Are You Tracking Your Pitches? The Most Successful Freelancers Do
Are you keeping track of your pitches? If not, you could be missing out on opportunities! Often times, people are not ready for new business the first time you ask them. A “no” or no response may turn into a yes in a month or two. Keeping track of your pitches allows you to quickly see who you contacted, what their response was, and when you should follow-up.
Your freelancing career will be as successful as you make it. One component of a successful freelance career is hustle. And one thing hustlers do is pitch! Pitching is a scary word for some people, but regardless of how you feel about it, you’ll have to do it at some point during your freelancing career.
As a freelancer who does a variety of work including virtual assistance, social media management and content creation, I’m always looking for new opportunities. I keep track of all my pitches so I know how my efforts are going.
Keeping track of your pitches will save you time and energy. Here’s how to do it.
Creating a pitch log
I use Google Sheets to keep track of my pitches. Every time I send my information or a proposal to someone, I record the following information:
- Date I sent my pitch
- Contact person’s name and company name
- Email address, phone number, website or other contact information
- Job description
- Status of my pitch
- Pay rate
- Additional notes
- Date for follow-up (if any)
My pitch log not only gives me a visual reminder of how many jobs I’ve put my information out there for, it also helps me keep track of when I should follow-up with outstanding pitches.
Keeping track of my pitches keeps me realistic. About 75% of pitches never go anywhere. Sometimes the person or company chooses someone else, cancels the job or decides to hire internally. Sometimes people post jobs as a way of sniffing out whether there’s interest for the future, but they don’t intend on hiring someone anytime soon.
What you don’t measure, you can’t manage. If you have no idea how many pitches you’re sending out or to who, you don’t know if your efforts are making a difference or should be abandoned for other client acquisition strategies.
Pitch log breakdown
When I created my pitch log, I thought of the most important items I wanted to record. These are the sections that I fill out for each pitch I submit:
I separate the pitch log into months and then include a column for date. I record the date that I sent the pitch.
This is the person that I contacted as well as their company information in parenthesis next to their name e.g. John Smith (Virtual Assistant Services Inc.)
- Contact info
I record the person’s email, phone, Facebook page or other specified contact information.
I write a brief description of the job or copy and paste the job posting/Facebook post.
I record the status of the pitch. I use color coding to easily see the status of all pitches.
My color coding system goes like this:
Green = Chosen for the job (this client then moves to my Current Clients spreadsheet)
Orange = Pending
Red = Closed
I record either the rate listed or the rate that I’ve pitched. Sometimes I don’t get this information until after I’ve been in contact with the hiring person.
I include any notes about the job or actions that I’ve taken. This may include things like “applicants will be notified by March 3rd.”
In this section, I indicate whether I have followed up on the pitch or whether I plan to. If I plan to follow-up in the future, I set a reminder in my Google Calendar.
Using the pitch log with your business system
Your pitch log should be part of your business system. Information from the pitch log should transfer to other places.
For example, when you win a pitch the client’s information should go into your current client spreadsheet (or another place where you keep your client information). Any information in your follow-up section should be turned into a reminder in your Google Calendar.
In the freelance world, pitching is essential. It’s one of the main ways to find new business. Integrating the pitch log into your existing system will ensure that you don’t miss any opportunities and keep a steady stream of work flowing into your business.
Bonus — Here’s a blank version of my Pitch Log! To use it, go to File and Make a Copy. Let me know how it works for you.
This post originally appeared on Freelancing Mama.