Pitching yourself is a part of any small business. You don’t have to be a freelance writer or photographer to be in the habit of pitching yourself. After all, what is pitching except you trying to sell something. You have something that you think is valuable to someone, and you want them to buy it.
When you’re spending all your time drumming up business, it can leave you too exhausted or time cramped to do the actual thing you pitched. Pitching yourself is so much more than simply firing off an email. You need to craft a good idea, word it to draw attention, and find contact info or a medium that you want to pitch from (Instagram vs Twitter, for example).
Then, of course, there’s the seemingly endless follow up. You have to send a follow up email, or promote something to your audience at least 7 times before most people convert to a sale. This is possibly the most draining part of pitching and promotion.
Where is the balance? How can you keep business coming in and reserve the time for doing the actual work?
Pitch Fewer But Bigger Clients
Would you rather do 50 photo shoots a month for $100 each, or do 10 shoots a month for $500 each? I’d rather do the latter.
When you’re first starting to pitch yourself, you’ll be tempted to take anything that pays. And that makes sense- you might not have the financial runway to walk away from any money, no matter how small.
But pitching better paying clients is an easy way to get back some of your time. A larger project that pays more may still take a lot of time to create, but you will only have to send one invoice, instead of several. Working with fewer, better paying clients will save you endless amounts of business minutiae.
Don’t Try to Multi-Task
Humans can’t multi task. We can switch our attention from one thing to another pretty damn quickly, but multi-tasking is a myth. So don’t bother trying to do it. Block off time to accomplish one thing at a time. Pitch yourself (or focus on marketing, etc) for a set amount of time a day. Then block off time to get work done in the same manner. Allow for no distractions, and don’t allow yourself to fall into pitching when you should be creating.
Ask for Help
Outsourcing is a common tip from people who work for themselves. If you can’t afford to outsource just yet, try asking for help. Whether that’s asking your roommate to do the dished tonight so you have more time to crank out the work, or investing in a social media scheduler, asking for help is a great way to find more time in your day.