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The Win Without Pitching Manifesto

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  1,173 ratings  ·  108 reviews
A manifesto of business practices for those who sell ideas and advice, The Win Without Pitching Manifesto lays out twelve steps--in the form of proclamations--that owners of creative businesses can take to distance themselves from their competition, regain the high ground in their client relationships and learn to win business without first parting with their thinking or w ...more
hardcover, 144 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by RockBench Publishing Corp.
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Randa Mashnouk
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So thrilled to be able to say that I've read this book, almost like a life accomplishment!
The Win Without Pitching Manifesto is considered a masterpiece among creatives who seek to have a respectful, profitable, and a fulfilling business in the field, such as design. It primarily discusses how to have the best client-creative relationship without having to lose your worth/value, money and time, all in under 12 proclaims– almost like statements.
The amount of knowledge and awareness you gain is in
Chad Warner
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: creative firms, web agencies
Recommended to Chad by: The Freelancers Show
This book tells how creative firms can win business by being expert consultants instead of pitching. It also tells how to walk clients through the sales process and how to charge more, and provides other valuable advice. There are 12 proclamations in this "Manifesto of Business Practices for Creative Firms." The writing is intelligent, confident, professional, and sophisticated.

The Twelfth Proclamation contains an excellent summary:
"We will see ourselves as professional practitioners who bring r
Bill Kenney
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a must read for any creative services company. Especially in the first 1-3 years of business. We do much of what the book preaches now (7 years in) but it was a great reminder of how to operate and I still took away some good actionable items.
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
To the point and a brilliant read for a creative to learn and assert themselves in the business world. Can refer back to it many times too as it is well-structured and easy to refer to.
Clint Williams
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good stuff here. Anyone running a creative business or thinking of starting one should read this.
Alejandro Sanoja
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a GREAT book for creative people that feel that going into business is "selling out".

If you struggle with finding a balance between creating and selling your creations, this is the book for you.

This book will help you rethink how you approach your marketing and sales. It will reframe the stories you were telling yourself about how sales can be manipulative. Also, it will help you embrace the process by also disproving the typical belief that if "you build it they will come".

Promotion i
Allison Deford
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had read this book 8 years ago and followed it to the letter. This manifesto will guide any agency worth their weight to great success! Blair speaks TRUTH!
Scott Wozniak
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Putting "Manifesto" in the title makes it clear that this is an inspirational book, not a how-to manual. And it is a masterwork of that. It's not vague and fluffy inspiration. It lays out specific goals and clear standards. And it's sufficiently different to push your thinking.

It's primarily for creative agencies, so if that's not you, then there will be nuances that don't apply. But only subtle nuances. For my consulting firm there were a lot of takeaways. It's got a good mix of practical (talk
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This may be one of the most important books you will read if you ever pitch anything. And I have pitched a lot. Sometimes I lose miserably and this book can tell you why. But more important it is telling you not to pitch at all. Much better.

First off a story -- it's supposedly a story about what clients do but it's really about what EVERYONE does. "In Aesop's fable "The Frog and the Scorpion," the latter approaches the former at the riverbank and asks for a ride across on the frog's back. But t
Sep 03, 2014 rated it liked it
I love that the author wrote this from Kaslo! I lived in that tiny BC town for half a year when I was six years old, and it was a foundational little adventure. And since I live with my family in a medium-sized BC town right now, working remotely for clients, doing writing and thinking work, this is a nice fit.

I've been thinking a lot about structure and pricing for creative firms, as I think about the opportunities for the agency I work with. This book came at a helpful time. I'm not directly i
Apr 20, 2012 rated it liked it
I read this manifesto in one day (quick read) and found it fascinating, and inspiring. It doesn't get very deep into the 'how' side of things, but the 'why' is worth the read. The theories outlined in the book have both confirmed some of my suspicions, and also blew my mind with new ideas for how to make my design business profitable.

Worth a read, though I hope the author comes out with an extended edition with more 'how'.
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is it...

I remember the excitement of the ‘pitch’ the time spent on writing proposals the last few years. Wish I had read this book before all that. Especially how it aligns with how you set up a relationship with your client. If you are happy to be a supplier then this book is not for you.
Kevin McDonagh
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
An excellent attempt to formalise the complaints of practitioners into a practicable set of principles. interesting to flip the situation into an understanding of responsibility and malpractice.
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is exactly what I needed to read!
I run a creative firm and was always learning with my mistakes. The growth rhythm is above average but not news worthy. And after reading this... Brace yourself world!

Changing our positioning is HUGE!
I used to pride myself of being super cheap and offering great value. And in the beginning it worked. I got a lot of jobs and my skills develop in such a way that I didn't even thought possible. But then I started to sacrifice a lot. Everybody wanted to work
Samuel Oktavianus
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is about the business side of design. I think one of the reasons why so many famous designers and creators recommend this book is because the content is simply a gold mine--especially for someone who just started their business/freelancing. The author basically talks about his 12 "rules" of the business process, from start to finish.

One of my the many things that I learned:
-The art of conversing with a potential client, and how different the word "pitching" means compared to a simple c
Tim Kilroy
Mar 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business-books
This is a business book that is geared to a specific kind of entrepreneur - the creative agency owner. Moreover, it is specifically geared to creative agency owners who know they can make payroll this month, next month and the following month.

Which, in the under $1mm/year agency world, is a pretty small number.

But the approach that Blair Enns espouses is really sound - even though to adopt it fully is only for the most fortunate. The essence is to only engage with clients who understand and appr
Deane Barker
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A remarkable book about how to take the power back in the professional services relationship. Instead of chasing after clients, make them chase after you. The book is 12 principles, from "We Will Specialize" to "We Will Hold Our Heads High."

The book is a rejection of the love of creative work as a substitute for compensation. Sure, we love what we do for a living, but we need to get paid and stop apologizing for this as if wanting to be compensated for our time is a bad thing.

Time will tell if i
Jeffrey N Walpole
A critical guide for agencies who want to command respect

The principles in this book, while difficult to implement in the fray of day to day selling, are essential to building a successful agency. Anyone who has run an agency long enough may inherently know many of these things, but will inevitably fail to implement them without constantly being reminded.

Blair, through his podcast and now this book, helps build our confidence to have the difficult, but necessary conversations we need to properl
Joe Stephens
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Short read with a really interesting perspective. Presented simply through 12 "Proclamations" that provide a great advice on positioning your firm (or even individual creative practice) in a less subservient role, leading to better results, better clients and better income. I think there are many great lessons to be learned, however I do wonder if some of the ideals are a bit of exactly that — ideals that may not be accessible to the newer designer but more of a reality for those already with an ...more
Jake Jordan
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic short book written in the form of a manifesto. I read it all in one day...

This is "A must read for any marketing consultant, graphic designer, agency owner, or anyone who runs a service-based business.

Blair clearly articulates the framework necessary to build a great services business and how to position yourself to obtain the most valuable clients who are in line with your vision.

This is the most practical book I have read up to date that explains the methods for optimizing new busi
vu nguyen
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eyes opening book

I'm a software developer and digital marketing consultant. For years I have been working in this field, charging people by the hour and for years I have wondered why I'm doing the thing that I love yet still unhappy. Now I know why.

What I thought of as being professional and being fair to clients of all sizes was wrong, completely wrong. If I had read this book earlier, things could have been way different. But now I still have the time to change, and I will do. Thank you.
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a manifesto that challenges the creative mind to be strategic, confrontational with oneself, and o honest about the work you want to do.

Blair has thoughtfully split the hairs on how to position your creative agency as one that conducts business in a manner that raises the industry bar.

As a single member design studio, many of the principal concepts translate to iteration on my policies and procedures.

All in all, what was gained by reading this book is well worth the money spent in the bo
Jamie from The Doer Co
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm glad Chris Do recommended this book, because it's a great primer for intermediate skilled people who are leveling their way up to experts in their fields. Useful for all kinds of business models that heavily involve labor hours (eg service businesses rather than consumer products). I feel fortunate to have been familiar with most of the contents through the education on The Futur's YouTube channel and from what I learned from great leadership when I worked at Symphony. ...more
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
So much valuable content!

Win without Pitching Manifesto is full of concise meaningful advice on how you can stand out and run a successful creative business by removing the need for a pitch.

If you do any sort of creative work that puts you in contact with clients, I highly recommend investing your time in reading this book.

This is one book that I wish I had read years ago.
Sarah Shen
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Useful read for someone who's still trying to figure their way through the freelance creative world. Not all clients are going to be a perfect match and I appreciated Enns' points on collaborating on ideas rather than being purely customer service-driven. Definitely helpful for me moving forward with how I communicate with prospective clients and I recommend to anyone who's still learning the ropes on how to run their own creative business. ...more
Spencer Fraye
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Easily one of the best business books for creatives, an absolute must for all designers. It not only has very striking, powerful, and ingenious ideas but it also pays a great amount of detail to the means by which it presents them. It's a clean and easy read that is sophisticated and easy to digest. Blair Enns struck gold with this. ...more
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read-business
Amazing book. This book helped me try new strategies for first meetings with potential clients. It helped me get over my fear of asking for fair compensation. I'm not in a creative industry per se, but still, there was enough overlap and fundamental knowledge that I could immediately apply. Big recommendation for any freelancer or a business owner. ...more
Cassie Gallegos
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a well-written, concise tool that is worth more than its weight in gold.

The perfect, simplified playbook for any business that is client-centered. It will remain in my arsenal for years to come as it really simplifies the methods of gaining and retaining quality clients and building the business of your dreams at the same time.
Jake Baine
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for anybody working in the creative field

Wow, this is eye opening. I’ve struggled so long with the problems he mentions in this book. It feels good knowing there are others that have felt the struggles and know how to overcome them. I will be implementing the teachings in this book effective immediately. Highly recommend to every creative!
Chani Knight
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to review this after we talked about it as a staff, and I think for applicability it was absolutely worth it. While much more dry than the previous book I read on a similar topic, I did find this helpful to reframing my approach. Once applied to the way that my company works and what we are looking toward, I feel like this was well worth the read.
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