“The pitch was too brief.”
“Did you not see our website?”
“The pitch wasn’t detailed enough.”
“Your pitch was great, but we’re not going to move ahead.”
These questions that graphic designers dread, resurface quite often when they approach a new client. But in all honesty, sometimes “it’s not you, it’s them”. Graphic design is a huge space. There are various kinds of graphic designers, each vary in their skills and experience. For a client, it’s like being in a candy store, they have plenty to choose from. However, one thing they all need to be sold on, is an airtight pitch. Not having enough time or being burdened with work can’t be an excuse to do a rush job and make it to the deadline. Here are five things, every graphic designer should know before making a pitch by Tanya Jain, writer and design strategist. Take a few extra hours, do the work and you’ll be relieved to know that it made a difference.
Research is the first key step before making your pitch to a client. As a visual communicator, it is useful for designers to research the work of their clients. What have they already shared with the world, what’s their vision, what has or has not worked for them previously. This can help streamline the key focus points that need to be discussed in the pitch.
This is important as a general practice. Before you pitch to any client, check if you have the bandwidth to take on the projects. Often designers take on more than they should and end up delaying on their deliverables. Figure out tentatively how long the project will take, and whether or not you’ll be able to take on the workload, once you are sure you have the time to take on more, go ahead and consider pitching.
Every designer possesses a skillset that helps them stand out. Whether it’s your ability to deliver before time, your communication skills or your creativity, it’s helpful to know how you stand out in the crowd. Every client has the option of going with someone else, but what is it that you’re offering? Having the confidence to know how you can be better and being able to deliver with it, is an essential question you need to have an answer for. Why you and why not someone else?
Pitching is already a tricky space. You have to make sure you’re concise and to the point with your ideas, and at the same time you don’t oversell. However, before you create your pitch and consider it to be ready, create another one, it doesn’t have to be as extensive but just a rough outline. Using the opposite view, counteract your pitch to see where you’re strong and where you need work. This small exercise helps you get ready for the “why this and why not that?” question.
This is a slightly complicated space, especially if you’re new to it. Oftentimes, designers end up over promising to clients in order to land a project. This often leads to compromising on the quotation or working beyond the required amount of time. No matter where you are in your graphic design journey, don’t let yourself be subject to these situations. As a designer, it’s your job to make sure the terms are mentioned beforehand.
Making a pitch is only the beginning of a long-term relationship you will enter with your client. Once the pitch is approved and you decide to work on the project, reminding yourself of these key points helps you stay professional and create a healthy working relationship with your client.
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