Still Not A Believer?
Meet today’s digital nomad, Kelly. She’s a fitness instructor from North Carolina (USA) living in Naples, Italy and you can find her on Instagram @Kdbrown9.
Intentional Living In An Ever-Changing World
Meet today’s digital nomad, Kelly. She’s a fitness instructor from North Carolina (USA) living in Naples, Italy and you can find her on Instagram @Kdbrown9.
Although digital nomads skew young and male, 31% are female, and 54% are older than 38. The community includes both full-timers (54 percent) and part-timers (46 percent) with many only living the nomad lifestyle for part of a year. As a result, their income from work done during their nomadic wanderings is all over the map. Among them, 38 percent report earning less than $10,000 per year from this work, but 16 percent, or about 790,000, say they earn $75,000 or more.
As I work with new and established freelancers to pitch their services to larger brands, one of the questions I often get asked, “should I add my rate to my pitch?”
Granted, this question often comes from newer freelancers but it’s still a great question. Here are a few related questions that I’ve heard.
The short answer is no. In my post on the difference between a pitch and a proposal, I share that you put your rate (or price) in your proposal—in the same way, that you put your price in a contract.
I like to think of a proposal as a refined contract. It’s a document that not only outlines your terms and conditions, it, more importantly, also outlines your approach to accomplishing the required tasks and explains your pricing.
Sure, you could totally skip the proposal and put the pricing in the pitch, but I don’t recommend it.
The point of a pitch is to wedge your foot in the door of a new organization.
You pitch to get noticed.
You pitch to showcase your best work and to receive an invitation to chat with a decision maker about how you can support the organization.
Your pitch is the fee to play. It does not guarantee the work. That’s why you need to pitch like a boss.
Let’s look at pitching from another perspective. Pitching is like dating. A pitch is like an online dating profile or an awkward set up from a mutual friend. You share your best most interesting characteristics in the profile—just as you do in your pitch.
The intention of the pitch is to generate interest. Interest looks like a response to your email or an invitation to interview.
The interview is your opportunity to learn about the organization. Your goal with the interview is to ask intelligent questions that help you to learn more about the positions, the needs of the organization, and the short-term goals of the organization.
After the interview, you have to use all of the data you generated (from a few smart questions) in the interview to determine how the work YOU could do for this organization will impact its ability to meet its short-term goals.
Examine your skills, experiences, and education. Dig deep. Ask for testimonials from past clients.
Your final job is to generate a proposal that provides a detailed overview of what you can do and how you will do it to support your client to meet its stated goals.
Once you determine your solution for this customer (including what you’ll do and how often you’ll do it), you can determine how to price the work.
For instance, not all freelance jobs are the same. And while you may be able to charge one client $25/hour for email management, if another client wants email management, blog writing, social media management, and small web development tasks, you may need to increase your hourly rate or perhaps even propose a fixed-priced rate for that particular client.
The price isn’t just a number. With a proposal, your price represents services that will help this client meet their goals. And for savvy clients, the possibility of hiring the right person to help them meet their goals is worth waaay more than they would pay for (just) email management.
This is a big question. I go into detail and provide a spreadsheet in my course, Pitch Like A Boss. But for now, I’ll share this.
As you can see from the explanation I gave on proposals, pricing is not a fixed game. While you could charge everyone a fixed hourly rate, it doesn’t make good business sense because all jobs (and all clients) are not equal.
Your pricing is made up of a combination of things. First, own a business because you don’t want a boss. You probably don’t want to work 40+ hours a week either and you want the flexibility to work when you want.
So don’t set up your business where you’re burnt out and overworked from home. It’s a bad idea.
Don’t do it.
Based on these calculations, you should be able to figure out how much you need to make hourly to cover your overhead, risks, and to accommodate your preferred working hours.
Once you know your ideal rate, you can create a scale for your rate (no less than $$ and up to $$$ based on requirements) and price all proposals —both hourly and fixed price—according to that pricing scale.
If you only take one piece of advice from this post, know that your pitch and your price are not friends. Pricing should not be anywhere near your pitch UNLESS you’re offering an exclusive incentive. Save your pricing for your proposal.
Are a pitch and a proposal the same thing? Due to my experience writing proposals and my done-for-you pitch boss service package, I get asked this question, a lot. And typically, I say no, a pitch and a proposal are not the same. They are, however, two parts of a clear new client sales funnel.
On a basic level, I think of a pitch as an introduction and a proposal as a contract.
In a pitch, you’ve distilled your unique value into a short email or presentation designed to introduce you and your skill set to a new potential client.
With a pitch, you’re not necessarily selling anything. You’re presenting what you have to offer and why you’re essentially amazing and the absolute best person to work with them.
A proposal comes after a successful pitch. You send a proposal with EXACTLY what you’re going to do. How you’re going to do it and WHY you’re going to use that specific approach to get the job done. Then you give them a price.
A lot of freelancers are just so eager for work that when they pitch and get an interview, they agree to just about any rate as long as they can get work.
Ok, when you’re first starting out, perhaps there’s a small window when that level of complacency is acceptable.
But after you get your first few clients, being complacent is no longer acceptable.
So yes, you need to have a pitch and a proposal for the simple fact that you need to first introduce yourself and meet the potential client to learn exactly what they want.
This is an interview. It’s also called a discovery conversation. You’re discovering if you’re a good fit. You discuss the work and the client’s budget. Then you offer to put together a proposal— based on the work the client stipulated—to show schedule, approach, and pricing.
You present the proposal within 24-48 hours of your discovery conversation. You also include your terms and conditions in your proposal, making it similar to a contract. And if the client agrees to your proposed approach, pricing, and terms and conditions, then they’ll sign it and you’ll sign it, sealing a clear understanding between the two of you.
So, while you don’t NEED to use a pitch and a proposal, they complement each other. They both give you the space to present yourself, your company, and your custom solution to your client in a way that serves you and gives the client the transparency they need to trust you.
Writing a proposal is about your client. In your proposal, you’ve got to prove three things.
Creating a pitch and a proposal is the business development or new client funnel to your next client. Both aspects—the pitch and the proposal—of the new client funnel are equally important and while a pitch and a proposal are not the same things, they definitely lead to the same place: new clients and more business. And if you’re a digital nomad, more business means more money to travel!
Are you a freelancer? Do you work a 9-5 and want a new job? In both of these situations, you need to pitch or write a quick email to introduce yourself, skills, and experiences to a prospective client or employer. You need to stand out. Keep reading to learn 7 common freelance pitch problems and how to avoid them so you can stand out, get noticed, and get your foot in the door to expand your network and grow your business.
Common pitch problem #1 is being too informal. The way you address your potential client could make or break the rest of the pitch/cover letter. Don’t be too informal. Steer clear of informal greetings like “hey” or “hiya”.
Since 9.9999 times out of 10, you’re sending an email, you can start your email with the traditional greetings, dear, hello, or hi, and you can also just omit the greeting and go straight into the name of the potential client.
Pro Tip: A good rule of thumb is to always be a step more formal than you’re comfortable being.
Common pitch problem #2 is pitching cold. Cold pitches are duds. And just so we’re clear, a pitch can be cold even if you’re replying to a job announcement.
If you can send the same pitch/cover letter for all of the jobs you’re pitching (with little to no customization), you’re sending cold pitches. Even if you’re applying for jobs from job boards, a cold pitch is a non-researched post.
Finding a way to connect with your intended audience in the pitch will take your pitch from iced cold to lukewarm. And sending a warm pitch increases the likelihood that you’ll get noticed and perhaps even score an interview.
Do a deep dive on the company. If there’s a job announcement, use the information they gave you about the job to see what they’re currently doing as a company and then take an educated guess to explain how you could make it better.
For instance, if you’re a virtual assistant, they probably need you because they have more work than they can navigate and they need a second set of hands. If you’re a graphic designer, maybe they’re graphics are converting sales but they want to take their graphic design a step further.
By showing that you understand their pain, you can then explain to them how you can help them.
Pro Tip: Keep it positive. Don’t give them an area for improvement or worse yet tell them how you can do something “better.” Don’t use the word improve. You’re really just there to help, assist, and help them to do more of what they’re already doing or wanting to do.
Common pitch problem #3 is pitch that’s too long. There’s no “right” length for a pitch or a cover letter but you can always tell when it’s too long. If the job description asks you to respond to each of their questions, do that. But if you’ve decided to wax poetically about your philosophy on organization, please stop.
You want to leave something to discuss in your interview. Better yet, you want to get an interview. So, keep your pitch 3-4 short paragraphs long and end it.
Pro Tip: A pitch is a mini-proposal. You could always offer—in your pitch—to have a quick conversation with them face-to-face or over the phone and then submit a proposal with your methods, approach, and pricing options.
Common pitch problem #4 is being too vanilla. Let’s talk for a second about vanilla. Now, this is just a personal preference but I’m not ever going to just order vanilla ice cream. Give me chocolate or a chocolate/vanilla swirl over plain vanilla any day. That said when I say “too vanilla,” I mean boring.
Don’t be boring in your pitch.
That means don’t regurgitate your resume. Don’t tell them how you can do the things they listed on their job description. And please don’t just use your pitch to reference your attached resume; that’s just a waste of real-estate.
Use your pitch to quantify the work you’ve listed on your resume. Use numbers as much as you can, and give clear examples of the type of work you’ve done and then always walk it back to how that work relates to the client.
Pro Tip: Make a list of your most relevant work experiences before you write the pitch and write relevant one sentence examples of how your experience relates to the opportunity you’re pitching.
Common pitch problem #5 is being ambivalent. I know it’s tempting, but don’t play it cool. One of the worse things you can do in a cover letter is to say, “I hope to hear from you.” Don’t do that.
When I say ambivalent, I mean being standoffish and not asking for what you want. When you throw a ball in someone else’s court —as you do when you say “I hope to hear from you soon.”— you’re giving away your power.
Pro Tip: Instead of giving all of the responsibility away, why not help them make the decision? For instance, “if they think you’re experience will allow you to hit the ground running from day one, then I would hope they’d hit reply to schedule some time to chat.” (wink wink…nudge nudge)
By ending your pitch with a decision and an invitation, you’re gently telling them how and if to engage you. And if they never respond, well then you know they didn’t think your skills were up to par.
Common pitch problem #6 is being too demanding. In my experience, accepting pitches from everyone from virtual assistants to graphic designers and accountants, I’ve seen some demanding pitches. For instance….
“I’m available for a call tomorrow at 2pm. Let me know if that timing works for you schedule.”
“I’ll follow up tomorrow by close of business.”
Demanding people like that annoy me. This is a personal preference type of thing. I don’t like and I wouldn’t do it. Consider the implications of emails that demanding to a business entrepreneur. What if they don’t get your email until after the suggested time? What if they get your initial and follow-up email back-to-back?
It sends a desperate vibe.
Pro Tip: Don’t be demanding. It’s a red flag and a turn off to many people in a position to hire you. Instead, try using a gentle invitation to open up a conversation with a prospective client or hiring manager.
Common pitch problem #7 is being too repetitive. Never repeat yourself and never regurgitate your resume.
Use your pitch to make yourself and your resume stand out amongst all of the competition. Your pitch allows you to show your personality and to draw a direct line to show how your experience relates to the needs they’ve described in the job description.
Pro Tip: Check to make sure your pitch compliments your resume but doesn’t say the same things. Reread your pitch and make sure each line serves a purpose.
Pitching is an art form to give a perfect snapshot of your skills, experiences, and a bit of your personality. It’s a great way to nudge your foot in the door with an organization to start a conversation about a possible partnership. Just make sure to avoid these 7 common pitch problems so you can expand your network and build your business.
The post contains some affiliate links. Review my disclosure for more information.
When digital nomads set out on their entrepreneurship and travel journey, there’s a lot to learn. And the learning the curve is high and very demanding. The good news is there’s a course online to teach you how to solve your own problems. The bad news is that it’s hard to know who to trust and which courses to purchase, but I can help. Let me share with you how courses help digital nomads make extra money, and which ones I think are worth your hard earned money.
I’m not going to lie, buying courses to help yourself learn how to manage your social media presence more effectively, how to build a list, how to write a more convincing sales letter, etc… is really helpful with two caveats. You have to buy from the right people—people who know what they’re talking about AND you have to be willing to invest not just the money in the course but the time it takes to complete the course.
When you’re a digital nomad, making money is the name of the game. It what keeps you afloat and makes your lifestyle possible. So, whether you’re a blogger, a freelancer, or a social media celebrity, you need a blog (link). EBA teaches you how to monetize your blog and use it as an additional income stream. When you join EBA, you learn how to set up your blog to make money and you get lifetime access to all course updates. Plus, you become a member of a pretty exclusive group of bloggers — bloggers who make anywhere from $10K to $100K/month blogging — just blogging. It’s impressive.
Because of EBA, this little blog actually brings in money now. I’m not making $15,000/month yet but now I know how to make it happen. Grab your free copy of the Secret Blueprint For Blogging Success to get a taste of Elite Blog Academy. You can only purchase the class one time a year. So by grabbing your free copy, you’ll also join the waiting list and be one of the first to know when creator Ruth Soukup opens the doors to register again.
Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing is a great companion course to EBA. In this course, creator Michelle Schroeder-Gardner teaches you how to monetize blog posts, social media posts, and emails. Michelle now routinely makes $100,000 + (USD) per month! She still publishes income reports and part of her success is that uses these affiliate marketing techniques all.the.time.
As a digital nomad, this course is right in your sweet spot. You use Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook all the time. Why not make money when you do it? With every blog post, every Instagram pic, every Pinterest Pin, and every Facebook Post, you could be making a buck (or thousands!). This is set-and-forget money and when it comes to easy digital nomad income, this it the jackpot.
Michelle not only teaches how to place the link, but she also shows you how to be compliant and to properly disclose your affiliate marketing to your readers, subscribers, and social media followers.
It’s a great course. After I took this course, I earned my first affiliate sales commission and it felt AMAZING! I wrote one blog post and that one email consistently brings me money. Click here to check it out.
You can check out Making Sense Of Affiliate marketing here. It’s an easy-to-complete course. I think it took me two days to completely read through all of the material and about to week to implement all of her recommendations. It’s worth it. I wouldn’t miss out on this course.
As a digital nomad, it can be hard to keep your life straight. You’ve not only got client work but you’ve got to figure out where you’re going next so you don’t overstay your visa or passport entry requirements. You have to figure out the logistics for your travel and where you’re going to sleep AND you’ve got to continue your professional development so you can keep making money to fund this adventure.
This is how Kim Anderson’s 12-Week Blog Growth Strategy comes into play. By now, you know why you need a blog (link) but with everything else you have going on, it’s hard to keep things moving and updated.
With Kim’s plan, she’s taken all of the major concepts of the 12-week year (great book), and turned them into a course to help you organize and prioritize your tasks in bite-sized 12-week intervals. It’s freaking amazing!
You may think, “shoot, I can organize my own life.” And you can, but if you’re a digital nomad like me, I never actually get around to organizing and the one time I did, I spent all my time trying to figure out how to effectively organize all of my work.
Kim’s course cut out all of the back and forth and helped me set up a 12-week plan. I got more done in those 12 weeks than I did some years. Literally. Life change. Amazing.
Now, every 12 weeks, I set a goal and I use Kim’s strategy to break those goals down into bite-sized actions that I can track daily, weekly, and monthly.
Hands down, Kim’s 12-week blog growth strategy is the best productivity course I’ve ever taken (and I’ve taken a ton). You can check it out here.
Edit 3/2021 : Pitch Like A Boss is no longer available.
I’m going to toot my own horn here for a second and full disclosure, this is totally MY course but I think it’s fan-tab-ulous (and yes, I’m completely biased).
As a digital nomad, most of my income still comes from freelancing. And when you’ve been “homeless” for as long as I have (7 years and counting), your former professional network runs a bit dry and people don’t quite know how to find you. So, like me, you end up finding temporary jobs through job boards and referrals from current clients. But to get those jobs, you’ve got to pitch your credentials.
Having written proposals for the majority of my corporate life, I’ve written and supported proposals that have won upwards of $10 million/year for 10 years! And when I left that world to become a digital nomad, I realized I could use the same proposal strategies I used to earn companies tens of millions of dollars to get new freelance clients.
BAM! I got freelance work and I created a course to help you do the same thing.
In Pitch Like A Boss, I help freelancers (in any niche) and job seekers hone their pitch skills to stand out, get noticed, and make contacts to get new work. It’s a simple course that could earn you thousands in new freelance work.
I only open the course for new students quarterly. So sign up to hop on the waiting list here and grab my free gift.
Ok fellow digital nomad and location independent hottie, for massive passive income earning potential creating an online course is the path to freedom.
David Siteman Garland’s course, Create Awesome Online Courses, is the last (but definitely not least) of the courses I’d recommend for any digi nomad wanting to make some extra money.
David goes through every single step it takes to launch a fantastic online course that makes you money hand over fist! I took this class, built my course, and I was ecstatic to make sales on my first launch!
Could I have made more sales? Sure! But, now that I have the framework for the course, I’ll keep updating and tweaking it until I’m satisfied with the final product.
His course teaches you how to grow your list; design your course. He helps you figure out the technology and shows you how to market your course in a way that will help you increase your sales.
Don’t be like me. Follow David’s instructions to the letter. You’ll be so happy you did. He only opens his course a few times a year so sign up and snag his free webinar to jump on the waiting list to be the first to know when he relaunches.
The short answer is no. You don’t. The long answer is: If you want to avoid a bunch of common pitfalls and learn from other people’s mistakes so you can make money faster, then yes; you do need to spend money to make money as a digital nomad, especially when it comes to professional development.
Have you downloaded my digital nomad business checklist? It’s a quick and dirty way to map out your business’ skeleton to determine who, what, and how your business income will flow. Sign up below and I’ll send the checklist to your inbox. Pronto!