Should I pitch for free?

Ready to be your own boss?
Okay, so you’re new to freelancing and keen to impress. All of a sudden a client calls wanting you to help with a pitch. Time to think like a lawyer.

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Okay, so you’re new to freelancing and keen to impress. All of a sudden a client calls wanting you to help with a pitch. Time to think like a lawyer.

Of course, you’d never want to actually be a lawyer but the point is lawyers never work for free, unless it’s a case that can get them on TV, and neither should you!

So if a client ever pulls out the old, “Think of it as a foot in the door, there could be a lot more work in the future” line, just say no. Because when you say yes, clients naturally start to devalue the work of creative professionals across the board. Then before you can know it, you’re accepting 30% less than your standard hourly rate.

Fortunately, most reputable clients, particularly agencies, know the value that you bring to the table, so you won’t have to worry about the above scenario.

A handful of smaller clients, particularly entrepreneurial ‘wheeler dealer’ types, can be a different kettle of fish though.

If it’s any consolation companies expect agencies to pitch for free all the time, even if it costs $80,000 in the process. So you’re not alone. But with risk comes reward.

Still confused about whether to pitch for free? Grab a free copy of The Pond booklet ‘Ready to Be Your Own Boss’, for answers to the ten most common freelancing conundrums.

Written by

The Pond

12 Sep 2012

Interests The idea behind The Pond came about four years ago, when returning from the UK a few of us creative types got thinking; there had to be a better way for creative people to remain self-employed yet still be highly creative and earn a half-decent regular income.

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