will have bigger businesses and you’ll want to reach out to guys scrolling on social media or searching on search engines.
This is another ball game – but some ingredients here will be; a great image or video, a catchy headline, a free gift to DEMONSTRATE your expertise, then you eventually SELL on email once you’ve established rapport.
Once you figure this out, scale it and make it part of your robotic (automated or semi-passive) income. Really awesome!
5. Contests / Competitions
We see these all the time but just scroll through them. However, some go for it and win BIG. I’m finalizing my blog post on the recently ended #GoGettaz competition where the winners won $100k each. I was there when they made their winning pitches. And I’ve interviewed both winners. Learning LOADS from them.
In case you see some contest that you can take part in, go ahead and send your pitch. These usually want to see your numbers, projections, plan, sustainability, social impact etc. It will need lots of preparation and may be the most gruelling of all these. Rewards can be gynormous!
More on my blog post to come. I’ll actually give you the pitches that won $100k (and some that won $10k) you read for yourself!
Should you use templates?
There are good people out there who have come up with amazing pitching/bidding/outreach templates. Look them up and tweak a few. I once used a template to land a high paying client. Don’t depend on these, though. Learn the skill and create your own ways of pitching that highlight your unique strenghts and personality.
If you forget anything in this long post, don’t forget that one; that you should highlight your unique strengths and personality in all you do.
My final advice
I’ve been doing lots and lots of posts on pitching here and in the other group Remarkable Freelance Writers in Africa. Read them.
Pitching is not easy (apart from warm pitching). It’s not something you can learn from a post like this and become a pro. You may not learn it well from someone who sends you copied notes.
It works great when you learn from people who’ve done it and made it e.g. top-rated freelancers in Upwork, people who’ve cold-pitched successful companies and those who’ve won international contests among others.
So take your time and look up people who’ve succeeded in pitching. Learn from them and pay for their courses if you can afford them.
If you can’t afford their courses, you can still buy cheap courses like mine (which won’t always be cheap) since I’ve also had immense success in all these, including bagging a minor international contest award and being an international contest judge (I do so many things hehe).
I’m also top-rated on Upwork, have successfully cold-pitched, warm-pitched, advertised, given free mini-courses, name it!
Successful guys will actually check your pitches and notice minor things that you need to improve on. Seriously consider getting coached/trained. Those who won the HUGE GoGettaz competition had experts listening to their pitches over and over again, helping them to tighten them up.
As I keep saying, you get what’s in your mentors. Choose your mentor wisely. Do a little bit of research and you’ll note that very successful mentors have very successful mentees/trainees e.g. six figure trainers tend to create six figure trainees.
And some still ask me why my very first trainer was an internationally acclaimed millionaire. And why I bought my very first course at $77 (in 2012) instead of looking for one for $3 or free! You get what’s in your mentors.
If you can’t afford any course, grab their free stuff. Most highly successful trainers tend to give lots and lots and lots of free stuff. Grab them all from several successful trainers/mentors.
After that, practice, practice, practice till you learn how to send pitches that are so awesome that people can’t ignore you.
If you want to grow BIG, pitching is one of those things you may have to do your whole life. Keep getting better at it.