As a designer, you are always going to be exposed to a lot of experiences; but one of the most important life lessons that can make or break your career is pitching your projects or designs.
Having an amazing portfolio is great! It’s as good as having cool creative ideas, but not being able to pitch to potential clients can make these two things lose their value.
Now, don’t be scared, because just like any other skill you want to learn in your career, pitching is a skill you can develop through practice and experience. So there’s no better time to start than now. With that said, here are some tips that might help you:
Research about your client
You need to be very clear about who you’re talking to, what are their needs and what is it they want. Or if they have already given you a brief, research and find out more details about them and learn exactly what it is they are expecting; how you can impress and benefit them with your design experience.
It’s all about you understanding the client and their perspectives. It’s going to help you connect better with them when presenting your ideas and working with them.
Know your stuff
Nothing shows more professionalism than a designer who knows what they’re talking about, that’s how you capture the attention of most clients.
Before pitching, always prepare what you’re going to say before presenting. If you’re looking into a proposal of something you’ve never done before, research and make sure you understand how you’re going to work with it, what has been done before by other designers and so on.
Work on your self confidence, because most likely you already have the expertise in your field, but people are always judging you based on your confidence or lack thereof. Of course, you don’t want to fall into arrogance, because people don’t like that either. Just be you and trust in your experience and what you’ve learned so far.
Be clear when you talk
Explain what you’re presenting. If you already have an idea for a proposal from a brief given by a client, ensure that your presentation is shown accompanied by explanations.
You already did your research, you’re prepared – Now make it flow. How does your design work and adapt into the brief of what the client wants and needs? How does your idea solve the problem posed by the client?
Speak a language your client understands. Don’t ever go extremely technical with your client and avoid buzzwords as well as jargons. Keep it simple and professional at all times.
Connect with the client
Make the client a part of the process. From the moment you’re gathering information and throughout your presentation; until the very end of the project. This is important because you are ultimately working together to achieve the same common goal.
It’s really important to define your goals and objectives, because it will help evaluate your work and have a clear path with milestones and final destination about where the project is going. Being on the same page as your client will ensure the delivery of the project is smoother.
And of course, make your client happy when working with you. Having a positive attitude and showing enthusiasm about the project will help you connect to your client and you can build your relationship with them from there.
There are still many tips and tricks to nail your design pitch and nail yourself a lot of clients, but the truth is, if you don’t put it into practice, you are not going to succeed on the first try. Take baby steps and start improving your pitching methods little by little. Slowly better the way you pitch your portfolio, ideas and projects and with time, you will start to improve and gain more confidence because you are well prepared. You never know when you’re going to meet a potential client or when an opportunity may arise suddenly 😉