How to Pitch a Client For Non-English Speakers

Since most developers are looking for the top-end projects and most of those projects come from the United States or the United Kingdom, understanding those markets is key to getting noticed by prospective employers. Let’s focus on the largest market, the U.S.

Every client is unique. Projects, needs and expectations always vary. But there are some important things to remember, no matter who the client.

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Not a Native English Speaker?  Work on the English for your project bid message

If English is not your first language, or American or British English isn’t, it’s important to make sure your project bid is written in a way that shows you will be able to comprehend the work and communicate easily with your prospective client.

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Using bad English is the biggest mistake you can make when you bid on a project. If you are a native English speaker, you can skip this one, but if you are not, this is a huge issue.

If the project creator has a difficult time understanding you, he is not going to want to deal with the hassle of communication along with working out the technical project. You can get around this, but it takes some extra effort. You do also need to consider whether your ability to communicate in English is good enough that it will be passable in email communications or Skype calls with the client. If not, you may want to consider brushing up before you start bidding.

But, assuming your speaking and causal writing skills are up to snuff, there are ways to work around any deficiencies in your formal project bids. The most obvious is to have a few standard pitches that are checked by a native speaker.

You can use these pitches over and over with a slight variation. So let’s say I am bidding on a WordPress site for a restaurant. I would make my bid amount, and my pitch would be something like:

“Hi, I have read through your requirements carefully and understand what you need. I have completed several websites similar to this in the past and would love an opportunity to hear more about what you need. I also understand item #1 as being a challenge, but have worked on this in the past. I am available to chat whenever is convenient for you.”

Let’s break that pitch down. First, project to them that you understand what they need. Most hirers put a good deal of effort into their project requirements, and reading them carefully is important. It is also important to mention something specific from the requirements in your pitch. It proves that you read and understood it well. The last part is making sure they know you are available to chat via private message. Make yourself available. Sometimes the one who gets the project is the one who is online.

I can’t stress enough that you need to address their specific requirements in your bid. Many people looking for work on these sites simply cut and paste generic pitches. In almost all cases, these bids are dismissed. If you can’t take the time to address the specific project needs, then why would someone hire you?

It’s equally important to address whether you have done similar work. Be prepared to back this up with examples if the conversation moves forward.

Also, remember to find a native speaker to review your pitch for errors. If the hirer cannot read your pitch, chances are you won’t be considered.

If you're looking for some serious preparation for your interviews, I'd recommend this book written by a lead Google interviewer. It has 189 programming questions and solutions:

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