Y’all know I can’t go too long without talking about pitching. 😉
It’s kind of my jam. And kind of how you’ll be successful as a freelancer. Or an entrepreneur. Or in life really!
Why? Well, we’re all in sales.
Whether you want to admit it to yourself or not, it’s true.
Some of us are in sales, sales. Others of us just sell ourselves (and not like that sicko!).
We’re All in Sales
As I said, regardless if you have a product or a service to sell, we’re all in sales.
Yep, even those of you in Corporate America, sitting in your cubical way far away from the sales department. Even you had to sell your boss on landing that particular job. (Whether you like it or not isn’t the point here.) 😉
And if we’re all in sales, then we’ve all had to pitch ourselves at one point or another to land a job. Traditionally, this is called an interview.
I can hear your hamster wheel turning…
At least that’s how I think of it. And I think you should too. Especially if you’re looking to start (or grow) your own business.
Because whether we have a product, advice or a service to sell, if we don’t pitch ourselves and sell it… we’re kind of SOL. Am I right?
Pitching Is an Essential Part of Business Building
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said:
If you don’t put yourself out there, you won’t be successful.”
Clients won’t come knocking on your door – you must do the door knocking.”
At least at first! When you’re first building a new business, outbound marketing is essential.
Outbound Marketing Vs. Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing (per Hubspot):
Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close and delight over time.
Outbound Marketing (per Bold Think Creative):
Outbound marketing is a strategy in which a business advertises its products and services by presenting information to consumers even if they are not looking for those products or services. Because of this, outbound marketing has been commonly referred to as “interruptive marketing.” Companies do this via the use of television, print ads, direct mailers, radio and more.
Or in essence, inbound = blogging or content generation of some sort and outbound = traditional marketing methods or in our case, cold pitching.
While we’d all like to start off with inbound marketing (and we should focus on positioning ourselves to do so), it isn’t something that happens overnight. You should get started setting up a blog and online presence now, but you should also start outbound marketing now too.
Because bills need to be paid now yo! 😉
Your Personal Pitching Challenge
Now that you’ve fully bought into the idea that everyone is in sales, that you need to put yourself out there and that doing some outbound marketing aka cold pitching at first is necessary, I want to give you a little challenge.
Note: This challenge can go hand-in-hand with the 90 Day Pitching Challenge I brought to you back in May of this year.
The premise behind this challenge is two-fold:
- We’re all visual people.
- We thrive off of external motivation.
What You’ll Need
- 30 days (the time frame could be shorter or longer, but I like operating in one month increments)
- A clear jar or vase
- Coins (quarters work well), candy (think jelly beans, M&M’s or Hershey’s Kisses) or another tangible item
- A reward for completing the challenge
How It Works
You can operate this challenge in one of two ways.
- You can remove an item (think candy) from the jar one at a time.
- You can add an item (think quarters) to the jar one at a time.
Either method works. It just depends on if you think you’ll be more motivated seeing your jar get empty or full. Dealer’s choice!
Next, you need to determine how many pitches you should send in that month. Anything less than one per business day isn’t enough. So let’s say anywhere from 20-300 (total, not per day).
Pick your start date – tomorrow sounds good to me! 😉 In all seriousness though, the sooner the better. Can you wait until the New Year? Sure.
Should you? Nope. Too much time to talk yourself out of it!
Small actions equal BIG results.“
Then pick your reward. Maybe it’s a pedicure, a new book or something else relatively cheap, but that you actually want. You don’t need to drop a couple hundred bucks on a reward, but you should want the prize if that makes sense.
Note: If you choose candy (most of you won’t, because like me, you probably have a New Year’s resolution to drop a few lbs), that can totally be your one and only reward. Because you’re kind of cashing in each time you send a pitch… Make it your absolute favorite candy though. And DON’T let yourself eat any UNLESS you’ve actually sent a pitch.
You find a jar –> you choose to fill it or to empty it –> you figure out what to fill it with –> you choose your pitching goal/time frame –> each time you send a pitch, you either remove something from the jar or add something to it (depending on if you want to fill it or empty it) –> at the end if you’ve hit your goal, you cash in your quarters (pebbles, seashells or whatever) for your grand prize.
You can also do a little happy dance if you’d like. 🙂
The Real Prize
The real prize isn’t a pedicure, a book or some candy.
The real prize is getting new clients. And getting new clients again takes putting yourself out there and pitching for work.
And we all know that it doesn’t happen right away (I’ve had students tell me that prospects replied to a pitch TWO YEARS after they sent it!). So get started. Now. And don’t stop when your challenge ends.
And don’t forget to FOLLOW UP – it’s kind of important too! 😉
Are YOU going to take the personalized pitching challenge? If so, comment “I’m in” down below!