As a freelancer, securing work is no linear process. Sometimes jobs trickle in while you anxiously twiddle your thumbs. At others, multiple clients contact you at once wanting work done immediately.
Sources of freelance work can be wildly diverse too. Some jobs come via word-of-mouth or courtesy of your trusty book of contacts. Others might be the result of scoping out professional media platforms such as LinkedIn.
Other potential sources of freelance work are talent sites like Fiverr, Upwork ,and PeoplePerHour – just to name a few of those that are currently popular. But to get the most out of that type of platform, you need to be pitch perfect. And no, we’re not talking about your dulcet tones to stay ahead of the competition and turn heads amongst prospective clients.
Using freelancer talent sites means that your profile needs to be the perfect pitch for every client:
- Focusing on what your skills are, and what problems you can solve for clients, or needs you can fulfil.
- Using faultless formatting, grammar, and clarity. Its YoUr FiRsT iMpRessionn!
- Being honest about your experience, because lying to impress someone never impresses anyone.
- Being truthful about any gaps in skills or experience you might have.
- Including other skills which compliment your portfolio.
- Keeping your online profiles professional, and up to date.
Six ways to fine-tune your freelance pitch for talent sites
Now, let’s take a look at each of these in more detail so you can become a pitching pro.
1. Talk less about yourself and more about the client
This might seem odd, considering it’s your pitch about your work. But, realistically, all the client wants to know is how you’re going to solve their problem, and how fast you can do it.
Naturally, they’re going to want to see you’ve got the skills and experience to fit the bill, but you’ll have greater appeal if you position this as a solution designed for them.
This is trickier to achieve on a talent site where you aren’t likely to be pitching to a specific client or brief straight off the bat, but it can be done. For example, if you have a wealth of copywriting experience for small businesses setting up websites and writing marketing communications, pitch yourself as a solution for this type of startup venture.
Acknowledge the client’s needs or their problem first, promote your services as the solution after. It will help you resonate well with your audience.
2. Make sure format, grammar and clarity are all on-point
It goes without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway to really hammer the message home. Correct spelling, accurate grammar, clear formatting, and concise communication of information is essential if you’re going to stand out.
Proofread meticulously, have somebody else cast an eye over it, and if writing isn’t your thing, lean on tools like Grammarly to rule out the possibility of errors that can make you look lax, lazy, or subpar against your competitors.
Confusing readers or overlooking mistakes will send clients sharply in another direction instead of reeling them in.
3. Be honest and genuine about your experience
When sharing your skills and experiences, make sure you’re only telling the truth. Lying, or even just embellishing reality, might turn heads initially but won’t stand you in good stead in the long term.
Everything you’re sharing about yourself should be genuine and authentic. You’ll find this boosts your confidence when pitching your services too, because you’ll do so with greater authority.
Talking up false information is a surefire way to compromise your confidence and set client relationships off on the wrong foot. Particularly when you get caught out!
4. Be open and transparent about your weak spots
On the flip side, it’s also important to be completely honest about any gaps in your skills, knowledge or experience that might impact your ability to fulfil a brief.
You might not necessarily broadcast this in your public pitch, but once conversations with potential clients start flowing, be upfront about any areas you might be lacking in. It’s better to communicate this early on in the relationship and manage expectations, rather than lie to impress and land yourself in a sticky situation further down the line.
It might be the case that the client takes you on as a freelancer and simply outsources other parts of the project. As the old adage goes, honesty is always the best policy, and it’s the foundation of longstanding professional relationships.
5. If you’ve got it, flaunt it
Don’t forget that the point of the exercise is to make sure your portfolio and relevant skillset are front and centre. But, if you have other benefits in your arsenal, make sure to give them a share of the spotlight too.
For example, if you can speak another language, or if you have additional certifications or qualifications, be sure to include those as part of your pitch as well. It will do a lot to bolster your appearance as a well-rounded and experienced professional.
6. Regular housekeeping of your online profiles is the order of the day
Once you perfect your talent site freelance pitch, it’s essential to take care of it as you develop and grow. Doing so will speak volumes about you as a professional.
This involves keeping things like your contact details, availability and rate card up to date, as well as ensuring your profile picture is recent, of good quality and platform-appropriate (so no low-res images of you crowdsurfing at a music festival ten years ago).
It’s also a good idea to keep your pitches fresh and relevant by regularly scheduling in some time to update your portfolio and tweak the content wherever necessary.
This will ensure your talent site profiles never stagnate or become so outdated that bringing them up to scratch is a mammoth task that you continue to dodge.
Now all that’s left for you to do is go out there and pitch like you really mean it. Good luck!
Don’t forget to check out our How to Become a Freelancer section too!