Designers: win jobs without pitching

Freelancers specialising in design are to hear the lowdown on how to refuse requests for free creative pitching without losing the job on offer.

Techniques to bypass the thankless task of speculatively pitching while still winning the assignment will be revealed next month at a lecture in London.

Offered on a first-come first-served basis, the lecture will be delivered by design expert Blair Enns, as part of the Design Business Association’s ongoing campaign against free pitches.

Tried and tested ways to build your portfolio, gain respect, woo new clients and master the art of selling will be disclosed at the event, which is priced at £52 to non-members of the DBA.

Within two hours the audience can also expect to learn how to build a case for growing a design consultancy without giving away their free ideas, the association said.

“One of the challenges with offering creative or [free] guidance on the client’s problem without guarantee of appropriate compensation is what happens after you win,” Enns recently wrote, on the AIGA’s design forum.

“You’ve just given away your highest value offering for free, now how do you look the client in the eye and convince him that your services are worth what you are asking?

“Even when you win in a spec situation you set the tone for the relationship moving forward in which the client dictates and you respond. You have ceded most of your bargaining power on price negotiation, and you have demonstrated questionable business acumen.”

Enns, who runs Enmark Performance Development, a Canadian-based firm that increases the bottom line for design, PR and advertising agencies, is also running a workshop, with the DBA, on avoiding the free pitch.

For further details on the lecture, to be held on March 22, please see the DBA's online booking form.


22nd February 2007

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