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Best Practices in Pitching Creative Concepts to Your Internal Clients

Posted by Andrea Keating on August 3, 2016

As a creative professional, you’re sure to have plenty of great ideas for projects and concepts you’d love to put into motion. The key is getting the green light from your manager or any other decision-making executives. And the only way to do that is by pitching your idea to them, much as you would an external client. Of course, there are some key differences between pitching to internal and external clients.

Here are six best practices to keep in mind when you’re pitching a creative idea to an internal client:

1. Know Your Audience

One of the biggest benefits of pitching to internal clients rather than external ones is that you know them well. You work with them every day and know exactly what they do and what they care about. Use this information to tailor your pitch. If you’re pitching a no-nonsense executive, you probably won’t have much success with humorous, edgy video content. Your best bet is trying to find another relevant contact to pitch your project to, or tweaking it to fit their preferences a bit better. If it’s important to keep your project exactly as-is, you can minimize the pieces they may not agree with and highlight what’s relevant or important to them.

2. Do Your Research

Once a project gets underway, it’s easier to hide problems from your external clients. If you run into a budgetary or scheduling issue when you’re reporting to an internal client, however, you’re going to have to face the music. That’s why it’s so important to prepare your pitch as thoroughly as possible. You need to know the scope of the project, how much it’s going to cost, and how long it’s going to take. These are questions your internal clients need to know, and you won’t have the luxury of fudging the answers.

If your creative project requires special equipment, an expert crew, or on location shooting, you need to have plans for them in place already. This shows how serious you are about your project and lets your internal client rest assured that your project is ready to go.

3. Use Your Colleagues

Odds are good that you’re not the only creative person in your company. If your idea is important enough to you, reach out to them and offer to buy them a cup of coffee if you can run it by them. They’ll be able to give you some input and help refine your idea further. If you can get them on board completely, you’ll have an even better chance of success – the more people on your side, the stronger your case will be.

Another good idea is to reach out to people who have already pitched ideas successfully. Ask them what they thought worked in their pitch and what didn’t land. Do they have any idea what types of questions your manager will ask? The more information they’re able to give you, the more prepared you’ll be.

4. Create Visuals

No matter what type of client you’re dealing with, the key to pitching a creative concept is bringing it to life in the other person’s mind. You need to take your vision and put it in front of them visually. If you’re creating a video, it isn’t prudent to create the video beforehand, or even shoot a small clip of it – getting the crew together for a sample shot isn’t an effective use of time or resources.

Instead, use visuals to demonstrate some of the core aspects of your project. If you’re planning on shooting at a particular location, take a quick shot there yourself or simply grab some pictures. Draw sketches of any important scenes so nothing is lost in translation. The more visual cues you’re able to provide, the more enthusiasm you can generate for your project.

5. Practice Makes Perfect

Salespeople know how important it is to practice an elevator pitch and perfect their presentations. When you’re pitching an internal client, you need to rehearse just as often. With a creative pitch, it’s easy to fall into the trap that you can wing it. After all, you know your idea and have passion for it, so it’s going to be easy to explain. The fact that you’re presenting to somebody in your own company doesn’t change the fact that you need to have your pitch down pat.

A strong presentation puts your idea into a better light. By anticipating and answering questions confidently and completely, you’ll increase the chances of your project seeing the light of day. That’s why practice is important for any type of client.

6. Make the Best Out of Failure

Not every pitch is going to succeed, so you can’t take failure personally. When your proposal doesn’t go the way you hoped, your job is to take away whatever you can. Figure out exactly why things didn’t go as planned – was it your idea or the way you pitched it? What problems did your internal clients have? You will need to use this information to refine your concepts the next time you pitch them.

You can also take a step back to see if there’s anybody else you can present your idea to. If not, consider taking some of your audience’s feedback into account to refine your concept and pitch it again. Focus on the part of your pitch that you feel the most passionate about and loop back to the rest of your idea once you’ve gotten some traction.

Persistence is key with pitching creative ideas
The most important thing to keep in mind is that rejection isn’t permanent. Take what you learn and give it another try!

If you need help finding the right video crew for your next creative project, make sure to reach out to us here at Crews Control. We’ll help you find a crew that’s perfect for any location, budget, and scope. To get started, all you have to do is click here for a free quote.

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