Turns out, cold-pitching is one of the most effective ways of getting new freelance writing clients. In fact, I would say that except you have hacked a way to have prospective clients contact you first, you cannot get out of cold-pitching as a marketing strategy.
If you are wondering what cold-pitching means, it means sending an email to a prospective client telling them about your services and asking them to hire you as a freelancer.
So why and how do you send a cold-pitch or a cold-email?
You send a cold-pitch because you want a prospective client to hear about you and hire you. Sometimes, people are looking for writers but can’t find any, and your cold-pitch just lands you right in front of them.
Other times, they don’t realise that writing is a task they can outsource till you land in their inbox. Either way, cold-pitching puts you in front of people who can hire you.
How To Send Cold-Pitches
People send snail mails, video messages, etc., but my best cold-pitching strategy sticks with sending emails. I am going to show you a sample of an email that I sent to a prospective client, and which got me a positive response.
An excellent cold email is one that a prospective client reads and responds to. You want your email to be that type of email. This sample is not perfect, so please improve upon it to your taste.
That said, cold-pitching is a numbers game. People will delete your email without reading. Some will read and have no use for a writer, and others will read and contact you.
So, one of the first things to bear in mind is that you have to send as many cold emails as you can if you want to receive some positive responses. I am talking about sending cold emails to hundreds of people or businesses.
What should be in your cold pitch?
Everything that is in that sample should be in a typical cold email. You can, and should, customise it for different prospects too. For the things that I have blurred out because of privacy, I will explain them below.
You want to address your prospect by name, not just a generic “hi” or “hello”. This shows that you actually did a research on them and what they do.
You want to establish a connection by saying how you found their company, or say something you like about what they do. In this email, I was saying something that I connected with as the prospect’s Instagram follower. Say something positive. It also shows them that you are familiar with what they do and this is not just a bulk email.
Name of the business/Company
For personalization purposes. So that they will see that you sent it to just them.
Your own name
You definitely want to introduce yourself, and what you do, briefly. Keep it short and put your website address at the bottom of the email, so that they can read more about you if they choose.
Mention your area of specialisation so that they know that you are a right fit for their industry. A specialised writer is more attractive than someone who says that they can write anything. We know that any writer can write anything, but clients interpret that as you not being familiar with their industry.
Most prospects will like to see your published pieces so that they can check out your writing style to determine if you are a good fit. You want to mention at least two places that are in the same industry with the prospect. Or a popular website like Huffington Post, which cuts across several topics. It is also a good idea to link to sample articles of yours here. Some writers prefer to get a response before sending links, and that is fine.
- Same as 6.
Sign off in a formal way
Outside of these eight, there are other things that should appear in your pitch. They are the ones that are not blurred in this sample.
You want to say the reason why you are sending an email. Keep it brief and straight to the point.
Mention specifically the types of writing that you want to do for them.
Call to Action
Instigate a response from the prospect. Now that the have read about who you are and what you do, what do you want them to do about it? This is the part where you say that you are happy to discuss further, send samples, get on Skype, etc. Something to push them to have a conversation with you.
Your email address
I sent this pitch using a Gmail address because my official email was down. Ideally, you want to use a professional email address so that you come across as professional.
Like I said earlier, you need to send a lot of cold emails before you can get as many responses as you want. You can set a schedule to find freelance clients to pitch (a certain number per day), and do that for several weeks.
The good thing with this is that once you score some of those clients, you may have them for as long as possible.
Has cold-pitching ever worked for you? Or you can’t seem to get a hang of it? Share with us in the comments.