Perfecting your video production sales pitch is easier than you think. Finding new clients and projects to work on is a big part of thriving in video production. With a few pro tips and some practice, you can nail your next client pitch and keep those great projects flowing.
Putting together a great bid, pitch and proposal are all essential to the video production business, yet they are often overlooked or taken too lightly. Work as hard on the pitch as you will on the video concepts.
Here are our pro tips for nailing your next video production sales pitch.
Pitching the concept
The best concept in the world can fall flat with a weak pitch. A flustered and scattered pitch will derail the best of concepts. You have already submitted a solid creative brief that has gotten you to the point of pitching concepts.
To recap, your creative brief should include an overview of the project and relevant experience. It will consist of concrete and achievable objectives and the metrics you would be tracking. For example, are you selling more products, getting sign-ups, or changing a brand’s image? You must know the target audience inside and out and include demos such as gender, age, income, education, and ethnicity. An excellent brief assesses the competition and demonstrates you know how this client is different.
Perhaps the most essential elements of a creative brief is your message that demonstrates your campaign’s theme. The brief should illustrate the tone and some visuals like a mood board. Scheduling is a rough outline of critical dates and a budget. Your client has reviewed your creative brief, and you are now ready to pitch!
Here are top tips to help you ace your video production sales pitch
- Study your brief one more time. This has set expectations for your client, and you should not veer from what the client has agreed to see from you. Be sure your concept delivers on all aspects of your brief from goals, to scheduling and budgeting.
- Be sure your concept is fully aligned with the strategy. Don’t let the creative take over. Your concept must deliver concretely on the strategy, which should be the starting point of your creative process.
- Create a concrete pitch deck that includes the visuals and the scripting. Revise, revise, and revise one more time to be sure it is perfect.
- Be prepared to describe your video concept (and your pitch deck) in a couple of sentences. You should be able to call out the focus of the content, the problem being solved, and how it will be solved. Be sure your visuals support the target demographics!
- Be as visual as possible by creating a mood board that helps demonstrate your concept, color palette, tone, and feel. Focus on helping the client see the project as you see it. Use known references such as “Borat meets West Wing.”
- Show your storyboard. Pairing a reading of the script with a storyboard helps the client visualize the project.
- Perfect and practice your pitch. Practice your pitch many times. Sometimes the client may not like your pitch. It happens. Be prepared to defend the project by explaining the choices you have made.
Pitching you and your team
- Demonstrate the value that you and your team bring.
Sales are about bringing value and making a connection with the client. Show your client that you understand their company and their company’s fundamentals, including their business model and how they make money. Remember, everyone is in business for a reason, and while it is easy for us to become enamored with the creative side of things, clients exist to make money. Tie your work to the bottom line as directly as you can.
Show them how working with you will increase their bottom line. It is not always easy to find this direct connection to revenue but dig deep and get creative. This will help your pitch stand out.
Be sure your project description is complete and well thought out. Answer the client’s questions before they ask and show them that you and your shop will address every detail and make their project a priority.
Stay in touch with past clients so you can use them as examples of how your work has helped them increase revenue and get clearance from former clients to use them as references. showing you have a solid track record and proven ability to increase the bottom line is gold in a pitch. And if you can show more than one example, you can demonstrate that you can work across various verticals, including that of the client.
- Show off your expertise.
Your client may have seen some of your work, but remember, they come at it as a layperson. Demonstrating your relevant expertise will separate you from the pack and show why you are uniquely qualified to handle the project. Try to get the client to see your reel or look at your work. As they do, call out the purpose of each project and how you fulfilled it. Don’t spend too much time on this, but this is an opportunity to show how you’ll be able to pivot to a video that brings your client’s goals to life. Weave in some technical details on how you would approach the project showing you have the expertise and equipment to create an excellent video for them.
- Make your proposal clear and detailed.
It is always preferable to make your pitch in person. If this is not an option, perhaps a coffee or even a handshake to make a personal connection to your brand and proposal can be arranged. Your proposal should be comprehensive. Here are some elements that make for a great proposal and pitch.
- Giving your project a name to make it easy to talk about and distinguish
- Give a project overview that includes why you are best qualified to develop and shoot this project.
- Give an overview of your work, including your portfolio and resume.
- Be very clear about the scope of work. Discuss how you will handle work that may go beyond the agreed-upon scope.
- Build a timeline based on what you know. A timeline will help manage the client’s expectations and often will get things rolling.
- Clearly define what the deliverables are and any due dates attached to them.
- Budget – Provide detailed line items, including pre-production and post-production.
- Provide projected travel costs if this is part of the project.
- Always add signature lines for you and the client. ABC – Always Be Closing!
Bonus tips on developing a pitch
Be clear on the client’s goals for the video.
They usually fall within the categories of building brand awareness, selling a product or service, or announcing a new product or service.
Brand awareness videos are not selling a specific service or product but are meant to create a feeling or set of beliefs about the client and tend to be more emotional.
Selling an existing product or service is the most basic of videos and is different from selling a new product or service as there is often not as much explanation of the product required.
Launching and selling a new product can be the most challenging as the audience is likely, not familiar with the product, so you must capture their attention and then hold it as you explain the product.
- Get familiar with the client. Study their creative brief, their pitch deck, and be sure to visit their site and understand all of their current communications. Get to understand their company culture, vision, and what their goals are for this video.
- Find their unique selling points. Follow up on the client’s creative brief to dig into this if it is not evident.
- Study the competition – Survey the landscape and understand what the competition is doing, how they compare, their positioning, language, and their unique selling points.
- Develop two or three concepts that are doable and that you expect would be acceptable to the client.
- Create a treatment that describes the concept in a couple of paragraphs and have this in your back pocket in case the concept falls flat.
Sometimes a client will just not like your project. It can be that you’ve missed the point, or just maybe creative differences. Defend your work to a reasonable point. But if it is a hard no, move on. If it is “a swing and a miss,” graciously accept it and be sure you learn from the experience and listen to the client’s feedback.