How to Pitch Lesson 3: Formatting
Here is a basic format for pitching.
The opening paragraph should be all about them. This is something I’ve seen major agencies not utilise to its full effect. The main points of this first paragraph are to readdress the brief, to show you’ve done some research of the company and to outline the project.
Sadly, what you tend to see here is copy and pasted wording from the original brief just laid out differently. This is no good and to me looks lazy. Generally, when I’m pitching for things I will take the time to really try and understand their business problem, and where I can help. I’m always willing to stick my neck out and say “I would imagine…” or “I think this could work…” sometimes this will have absolutely nothing to do with what I’m pitching for. (It might be a genuine observation on their business or comment about their branding) I can tell you this paragraph has got me more jobs than anything else. Prospects have honestly phoned me up and asked if I was psychic in the past.
It shows that you’ve taken the time to care and are not just writing a generic pitch. They might not agree with your suggestions; you might be completely wrong, but taking the time to do so will make you stand out.
About the project
It’s here that I will go into the nitty gritty of the project itself. What I do can be quite technical, and in theory everything is up for discussion but I will give a broad overview of my plan here.
One great tip here is to use third party stories rather than your opinion. So if I thought it was best to use a certain type of camera on a shoot, I would say “which worked so well when I was doing X” this is a great opportunity to drop some work examples into the mix without it seeming forced.
Another big mistake I see all the time. In a pitch document the ‘About you’ part should be the shortest portion. You should focus 80% of your pitch on them, their business, their problem and how you’ll solve it. Throw in a quick line about yourself BUT do include references to your website, portfolio, FAQs, terms and so on…meaning if a prospect wants to hire you they can look at these at their leisure, hopefully you’ll be able to track downloads/web views so will take a good guess if they’ve reviewed your file…always a good buying signal.
For the first two lessons:http://olivergwynne.com/thoughts/