Pitch your freelance value proposition to anyone | Miguel Margarido | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Pitch your freelance value proposition to anyone

teacher avatar Miguel Margarido, Pitch Coach

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class project

    • 3. Start with a "fill-in-the-blanks" pitch

    • 4. Adapt your pitch

    • 5. Who should I pitch to?

    • 6. Storytelling

    • 7. Conclusion

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

You’re a freelancer and you’d love to be able to pitch what you do to anyone?

Join Pitch Coach Miguel Margarido to learn how to deliver an effective oral pitch to your prospects but also your potential partners, suppliers, mentors… anyone!

This class is not about designing the perfect pitch that you’ll learn like a poem and recite mechanically, it is to develop the skill to pitch on the fly, adapting your pitch to you interlocutor and your intentions of the moment.

Get ready to learn a simple “Fill in the blanks” value proposition pitch that you will then upgrade by adding with your “secret sauce” to it.

In this class, you’ll learn to adapt your pitch to your interlocutor :

  • Pitch to someone who takes action to improve his/her life
  • Pitch to someone who mostly acts out of fear of unwanted outcomes
  • Pitch to someone with a global mindset
  • Pitch to someone with a specific mindset
  • Pitch to someone who generally seeks external advice
  • Pitch to someone who makes his/her mind on his/her own

Miguel will teach you to pitch not only to your potential prospects but also to

  • Pitch to a potential mentor
  • Pitch to a potential ally, someone who complements your offer
  • Pitch to someone who’s well connected

 In this class Miguel will share his storytelling essentials that you will then apply to

  • Pitch “The story of why you started your business”
  • Pitch “the story of your prospects before the meet you”
  • Pitch “the story of why you chose this or that particular strategic option for your business”

Lessons are packed with tips, advice and examples.

This class is perfect for every freelancer or business owner who want to banish fears of not communicating their value effectively. It is for everyone who wants to deliver the right pitch to anyone anytime.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Miguel Margarido

Pitch Coach


Miguel founded and currently serves as CEO of Story Shapers, a consulting firm dedicated to helping business owners and executives alike to pitch their value proposition effectively.

From 2000 to 2014 he has served as Head of the Financing Department with Dell in France. In that role, Miguel pitched to Purchasing Directors, CFOs and CIOs.

He lectures at ESCP Europe Business School a Pitch seminar to the MSc in Big Data and Business Analyticsstudents. He holds an MSc in Finance MSc from the University of Colorado in Denver and an Executive MBA from HEC Paris.

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Miguel Margarido. Thank you for joining me in this course. "Pitch your Freelance Value Proposition" to anyone. In this course, we'll learn how to improve the way you present yourself and your business orally, in a casual or more formal setting. But this course is not so much about honing the perfect pitch, where every single word is carefully selected. Than it is for you to develop a skill. The skill of being able to pitch on the fly with just the right amount of information and the right format for the person you're talking to. The overarching principle will be to differentiate yourself and your business from the many freelancers on your market. Although this class will build on techniques coming from communications, storytelling, strategy, and neuro linguistic programming, no prior experience or knowledge in these fields is needed. So if you're an independent worker, who wants to drastically improve the way you pitch your work, this course is for you. Now, in this course we'll be practicing a few types of pitches. I encourage you to write down a pitch at the end of every lesson. And you'll actually end this one-hour class with as many as ten different pitches. That way you won't fall in love with any of them. And you will be able to pick and choose whichever seems best for any circumstance. We'll start by crafting a simple fill-in-the-blank sentence for your first value proposition pitch. Then we will see how to improve and expand on it in a number of ways. We'll discuss who we should pitch to, as our prospects should not necessarily be our sole focus. We'll discover what metaprograms are and how we can use them to deliver the pitch that will be most comfortable with the psychology of the person we're talking to. Finally, we'll cover the basics of storytelling and see how we can construct the story, explaining any part of our value proposition or business model to differentiate ourselves in an appealing and memorable way. My goal is for you to go on this journey with me and learn this important skill of pitching on the fly. So if you're a freelancer who wants to pitch your value proposition to anyone, keep watching. 2. Class project: In this class, we'll see quite a few types of pitches you can deliver depending on who you're talking to and what your intentions are. At the moment, I think there's about 14 types of pitches mentioned throughout the class. And you can see all the pitch prompts in the Project and Resources section of this class. Your assignment is to share one, several, or maybe all the pitches in, in this class in the project gallery. I'd love you to actually post a video of you delivering your pitch, but feel free to post your pitches as a recorded audio file or just a simple text file. You can write down what you feel about your pitch or ask any question about it, any doubt you may have... And I'll go and regularly check your posts and give feedback as much as I can. You may also receive feedback from fellow students and the Skillshare community at large. I know it may be intimidating to share your pitch on a platform and some of you may feel vulnerable sharing pitches. But as far as pitching goes, the more you practice, the better you're pitching skill develops and even more so if you can get feedback along the way, trust me, this will be a rewarding experience. 3. Start with a "fill-in-the-blanks" pitch: Okay, let's dig into it. In the Project and Resources section of this class, you will find the fill-in-the-blank pitch worksheet. Click on it and it will open this file. I don't know your line of business, but since there are many graphic designers on Skillshare, let's pretend for a moment that you are a graphic designer. A very basic pitch would be just to let us know what your value proposition is. In simple terms, let us know what you do, and for whom. My value proposition pitch might look like this: I help brands get superior visibility with remarkable logos. Not bad. I do convey that my logo designing skills are not only applied towards creating aesthetically pleasing logos, but I work towards solving the problems of getting my clients noticed in the midst of their competitors. However, when I say that I help brands, it's problematic. Do brands need help? And if they do, where do I look for brands? Where do I meet them and offer them my services? My basic value proposition pitch should really be a sentence that reads: "I help a specific audience with a specific problem". Now, brands don't really qualify as audience. It would do me better to target a specific demographic group. It will help me identify where I should look for these people. Also, if I'm pitching to someone not in the demographics, they might know someone who is. So my sentence becomes: I help business owners get superior brand visibility with remarkable logos. See, it's better. I need to talk to business owners. If you're not the business owner, can you introduce me to the business owner? There's a notion that I know who the decision maker will be in hiring my services. Now, since my sentence should read, "I help a specific audience with this specific problem". I wonder if "business owners" is specific enough. There are so many graphic designers out there. Am I really credible in addressing all businesses? Will a divorce lawyer trust me, just the same as a barber shop owner would? Because if my first customers are barber shop owners and have great logos in that field, maybe the divorce lawyer will not identify so much with my expertise. See, that's the moment where pitching your value proposition and designing your value proposition are actually one and the same. As you pitch, you define and as you define, you pitch. Don't worry, if the idea of specializing in one narrow field does not please you. If anything, it means that you will have to create several pitches and probably several portfolios for that matter. But it's okay to pitch a different value proposition on Tuesdays than the one you would be on Mondays. Your interest is to make your pitch specific. It might actually be fun to experiment with a generic sentence like: "I help anyone who needs graphic design with great graphic design" and see what the response is. It's likely you'll come to the same conclusion. So let me try with: I help restaurant owners get superior brand visibility with remarkable logos. Much better. As far as the specific audiences concern, I think we're good. But as far as solving a specific problem is, I don't know if getting superior brand visibility with remarkable logos is any good. I'm not sure if restaurant owners would declare that one of their problems is not getting enough brand visibility due to their ordinary logo. Lets get some insight on that and we'll come back to our sentence right after. So you want to help a specific audience with a specific problem. Now, what criteria should you have in order to decide whether the problem you have settled on is the right one? Well, it would help you if you make it sure that this problem is pure. And pure is the acronym for "P" as in Painful, "U" as in Urgent, and "RE" as Recognized. Let's start with the first one. Painful. If you focus on a problem that is merely an annoyance, merely something that is bothering, chances are that your prospects will not have a specific budget to dedicate to solving this issue because they can live with it. Urgent is because that's human nature. They will postpone whatever expense they can and focus on what's immediate. You're not going to spend money to avoid the problem that you may have in a year or two. Like you'd rather go for a cream. that's going to solve a skin problem you've got now, you're not necessarily going to take a medicine that will help you avoid getting cancer 25 years from now. That's just human nature. So the more urgent the problem is, then, the better it is for you to, to get a transaction at some point. Now, "Recognized", you want your prospect to be aware that they have a problem. Maybe you know that, let's say you're a web optimizer, you can optimize the search engine optimization of their website and you know, you can do better for them. You know, that they could improve their performance and the number of clicks or the number of visitors they have on their website. Well, if there are not aware of that, if they don't recognize that this is a problem that they have, you will spend most of your time educating your customer. And they're, they're not going to give you an order just now. Maybe it'll end up as being something that you get in the future. But you'd better focus on prospects that are already aware and recognize that they do have a problem. Okay, back to our restaurant owners. I now get that I will have a difficult time getting them to open their wallet in order to get superior brand visibility with the remarkable logos I may create for them. In order to pass the PURE test, I might have to focus my niche even more. We're back to the idea that pitching my value proposition actually makes me redesign it altogether. There is a clear moment when logo design is painful, urgent, and recognized, and that's when the restaurant is getting ready for opening day. If my restaurant is a mom-and-pop, cheap sandwich place near a university campus, I can design my logo myself and make do with a handmade sign on my shop front. But if I want to attract professionals, businessmen and businesswomen, that won't work. And there is a countdown to opening day. What about this new value proposition pitch then? I help entrepreneurs opening new restaurants, get their brand identity on their shop front, menu, business cards, take out bags and staff attire on time for opening day. You might think it's a bit long. Maybe it is, uh, I think it's OK. I guess we can agree that it passes the PURE test. Opening day is a time-bound event that will trigger the urgency. The entrepreneur will easily recognise that they need to have a graphic identity set. The painful part, comes as the entrepreneur has so many other issues to handle for opening day with the staffing, the various supplies, the administration. The painful part also lies in the fact that the entrepreneur does not want to deal with commercial printers and suppliers of all sorts and get lost in excruciating details like, for instance, the best file format to send the logo to these people. That is, when your value proposition now contains your network of contacts, you become a planner, you become a one-stop shopping person. You can guarantee quality contacts because none of the companies that you will bring to the table will have an interest in cutting corners to the quality, since they will get more repeat business from someone like you than from an individual restaurant owner who will not need any new graphic identity design in years. I believe that the way we've amended our value proposition and our pitch to pass the PURE test as differentiated us enough. But what if you end up with a PURE value proposition that many other freelancers can still propose. You can improve your pitch by adding your secret sauce. What's your secret sauce? It's anything that only YOU provide. It can be a process, a methodology you follow, a series of tools that you use, a guarantee that you offer, a particular point of view that you have on your trade, your ethics, maybe what you won't do, the limits that you impose onto yourself, maybe even the customers you won't do business with. Just add that secret sauce to your pitch and you have a qualitative and differentiating value proposition pitch. I'd love you to share what you've come up with in the project section. Record your pitch or just write it down and share it with me and your fellow students. And I'll give you some feedback on it. 4. Adapt your pitch: What are metaprograms? Meta programs are a way that we view the world, that we process the information. For instance, you can mostly be attracted to things and do things for the positive outcomes that those things are promising to you. Or you may do things mostly out of fear of the potential issues that would arise from you not doing anything. For instance, you may decide that you want to run and you may do that because you want to live a healthier life. You're doing that because you want to be in better shape. That's you are "attracted to". Or you may do that not because of that. You may just do that because you want to avoid getting fat. You want to avoid having health problem, health issues. So you're not doing that out of the prospect of the benefits you're going to get, but more out of fear of the negatives. These are two opposites at one end or another of the spectrum. You're never quite exactly one thing or the other one. But it's like a line, a continuum and there is a cursor and basically every single person is closer to one end or closer to another end. You have to see for yourself. There are a number of questions you can ask casually in order to find out what sort of metaprogram your interlocutor is using, ask them what they're doing right now, what sort of projects that they're involved in and ask them why they chose to do that. And you'll see rather easily if they chose to do something because of the positives or in order to avoid the negatives, you'll see that quite easily if you focus on that. Now, when you know what sort of person you have in front of you, it's easy to remember what, how you developed your value proposition and what you did in your value proposition in order for your prospects to get access to the gains that they're hoping to get in the tasks they're trying to do. Or if you have constructed your value proposition in order to avoid some of the pains associated with the jobs to be done. Depending on the person you have in front of you, you may want to focus on one or the other. They will receive your information better. Now when you have identified some of the meta programs of your interlocutor, it helps the communication. It's like you're speaking their language. You're not boring them with information that they cannot process or that they don't relate to. There's another meta program, that's "global versus specific". Okay, imagine two extremes. You may be more global if you thinking in broader terms, meaning that if someone is giving you an explanation, you'd rather have the 10 thousand feet view before we dig into the details. So you want to know the big picture before you go to anything else. Or some people are more specific. So these people, if you talk to them, the big picture, to them, it's too conceptual, it's too, it's too general. They don't see the point. Or they think that it's just a screen of smoke and you want, they want you to get real, by by digging into the details. They want to get the proof that you know what you're talking about. And, and that's, that's more specific thing. So decide for yourself which end of the spectrum you are. Because those meta programs, it's better when, you know, actually. what's your natural tendency, because that's the way you're going to pitch. So if you're a "broad" person, you will pitch on generic concepts and global things before you actually get into the details. If you do get into the details. But knowing the person in front of you, how they react, is helpful to you in order to pitch to them in the right way. There's another metaprogram called "internal reference vs external reference". If you are internally referenced, that means that you make your decisions, you're making choices based on what you feel, what you have decided as criteria for your decisions and then you trust your own judgment on those things. If you are externally referenced, you usually take out external advice. You care about calling people, getting their advice. And then usually you will take side from the people whose opinion you value. So what can you do when you have understood if the person you're talking to is internally referenced or externally referenced? Well, if the person is externally referenced, that's the time for you to show your credentials, to show your certifications, to tell the school you've attended to, the previous customers you've had. If you have references on your website, references on your LinkedIn profile, all of the things that are social proof that you are a professional with qualities. That's the moment to, to give those things because that will influence the person you're talking to favourably. Now, if the person in front of you is internally reference, those outside references, those credentials will mean little to that person because they want to FEEL that you are professional. They want to feel that you have understood THEIR need and only their point of view matter. Now, you may have done business with a lot of prestigious customers before. That's, that doesn't mean that they will do business with you until they feel like you can bring value to THEM. So ask the person what are their criteria to make a decision and try to convince them based on their criteria. 5. Who should I pitch to?: Who should you pitch to? Will you spend most of your time talking to prospects? Well, it might be a good idea to widen the type of audience that you may want to pitch to. For instance, you're going into a networking event, not everyone you are going to meet at that networking event will be a potential customer of yours. So don't have only one pitch and don't think of all networking events as the opportunity for you to get customers. Instead, try to pitch to connectors. Connectors are people who have a large network. They, they know a lot of people. If you gain their trust, if they feel like your value proposition is interesting, maybe they will introduce you to people that may, in turn become your prospects and your customers. So connectors are people that it's useful for you to pitch to. You're not trying directly to sell them your product and services. You're trying to appeal to them in a way that they may introduce you to other people. You want to pitch to mentors. Mentors are people that are in the same business line they're in they're doing the same job as you are basically, you're not exactly competing with them because maybe they're on a different niche. But they're older than you are. For instance, they, they've been doing this for a longer time that you have been. And they can give you advice. They can be in the, they can they can help you reach another level. They can teach you things, okay, so you want to pitch your activity and your business to these people so that they become your mentor. Some people are complementary to you. Some other freelancers, they are talented, they work in an area that's connected to yours. And they are not directly in, in competition with you, but your activities are connected, they are complementary. You may want to enlarge your network as much as you can with these type of people. So that maybe you can bundle you offers at some point, go to a customer and present a joint offering. So you may want to pitch your activity to a lot of these people that will become potentially partners and help you along the way. 6. Storytelling: Now we all know storytelling is a powerful way of communication. So we may want to know what makes a good story. And a good story is about a protagonist wanting to achieve something with high stakes and whose path is blocked by an antagonist. So a protagonist is a hero, it's the central character in your story. And it's important that, that hero, that person wants to achieve something and that something has stakes, high-stakes. What happens if the, if this objective is not met? And obviously that objective will not be easily met because there will be an antagonist, there will be a villain, a bad guy in your story that will prevent your hero from getting to their objective easily. That's exactly, that's the conflict that is created, that will make your story interesting. The person you're talking to, your audience, you want to make sure that they empathize with your protagonist, your hero. They have to take side, they have root for your protagonist if you want your story to be successful and they have to root against your antagonist. They need to care about what's going on and what will be the outcome of your story. The outcome: will the hero achie his or her objective. They need to care about the outcome. Now, once you have identified the pieces that you will put together in your story, what sort of story do you want to tell? Well, the number one story that you may want to tell is the story of how you came about to creating your offer. Very likely you started by wanting something and you didn't find anyone to provide that something because no one had done such an offer, and maybe you decided to create that for you and whilst doing that, you found out that some other people were interesting in that thing you created. Usually these type of stories, which are the ones we see on startup pitches are very interesting for your prospects to hear. So that may be your first story. Maybe you want to tell the story of the life of your prospect before they met you, maybe they were trying to do things and they're encountering a lot of pain and lot of annoyances. And maybe you can tell the story of how you are solving these problems for them. Maybe you want to tell us the story of how you came about to make a strategic choice. Your business model is a collection of choices. Your business model results in lots of choices you've made. So how did you decide to focus on this customer segment instead of that other customer segment? What made you decide to have these types of partners? What made you decide to set your pricing in the way you created your pricing? Maybe you decided on the type of relationship that you wanted to have with your customers, what made you decide to do that choice? These are usually interesting stories for your prospects to hear. 7. Conclusion: We're approaching the end of our pitching journey together. We have started by filling the blanks on a simple value proposition pitch. That is, we help a specific audience with a specific problem, ideally painful, urgent, and recognized by our prospects. We've added our secret sauce to that pitch, by letting our audience, know what it is so specific about the way we deliver our value proposition, be it a methodology we follow or values we adhere to. We've seen, we should pitch to mentors, connectors, and to complementary freelancers of businesses. And we've looked at what type of stories we can tell in our pitches, as well as what constitutes a good story. The thing I really hope you walk away from this is that there are many ways to go about pitching. And also that you should not rush into pitching. Rather, pitch when you feel you have at least a few hints on what will be relevant for the person you're talking to, then deliver a pitch that will speak to them. For instance, if I discovered that the person in front of me is in the same business line that I'm in, she's well settled in her career and I can sense that she has a "global" and "attracted to" metaprogram. I will deliver a pitch on the fly, not aimed at selling her anything, but rather, asking for her advice. I'll keep my pitch high level and focused on benefits. As you see, pitch types can be combined together for maximum personalization. This is why you will almost never deliver the same pitch twice. It was a great pleasure to walk you through the various ways on how to pitch. I hope that you feel less intimidated about pitching your value proposition. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to write down and record the pitches that we've discussed. There's a pitch example document in the resources section to get inspiration from and the word version that you can fill out. You can also go to the project gallery and see some of the pitches that other students have posted. Feel free to give them some constructive and encouraging feedback. I can't wait to hear your pitch. I really hope that you post your own pitches into the project gallery, whether it's a video, audio recording or plain text as you prefer. I'll give you feedback on your pitches. And I bet we'll see some awesome pitches.