There is a right and a wrong way to pitch for freelance jobs (writing or otherwise).
If you’re a brand new freelancer, wouldn’t it be easier if you knew how to pitch the correct way, right off the bat? Or if you’re somewhat seasoned, but looking to take on some new clients and your current pitch isn’t converting that well, wouldn’t it be nice to know what you could do to make yours better?
We’ve talked a lot about pitching on Leaving Work Behind in the past. In fact, I’ve shared with you my first pitch along with my most recent one and broken it all down for you to learn why the latter is more effective and converts better.
And I’ve also given you the ultimate pitching blueprint to help you propose new article ideas to your current clients. But today, I want to share with you four specific ways to kill it in your next email pitch that are often overlooked by freelancers just like us.
1. Be Yourself
One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to show a little personality and differentiate yourself. Don’t be “just another qualified writer” that sends an email in response to a job ad.
Instead, talk with them like you would a friend. This doesn’t mean you should go crazy with exclamation points or emoticons. You should keep your pitch professional, but conversational in nature.
In essence, try to humanize yourself and get them to like and remember you. Don’t be afraid to open up (a little), show off some of your great personality and make a real connection.
2. Be Succinct
Ain’t no one got time to read an email the length of a novel. But people keep sending them. And they keep getting ignored.
Whenever I open a really long email, my first instinct is to put it off until later. The mere length of an email prevents it from getting read because it seems like too much work. As though it’ll require too much mental or emotional energy to read and then formulate a reply to.
I’ve found it’s best to keep a pitch short, light and include only the most pertinent details. You need to include all of the necessary information (like links to samples of your work), but don’t go crazy here. Re-read it before you send it and see if there’s any fluff to be cut, or if you can replace any compound sentences with a shorter version.
In fact, you can format your emails much like you would a blog post. Have an introduction, a bullet-pointed body, and a conclusion/call-to-action. Always make sure to let them know their next step i.e. “Hit reply to continue this conversation”.
3. Do Your Research
This one is so often overlooked, it’s kind of comical. How many of you have pitched a job without clicking over to look at the prospective client’s website?
What’s the point in even pitching them?
If you’re not interested in them enough to get a sense of what they have going on, the odds aren’t that great of you actually landing the gig. Instead, spend a couple minutes exploring their site, social media profiles, etc. and learn about the company you want to be a part of.
And please don’t just click on the most recent blog post and skim the first paragraph or two. If you do and that’s the only “connection” you make in your pitch, you might as well not bother. It’s pretty evident to the potential employer and they’re not likely to be impressed!
4. Keep Expectations Low
Here’s the thing: there will always be another opportunity. This job ad that you’re answering right now isn’t the last one you’ll ever see that you’re qualified for or interested in. In my opinion:
Every company needs a website and virtually every website needs a blog.
So there’s ample opportunity for all of us freelance writers at least ;-). And the same goes for any other freelance industry. Opportunity is abundant and you need to adopt that mindset!
Take some of the pressure off by pitching early and pitching often. Although you need to take your time and send a killer pitch each time, don’t put all of your eggs in that one proverbial prospect’s basket.
Instead (and this is especially true if you’re just getting started), consider each pitch as practice for landing your ideal client down the road. Each email pitch you send out gets you that much closer to your next client and eventually to your dream client.
The next time you fire off a pitch, don’t hem and haw and worry about the outcome. Instead, take your time to do your best in the actual pitch itself. Be yourself, write succinctly and do your research ahead of time.
Then lower your expectations and practice having a mindset of abundance. After all, each pitch you send will get you closer to your ideal business and dream client.
And lastly, don’t wait until your pitch is “perfect” before you send it out. Trust me, it will never be! But it usually can be improved and hopefully the above tips will help you to do just that.
What’s currently holding you back from sending out more pitches?