The freelancer pitch framework - Stop overcomplicating what you do

There is a recurring trend I see among nearly all creative professional who are considering starting their own business or are in the early phases. 

    They overcomplicate what they do.

Time and time again, I find myself drowning in a three minute long pitch about the business or service that they are trying to create.

They overthink it, overcomplicate it and end up hurting their business because no one understands what they do.

This is painful to listen to, but most importantly it's painful because it is hurting their business. 

Learning to easily communicate what you do is one of the most important things every creative professional must learn.


The complicated pitch

The other day I was on a phone call consulting with an aspiring creative professional. His pitch went something like this:

"I am starting up this business where we take a really data driven approach to analytics, and social media. All of these artists are always doing things online but they never really no what works, so I want to get really serious about analyzing the data and being able to target what worked and what didn't work so that we can figure out how to improve in the future. And then from that data I would offer consulting and hands on management to help them grow their social media presence and their business." 

This paragraph is paraphrased from memory but it's not too far off from the real pitch.

His target market is music artists. Now imagine that you are a music artist who knows nothing about technology and you heard this pitch. 

You would probably think "What the hell is this guy talking about?"

Now let's counter that with a much simpler, more basic pitch.

"I help hip hop artists get more fans and make more money through managing their online presence."

It's straight and to the point. It speaks to the benefits you offer your clients and what you do to create those benefits. 


A simple framework for talking about what you do

I must reference my good friend Ilise Benun of for teaching me this framework. Below is a slightly modified version of her original framework which I have found myself using for years. 

The framework follows this simple structure.

I help X accomplish Y through Z

X = your target market
Y = benefit you offer them
Z = how you create the benefit

In our previous example: 

X= hip hop artists
Y = get more fans and make more money
Z = managing their online presence 

"I help hip hop artists get more fans and make more money through managing their online presence."

You say who you help, what benefits you offer and how you help them in one simple statement.

Sure, this doesn't answer every question the client will have, but it opens up the conversation and clearly positions you in the prospects mind. 

When the prospect gets what you do right off the bat, then the rest of the conversation flows easy. 

Positioning yourself properly on your website and at the start of every conversation with a prospect will drastically improve your business.


A second example: How I position my business

Now let's take my own business as an example. Currently, my business is acting as a freelance marketing director for creative businesses. 

So my positioning statement looks something like this.

"I help creative businesses increase their profitability by stepping in as your marketing director."

It's a simple framework.

Target Market X = Creative Businesses
Benefit Y = Increase their profitability
How Z = by stepping in as your marketing director

This simple framework can be used for any freelance professional, creative agency or services business.


Don't overcomplicate it

Keep it simple. Stop boring prospects with your three minute pitch.

Try this XYZ framework and keep it straight and to the point.