The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Blair Enns
I am trying to figure out how to run my agency and get more clients. So I was looking for content that will help me with that. I was listening to a video of Chris Do from The Futur. And if you don’t know who he is, he’s one of my favorite people in the world who talks about the business of design. It is one of the books he had recommended many times in his content. So I gave it a go. I finished it slowly in a week. Reading only at night before sleeping.
The book basically discusses how we can win projects by being experts in our fields and coming on as effective consultants instead of being experts. The writer is Blair Enns, who supposedly is on a mission to change the way creative services are bought and sold the world over.
The book contains twelve sets of proclamations (since it’s a manifesto of business practices for creative firms).I am not going to state all the proclamations here. If you are interested, you can read the book. The goal of this book is to free the creative firm from the ‘pitch’. But what is the pitch? It is described in the book as:
The attempt to sell or win approval for one’s idea by giving them away for free
I'm on my way from running a freelance business to starting a website design agency. It was a roller coaster ride for me – and still is today. After reading it, it changed my opinion about the relationship with your clients.
It primarily discusses how to have the best client-creative relationship without losing your worth/value, money and time, all under 12 Proclamations. I feel that proclamations are easier for established businesses than those that have not yet built a strong reputation.
What I feel is that the whole book is about or against pitching (Giving your creative energy for free) which is obviously visible from the title of the book. Enns' way is the way of control. He wants to be "in charge" of client relations so the client can't screw you up.
I appreciate the direction of the book and think Enns usefully and boldly tackles some old assumptions that need to be dismantled.
These are some of my favorite quotes from the book
"If we are not seen as more expert than our competition then we will be viewed as one in a sea of many..."
"We are hired for our expertise and not our service."
"...convincing has no place in selling."
I'd give it a 4 out of 5. It doesn't go too deep into the 'how' side of things, but the 'why' is worth reading. The theories outlined in the book confirmed some of my suspicions and also blew my mind with new ideas on how to make my design business profitable.
It's worth a read, although I hope the author comes out with an expanded edition with more "how to".
I would recommend it to every creative person to read if you sell your creative services in any way. This is a book for the person who finds it difficult to balance between creating and selling their creations.