I’m so mad at myself. I swore I was done with RFPs.
Then, I got sucked back in by the prospect of a fairly interesting gig.
Like many of the RFPs I’ve been a part of, this one was destined for the same result: “Thanks, but no thanks.”
So now, I’m all done. Finito
. No more RFPs.
My solo PR friend Greg Brooks
will not be happy, but I’m finished with RFPs—for a while, at least.
Since going solo four-plus years ago, my track record with RFPs is not all that great. I think I have yet to win one.
Wait, Arik, why are you telling me this? Why are you admitting that you never win RFPs?
1. I’m secure enough in my work to know where I’m strong (personal referrals) and where I’m weak (RFPs). Why would I sink time into areas where I’m weak rather than focus more time on areas where I’m strong?
2. RFPs are a joke for the solo counselor. Let me tell you why.
I understand that they’re a necessarily evil for agencies. I get it. I’ve been a part of them before on the agency and corporate side. But for solos? I don’t see an upside. They’re time consuming. They typically ask for free ideas; no, thank you—I give away plenty as it is.
Last but definitely not least, as a solo, you are usually competing with agencies that have many more resources in their RFP arsenals.
Some RFPs aren’t exactly for a king’s ransom. So, not only is the organization asking for your time and your free ideas, they want them for what may amount to a mid-size project fee.
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Not worth the effort. So, I’m stopping—right now. We’re all done here.
Arik Hanson is principal of ACH Communications. A version of this article originally ran on his blog, Communications Conversations.