If you’re newly graduated or simply new to the creative industries, the world of freelancing and pitching for jobs or projects can feel pretty intimidating. What should a good pitch look like? Should you ask questions? Should you go for something that’s out of your comfort zone so soon? Then there is the minefield that is feedback, and it’s harsher cousin, criticism. How are you supposed to deal with it? Is all feedback good feedback?
To demystify the process, we’ve spoken to four creatives to get an insight into their own experiences of pitching, what they look for in a pitch when they’re on the receiving end, and the best ways to deal with the dreaded criticism.
THE FIRST PITCH IS SELLING YOURSELF
“Being a creative is one long pitch, which is why I have so little hair and a lot to say on the matter…. The first brand you have to advertise is yourself, so do your research,” says Billy Faithfull, CCO of creative agency Engine. “See what others are doing, what you’re up against. Your work is your shop window, but that just gets people in the shop, then you have to sell yourself.”
Whether it’s a pitch for a single project, or a longer-term stint at an agency, you’re there to big up not just your work, but yourself as well, so Faithfull believes enthusiasm is key. “I want people who are all-in, they’re fresh, unsullied by industry cynicism and wide-eyed optimists,” he says. “New creatives in a department define creative culture as much as the agency, so think about how your passions and personality come to light in your work, and your interviews and conversations.”