The Entrepreneur's Guide to Pitching Clients and Getting Sales

 

The Entrepreneur's Guide to Pitching Clients and Getting Sales

 

Lesson Info

Who is Peter Corbett?

All right. We're ready to roll? Yeah. So it's funny I didn't give you like the typical introduction, like who I am, and what I do, and all that other stuff. But I figure that would still be little bit helpful so you have further context, then we're gonna go into our first lesson. So as you know, I'm Peter. If you want to love on me or hate on me on Twitter, it's @corbett3000. Please let me know what you think. You can even ask me other questions for after this session. I'll, as I see them over time, I'll answer them. And I just want to give you a sense for sort of the strange background that I have. I'm very much an entrepreneur as you know, but a designer and a developer and a producer. I realized early on, and this is a key thing I think a lot of you will have to realize as well, I realized that I was a mediocre designer. I realized I was probably a six out of 10 at best. I realized I was probably a 6.5 out of as an engineer. But I realized that I was actually close to a 10 out ...

of 10 as a strategist. Like I could go into any room and beat anyone intellectually with regard to what we should do using technology to reach humans for some reason. And so that gave me ultimate confidence to walk into a room. And I wouldn't lead with creative engineering, I would lead with strategy. And you can imagine iStrategyLabs is the name of the company, the word strategy is in the name is one of the reasons. And so you may have to do that evaluation for yourself. You may have to say, you know, I'm actually like a seven out of 10 as a photographer. Why am I trying to build a business around that exclusively or am I a better project manager than I am a photographer? Huh, maybe I should just project manage all the projects and hire better photographers than me. Wouldn't that possibly be a better business? And so there's this phrase that I want you to think about. You have to decide whether or not you're going to be a practitioner or an orchestrator. And I didn't know that was a choice. I'd never heard that phrase. I didn't know that was a choice until probably year two. I was like oh, I need to stop doing all of the practitioning actually, and need to make sure that I hire all the great practitioners, all the great designers, and developers, and strategists around me. And I'll orchestrate. I happen to be incredible at orchestrating. That's great. People want to work with me, teams enjoy being led by me. That's a, thankfully, thankfully a skill that I have. Orchestration is really hard. And actually CEO is like chief orchestration officer, that would be COO, that doesn't really work. You orchestrate a lot if you're a CEO. So think about that. And I put these little awards here on the slide. It's not meant to be bragging by any means. Just to give you a context that the work that we do and that I've been doing, the world recognizes as being some of the best. So you're not just seeing some random long-haired guy on stage with nice jeans just telling you stuff. The world has been recognizing the work that we do. And I figured I would show you a little behind the scenes of where we do this. This is our headquarters in Washington D.C. This is a former Wonderbread factory. We don't make bread there or cupcakes there anymore sadly. We make robots. Literally, we do a lot of hardware work. We make websites, we make mobile applications and content and all that. So I'm gonna show you a little behind the scenes of where we do what we do, and I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see this, like to see these employees working in this beautiful space having, God, grounded out in my apartment, that lonely four-foot commute from my bed to my desk in that first year, and now we're on office number three. It's like 20,000 square feet. All these crazy hardware projects. Mobile applications. Tablet applications that we do for clients. Working with great non-profits, for fertility tracking in emerging economies, or Volkswagen, and doing all this content production. So I know a lot of you who are watching today are here in the audience, you're really interested in content production. God we probably put out over 150 pieces of content a week. So this is photography and videography. And some of these pieces of video, like the Dramamine piece you're seeing up here, have been seen by over four million people, which is really gratifying to have your work seen by people. The beginning, you know, couple thousand people saw the thing. That's fine. But over time, you build on everything that you create. And you don't start from day one working with the Fortune 500. These are the logos of our clients. You probably recognize some of these. I was fortunate enough in the very beginning, we did work with Geico and American Eagle Outfitters in the first probably six months. I just said we, it was me. There wasn't anybody else. Actually that first year, I hired 65 freelancers to work with me. Which is an insane number of humans to play with. But it was necessary. But I go back to the world was abundant. I knew that there was talent out there, and if I can get these folks to sort of believe in me, we could do something great together. And I started that business eight years ago, with just about 10 grand in the bank, and I've bootstrapped it. A lot of people today are fixated on, how do I get someone to invest in my business? How do I raise venture capital or otherwise? Well this, what I'm describing to you, my company is quote, unquote a service company. And so, and I think many of you are probably interested in building service businesses. You don't need a lot of capital. My mission in the beginning was, how do I not starve and die? So you know, ten grand, I basically had three months living expenses. And each month I think, how do I make three grand? Just so I can at least like keep it going? And thankfully it went a little bit farther than that. Because if I ran out of money I'd have to go live with my parents. Which as a 27-year-old that's basically dying, right? So I didn't, I love them, I wouldn't have starved. Mom would have made me lasagna. That would have made me very happy but, I woulda been sad that I'd have to sort of start from scratch on the couch. And as I said in the first year, 65 contractors, over a thousand now. So if any of you have questions about how do I hire other people as contractors, I'm gonna be really happy to share that with you. And I know that in our bonus materials there's a independent contractor service agreement. It's the actual template that we use, and have used for years. It's been very well lawyered, so I'm confident in it. Though I will give the disclaimer that I'm not a lawyer. So you'll have to have your own representation to know if that's right. And then today 80 core team members, those are our full-time employees. About 20 people in our quote, unquote talent cloud. Talent cloud is just like the people that we're almost always working with, but they are technically contractors, so they may be specialists in some way, shape or form, maybe they're 3D modelers, maybe they're motion graphic artists, maybe they just don't want to join us full-time and want to be a freelancer and take other clients, and that's fine with us. We love them and so we just keep sending them work. And what just two years ago we were 35 people. There's been a lot of growth. Again I'll be happy to answer any questions about the different stages of a company if you want to go through that.

Class Description


The distance that your small business has to cover to become a thriving enterprise can seem like an unbridgeable gulf at times. You need to land bigger clients to build name recognition and scale up your business model, but they appear to be out of reach.

Entrepreneur Peter Corbett has lived this struggle, and built his business iStrategyLabs into a multimillion dollar brand. Join us for this class, and Peter will teach you how to price, pitch and create a statement of work. 

You’ll learn:

  • How to prospect a client, prepare a tailored pitch, and land meetings.
  • How to estimate the work that needs to be done, and close the deal.
  • How to operate projects, and exit gracefully once they’re completed.

Peter has built his business from the ground up without VC funding. His client work includes projects for brands like GE, Disney, Volkswagen, and Coca-Cola. He mentors fledgling entrepreneurs who have strong ideas and straddle the tipping point between just maintaining and runaway success. You’ll walk away from this class with a step-by-step playbook on how to secure bigger clients, and a toolkit of techniques and ideas to arm you as you move onward and upward!