Pitching is a major part of the job as a Photographer. But if you’re not on the winning side of the fence, you need to learn how to lose a photography pitch professionally and let the lesson push you forward. Here are a few pointers to prepare you for being in the game.
Just recently I tweeted an article titled How to lose a pitch gracefully by Emma Mackenzie. It made me laugh as her article explains the low morale experienced from within an advertising agency after finding out you’re the losing team on a pitch. She explains:
Losing a pitch is like a bad one nightstand, not to be mentioned and better off forgotten.
Emma then continues…
Let’s face it: both results drive us to the pub either crying over spilt milk or sipping Bollie!
If you’re lucky enough to have attended one of my photography workshops you will already know that pitching is a major part of a Photographers job too. As I give you a real insight into a world that is sugar-coated with glamour, the reality is you need thick skin and a stomach of steel to ride the peaks and troughs of the industry. So what are some insights on how to lose a photography pitch professionally that you’ve put your heart and soul into? Lets take a look…
This is business:
The number one point to remember is that this is business. There is – usually – nothing personal about the decision, it is purely business. This is not the time to rock yourself in the corner in the foetus position but instead, take some time to reflect on how and where you need to improve.
Silence your inner critic:
Your inner critic can be one the worst par-takers in this entire process that will make everything seem all that much worse. You need to learn how to silence it. Last week journalist Emma Ailes wrote an amazing article for the BBC on women titled How to silence your inner critic. Since this is a well known conundrum that stops us women succeeding, for my female counterparts out there this is definitely worth the read. JK Rowling is quoted:
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well have not lived at all, in which case you’ve failed by default. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I have ever earned.
Not bad from a lady who was jobless, a single parent, as poor as one could be without being homeless and continued to build a brand worth over $15 billion by believing in herself!
Ask for feedback:
With every unsuccessful pitch you should and can ask for feedback. This is one of the most important and valuable aspects of the process. It is how you progress forward and improve. Be prepared though as you may not like what you hear but just remember this is someone else’s impression of you. Listen to what is said carefully, take it on board and most importantly, learn from it.
It’s not the end:
Just because this job may not be right for you it doesn’t mean to say there wont be something else in the future. Agencies are always working on multiple accounts and there’s a good chance that your skills may be required for another brief in the future. Be professional about the loss and as I always say ‘crack on and be fabulous!’ 😉
Get over it!
Pitching really can be a rollercoaster ride of emotions. You put your heart and soul into every waking hour you work on the pitch, you know the brand inside out and you feel – understandably – extremely disappointed about the loss. But you have to get over it!
If you’re anything like me – and I am certain many other photographers alike – you too will have several other projects on the go that more often than not have been neglected while you have been intensely engulfed in your pitch. So have your moment to moan but get back up and power on. Knock-backs are apart of life. They never stop, only make you stronger. When you get to a certain level in your photographic career, get use to pitching being a major part of the job as a Photographer. And if you lose, learn how to lose a photography pitch professionally and let the lesson push you forward. Your time is valuable so learn to use it wisely.