Winning work as a Flexer

Balancing Delivery and Pitching in the Flexer World

Winning Work as a Flexer

Mike Bank is an early-stage startup founder, former investment banker, and a visiting lecturer and career coach at some of Europe’s leading business schools.

At Citigroup, he was one of the bank’s youngest team staffers, assisted with graduate and MBA assessment centres in the London office, and ran numerous lateral hire processes.

Over the past ten years, he has built and led teams at his own ventures as well as consulting with VC-backed startups on talent acquisition.

Winning Work vs. Delivering

As a Flexer you are a one person company. You’ve got to deliver for your clients. But you must also carve out time to win new work.

What’s the right mix between delivery and pitching?

It can be tempting to focus 100% on paid delivery. However, without maintaining a constant pipeline of new projects, there is a risk that at some point you will find yourself without any paid work whatsoever.

A typical split between delivery and pitching is:
80% delivery to 20% pitching.

But is there a better way?

We will explore various strategies that can help make your pitching both more efficient and more effective.

By incorporating these into your weekly routine, you can reduce your reliance on pitching and, instead, focus on paid delivery.

Leveraging your Niche

Last week we talked about choosing your niche. Read that here

This can help with prospecting. A simple tactic is to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find professionals in your niche, who may be in need of your services.

You can then use an automated outreach tool such as
or to:

  1. Systematically send connection requests to your list of prospects (experiment with capping this at 20 - 80 outbound requests per day)

  2. Send an initial outreach message (or a series of automated messages) once the prospect accepts your connection request

Now, we all hate spam (unsolicited outreach).
However, if done in a sensitive manner, this can be value-additive for the right connections.

This requires a bit of upfront work, but ultimately it can be mostly automated. This frees your time up to pitch qualified prospects and deliver quality work for your existing clients.

To improve your chances of success, ensure that your LinkedIn profile is optimised including:

  1. A professional headshot

  2. A clear and compelling value proposition in your LinkedIn banner

A powerful tagline (calling out who you help and what they can expect from you)

Top tip: When reaching out, remember to always give before you ask.

Content Marketing

In addition to direct outreach, you should also be considering a content marketing strategy.

As discussed in last week’s edition establishing yourself as the subject matter expert within your niche will give you an extremely powerful platform from which to sell your services.

More than that, you will be surprised at the inbound requests you begin receiving once you start telling the world what you are working on and how you can help.

Have one simple goal in mind: a daily post on LinkedIn (5 - 7 days a week) which helps to establish you as the expert in your field.

You can use Lean Writing methodologies to build out a content plan.

In a few hours a week, you can draft and write your content for the month ahead. Then simply schedule the posts.

You can experiment with the best times to post for optimal engagement, the most engaging headlines, types of content, etc.

Remember to always include a call to action at the end of every post. This can be as simple as asking your audience to reach out to you directly if they want to learn more about your services.

Top tip: Use the ‘sell by chat’ methodology to reach out to every individual who interacts with your post (likes, comments, shares, etc). Make the time to direct message them and say something to the effect of:

‘Hey! Thanks for engaging with my content. What’s the biggest struggle you have with [area of expertise]? Maybe I can help you out.’

This can elicit fantastic, qualified leads and help get your foot in the door with new clients.

Learn More

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