We get it. You need help getting more leads and sales from your website and content marketing. And you want to hire an external company to help.
So what do you do? You ask some companies you like to pitch their services.
They show up, suited and booted, ready to impress.
There’s a fancy powerpoint. Visual aids.
And you analyse which company you like best.
It’s a process that happens every day all across the world.
And in this blog post, we’re going to tell you why it’s deeply flawed.
We’ll tell you why we don’t pitch for work. And what we do instead.
First Things First: This Is Not About Our Ego
When we say the words, ‘Thank you so much for asking us to pitch for this project. It means a lot that you approached us. However, we don’t actually pitch for work…’ Well, we understand that we come across as a little, how shall we put it? Egotistical.
We’d like to say that this does not come from our ego. We don’t think we’re better than other companies.
We don’t hold our noses in the air, saying ‘Eugh, pitching. That is SO beneath us.’
The reason that we don’t pitch for work is because pitching is not the best thing for us. But more importantly, it’s not the best thing for you.
Getting companies to pitch to you is not the best way for you to find the right company for your business and what you need.
Why? Well, we’re going to run through the reasons why we don’t pitch. And why you should consider another process when hiring companies to work with.
A Pitch is Based on Your Brief…But Your Brief Needs Discussion
When you see a doctor, you give them a list of symptoms and rely on them to diagnose what’s wrong with you.
When you see a mechanic about a fault on your car, you tell them the problems, and they find out what’s wrong with it.
But when you give an agency your ‘brief’, you’ve already diagnosed your own problems. And you’ve already come up with a solution.
A perfect example of this is with Search Engine Optimisation. A lot of companies want an SEO company to help them get more traffic and search rankings. When actually, before they do anything, they need to improve their website’s user-experience. There’s no point paying to get loads of website traffic, if people don’t know where to go when they land on your site.
The Website Success Framework
If you need help with getting more leads and sales from your website, there are six key areas you need to focus on.
We’ve seen companies spend tens of thousands on a website redesign, when actually, they needed to invest in content marketing and lead generation.
We’ve seen companies invest in website copy, but the design is so poor they don’t come across as trustworthy.
You need to hit all six to have a successful website. Often, businesses will struggle in two or three of these key areas. That’s what a good company should help diagnose…way before you get to writing a brief.
What We Do Instead
Instead of pitching something based on your brief (and based on you diagnosing your own problems). We have a conversation with you about your problems. We then come up with some ideas about how you would best address those problems. And we do this in an unbiased way. Sometimes, we can help. Sometimes, another company is a better fit for what you need. Either way, you have a full understanding of what you need and your next steps.
2. Pitching is About Us Charming You
But it’s not about us. At least, it shouldn’t be.
When a company pitches to you, it’s all about them. It’s all about their experience, their team, their past projects, and their ideas.
They want to dazzle you, charm you and convince you that they are the company for you. They present a slick powerpoint and showcase their many awards. But is this really the best way for you to identify whether this company is right for your business?
We don’t think so.
Because when you come to choose a company, you need the focus to be on you–on your business and what you want to achieve. You need a company that asks you questions (not the other way around). Essentially, you need to be in the spotlight. Only then, can that company truly help you.
What We Do Instead
We want to work with companies who are the right fit. We want to actually help companies, and deliver a good return on investment (because, let’s face it, no one want’s unhappy clients, right?)
To do that, we can’t just present to everyone, showing off our skills and expertise. Because we still don’t know if we’re the right fit for each other.
We simply need a conversation (yup, there’s that word again). By having a conversation, both parties can find out if we’re a good fit. And we can identify if we can help you. Or if not, we can point you in the right direction.
3. The Free ‘Stuff’ Isn’t Always Helpful
A common request we get asked of us, is to come up with lots of ideas in our pitch. Or even designs or full marketing/SEO reports.
Now, we’re not blaming you for thinking this is the norm because…well, it is. A lot of companies do this. They pour hours and hours of their time coming up with ideas/reports/creating designs, and all sorts of things for a pitch.
We Always Say No to the Request for Freebies…Here’s Why
Firstly, we can’t create designs or full marketing reports without having a full understanding of your business.
That means understanding the problems you’re facing, your staff and capabilities, your competitors, and what you want to achieve. We need to spend a lot of time analysing your website, analytics, search rankings, content marketing and website copy. This process is actually part of the paid project–the initial strategy. It usually takes two-three weeks, and it’s pretty intensive.
But we could easily knock up a design.
We could download some SEO reports using some software.
But here’s the snag. It may not be helpful to you.
Why? Because we haven’t done all the things above. We haven’t done a deep-dive of your company. So the design we come up with would definitely change later down the line. Those SEO stats could be pointless without us doing some intensive research into what your audience is searching for and how we can capture them.
Essentially, the free stuff you often get in pitches may not have any reflection on the end service/product.
The second reason is slightly more controversial.
Some companies do put hours, days or even weeks into your pitch. They spend a lot of time coming up with ideas, designs and/or reports. And they do all of this for free.
We don’t do this because we don’t believe any business should give so much of their time away for free. If we did, we’d have less time to spend with our current clients, and it would impact our business negatively.
Essentially, we prioritise our current clients over winning new ones. We prioritise serving those who pay us, rather than serving those who may (or may not) pay us.
What We Do Instead
Now, saying all that, it doesn’t mean we don’t want to speak to you at all! As we’ve said before, what we do is have a conversation with you. We’ll ask you a lot of questions (and you can ask us questions too), and we’ll give you our unbiased advice and guidance about the best way forward.
For many businesses, pitching is still the norm. It’s the way you can see what a company actually can do. It makes you feel safe and secure. You’re investing money and you want to spend it wisely. But pitching is not the best way to find the right company for you.
If we’ve sent this blog post to you’ve requested us to pitch, we hope we can have a conversation and learn more about you and your business. The focus should be on you, after all 😉
We’ll assess whether we’re the right company for you and if we are, we’ll put together a proposal. If we’re not the right fit, we’ll give you some recommendations on which path to take, and which companies could help you.