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Making A Pitch Is Also A Chance To Demonstrate Your Expertise

April 7, 2017

Freelance illustrators and writers will often pitch ideas to clients. Your chances for success are better if you’ve already done work for the client, and established a good relationship.

You’re trying to sell your idea, of course, but a pitch is also a chance to demonstrate your expertise and stay top-of-mind. To show you’re an idea person, a collaborator, someone who’s invested in promoting the client’s brand.

For me, it means presenting the idea, then showing how it could be expanded or spun in different directions.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Here’s an idea I pitched to Chick-fil-A. It’s a storyboard in animated GIF format. Basic idea: nobody can resist a Chick-fil-A Original Chicken Sandwich.blank vertical space, 24 pixels highAnimated GIF Easter Bunny meets grouchy kid acts rude gives thumbs-down to Easter eggs but kid goes wild with happiness when bunny gives him Chick-fil-A original chicken sandwich

I submitted the pitch via email, and included the following thoughts:

  • it doesn’t have to be the Original Chicken Sandwich; you could feature any menu item– perhaps something seasonal
  • you could change the plot line; for example: have the Easter Bunny give up in disgust, then have a Chick-fil-A employee show up to save the day

Demonstrating expertise is mostly about sharing info and pointing out possibilities. Some other thoughts:

  • using an animated GIF makes sense strategically, because most content being consumed today is video-based (it’s what people want)
  • the GIF has a nice seasonal tie-in (Easter); brands score points (=credibility) when they acknowledge seasons and current events
  • the single frames of the GIF could be repurposed and used separately: digitally, or even for placemat decorations, coloring handouts for kids, etc.

A pitch can also be a learning experience. Consider the following “still”:blank vertical space, 24 pixels highEaster Bunny with hand on hip frowning at rude yawning kid

It was in the animated GIF, right?

Actually, no. It looks right because it’s a stand-alone sketch: kid gives bored yawn, bunny reacts with frown and hand on hip.

But if you scroll up and watch the GIF again, you’ll see the yawn-frown combo doesn’t occur in a single slide. The kid yawns in one slide, the bunny reacts in the next. That’s the only way it “works.” It’s just the nature of animation.

Did I already know that? No. I learned it while I was constructing the GIF.

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Thoughts? I’d appreciate your feedback.

We’ve still got snow here in New Hampshire, USA, but see if you can identify these 10 Spring Things.

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About Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, branding, social media, and content marketing. I create images that get content seen and shared.

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Questions? Send me an email.

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