Today’s post is an interview with Peter Corbett, the founder and CEO of iStrategyLabs, a digital agency that develops solutions to clients’ challenges and brings them to life in the online and offline world.
Corbett’s worked with brands like Facebook, Nickelodeon, NBC, Coca-Cola and more. He’s learned how to build meaningful relationships and become a valuable problem-solver for his clients. Now, he’s teaching The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Pitching Clients and Getting Sales right here on CreativeLive.
Today, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Corbett about what he’s learned from pitching and closing deals with some of the most recognizable brands of our time.
We talk about how to find the right clients, how to approach with confidence, and why your best selling tool is constantly investing in yourself and building your core skills. We also preview Corbett’s pitching tactics that can be applied to clients of any size, in any industry.
Here’s my interview with Peter Corbett:
Ryan: Can you tell me a bit about yourself, iStrategyLabs, and some of the clients you’ve worked with?
Peter: “Sure. I began programming at age 9, became a designer at 12, concert producer and b-schooler in college, TV producer and am now an ad agency strategist at iStrategyLabs where we help clients like Facebook, Microsoft, NASDAQ, Audi, Hilton (and more) create immersive digital & physical experiences.”
“Our team of designers, developers, marketers and makers build everything from apps, to connected devices, to wildly creative campaigns that reach audiences globally.”
“Whether we’re creating devices to connect fans and celebrities for Facebook, inventing an internet-controlled arcade game for Nickelodeon‘s SpongeBob, or creating live streaming interactive games for MillerCoors, we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.”
Ryan: What are just a few of the pitching lessons you’ve learned from your experience working with brands like Facebook, Nickelodeon and NBC?
Peter: “Wow how do I capture it all in just a blog post? [Good thing I’m teaching a class on pitching]. I’ll start with the fact that I’ve learned that it takes a really long time to gain the confidence of companies this size, and to get a deal done that’s going to work for both parties.”
“Small agencies and freelancers are super fast, but bigger clients aren’t always able to jump on a hot new idea as fast as you can propose it. So, it takes a lot of patience.”
“It also takes real fortitude to stand by your ideas, pitch them hard, stick with them if you think they’re right, and finally, know when to stop fighting for something if it’s just not going to happen.”
“I’ll say one more thing on this topic: I don’t think there’s anything different from working with a large brand on a big budget campaign vs. a little company on a small budget campaign.”
“If the concept works and you deliver, both parties will be super happy. If it doesn’t work, both will be disappointed. It’s just a difference in the scale of the teams you’ll work with that will be the real difference. It comes down to human relationships one-on-one, so if you’re good at nurturing and managing those, you’ll do great in business for yourself.”
Ryan: What advice would you give to an entrepreneur who’s just getting started in business, and looking to land their first paying clients?
Peter: “I’d recommend not selling.”
“I know that sounds crazy, but you shouldn’t be looking at people as big bags of money walking around. Just listen, and see if there’s a problem you can help that person solve. If there is, let them know, and if there’s an amount of money they’re willing to part with in order to solve that problem then it’s yours for the taking.”
“Position yourself as a problem solver and the world will come to you with their problems. Choose problems that are profitable to solve!”
Ryan: What advice would you give to an entrepreneur who already has an established business, but wants to start working with higher profile clients & name brands?
Peter: “You have to invest in upgrading yourself, your people and your work quality. Every single damn day.”
“If you don’t, you won’t become increasingly valuable and you won’t be able to command higher prices from higher profile clients.”
“Do great work. Every day. That’s the key. Most everything else can follow from there.”
For much more on how to pitch yourself and win the clients you want for your business, join The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Pitching Clients and Getting Sales with Peter Corbett.