Dorothy Mead on how to challenge large companies for work

Dorothy Mead is Head of Marketing at Talmix, and gives advice to how freelancers can compete against larger companies. 

What advice would you give to freelancers on tendering for larger projects when competing against large companies?

I realise this may sound counter-intuitive, but the first answer is not to compete. Not as in walk away from the opportunity, but as in not try to be a different version of the bigger company you’re up against. Embrace the genuine difference that you are bringing as a freelancer and showcase your strengths. Here’s a few pointers:


You aren’t bound by following big company templates. You will look at the problem to be solved and devise the best approach based on your experience. You can move fast and change direction even faster – no oil tanker manoeuvres required. And talking of experience…


You’ve chosen to go freelance because of the great skills and knowledge you’ve acquired. Be very clear – show how this knowledge and experience both helps you devise a strategy to run the project, but more importantly how you will deliver. Our experience at Talmix has shown that one of the biggest frustrations that companies have in using large providers is that they get a great report and strategy – and then the work starts. Show how you can do both.


Brand: a freelancer ‘freedom’ is that you are able to focus on the job in hand, and not promoting the ‘BIGCO’ brand – a large part of any assignment when you’re working for that. Show how you’re all about concentrating on the client: you report to them, not to someone else. And that direct approach translates as cost savings to the client, which is always good.

Finally – go for it – fortune favours the brave, and it really favours the people who know how to get a job done well.