We all know that new clients don’t grow on trees, and when you do finally get hold of a potential client, you’ll more than likely need to pitch for the work. Pitching to your potential client can be a daunting task, especially if it’s your first pitch and you haven’t had much experience.
We caught up with Arvind Ramaiya, a current student of the Left Bank to chat about his very first client pitch.
Arvind, where did your first pitch come from?
I was looking for work primarily on LinkedIn and SEEK when I saw an advertisement on SEEK for a clothing business that I looked up to. I applied with my resume and a portfolio with the work that I had completed during my course with The Left Bank. Then, they asked me to submit a brief plan on:
– how I would develop and expand their social community.
– how I would build brand awareness and devise a plan that would engage and inform.
Arvind was only given 24 hours to create and submit his pitch. This tight deadline was a massive challenge and adding to that challenge Arvind says ‘the client brief was very brief and there was no information on the internet about competition and their USPs.’
While this won’t be everyone’s experience and there will be clients that are more generous in providing details as well as being open for questions if you contact them for more information, many clients take ‘the brief’ literally and may only provide a ridiculously short brief.
‘The task seemed daunting at first, but once I had created the first, second and third drafts, it only seemed to get better and better. And after about five iterations, it was finally done :)’ added Arvind. All in under 24 hours.
Is the reality of a client pitch very different from what you are learning in your course?
‘Actually, the process is very similar to what we learn in the course. Throughout the Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Marketing subjects we are asked to put together client presentations and the structure of the pitch were very similar to these: business overview, target audience, social media tactics and platforms, messaging, produce examples of posts, metrics, next steps etc. I was actually able to use some of the work I had already done in the Social Media Subject.
Where the client pitch is different from an assessment is that you need to tailor the presentation much more, and produce content that fits in perfectly with the customer branding. Even a small change like using the brand colours and getting the messaging right can have a massive impact on how it is received. And it also needs to look professional enough to get out the door.
What would your advice be for your fellow students who might be facing their first client pitch?
– I only had 24 hours for my pitch so if you can, get more time. That would be helpful 🙂
– Look at the big picture – what is the customer’s USP, who are their competitors, what is the target audience, which channels are best to promote the content, and don’t focus on just the content alone.
– Use Canva. Tools like these help you create professional looking creative assets without too much effort. You can also create your presentation in Canva as well, they have a huge range of free presentation templates.
– Use xtensio to create customer personas but don’t spend too much time on only one thing. Messaging, for instance, is as important as defining the target audience.
– Keep a portfolio of ideas and tasks that you generate while studying. I was able to re-use a lot of my ideas that I produced during my course with The Left Bank.
– Your presentations skills will be put to the test. Send your presentation to peers or friends for them to look over for you. I was lucky enough to be able to send my presentation to the education team at The Left bank who offered useful feedback all within my tight deadline.
The most important thing to remember is that we all experience stress and self-doubt in the pitching process, this is natural. But having the right resources and people around you during the process of your first client pitch always helps. Arvind is completing the Diploma of Business which contains specialised material in Digital Marketing.