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Pitching. It puts the fear of anything in all of us, right? Now, a freelance writing pitch can mean one of two things.
Firstly, it can refer to the cold emails you send out to potential clients that you’d like to work with. These pitches introduce a client to your services and show them how you can help them (you can read more about those kinds of pitches here).
For the purpose of this post, I’m going to dig into the second kind of freelance writing pitch – the kind that you send off when a job or project has been advertised.
You might send a pitch like this out when applying for something off a jobs board or a call-out you’ve seen in your local paper (do people still do that?).
Creating a freelance writing pitch is never easy, especially when you’re just starting out. If you’re anything like me, you worry about:
- Whether you’re sending the right thing
- Whether you could have sent a different pitch and landed the job
- What to include and what to leave out
- How you can show your value in just a couple of paragraphs
Yes, pitching is scary, but it’s also a really necessary part of freelancing, so it’s important to get it down to a fine art.
The tricky part is there are very few people out there willing to share their successful pitches with you. Not me, people, not me. I’m laying it all bare for you to see today.
Sometimes it helps just knowing what someone else is including in their pitch so you know what you’re up against. Sometimes it helps just knowing that you’re including the right things.
So, without further ado, here is the very first successful pitch I sent out to a job I found on Craigslist (yes, Craigslist, the devil).
Example of My First Freelance Writing Pitch
I would like to put forward an application for your Freelance Copywriter position.
For the past 3 years, I have written for the travel, culture, and lifestyle industries, including blurbs for hotels and city guides. My expertise lies in conducting thorough research and creating engaging copy that not only hooks the reader, but also makes them act.
Last year I was commissioned by Laterooms.com to visit and write about a number of hotels for their Ebook, 52 Sleeps. This was circulated with January’s edition of Lonely Planet which has thousands of subscribers.
With two of my own sites and a background in writing for a travel company, I can craft compelling travel stories that bring a place (and a hotel!) to life.
You can see some of my published work here: http://wanderful-world.com/published-work/
Please find my CV attached, too.
Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing back from you!
Now, this wasn’t a bad pitch – it actually landed me the job (my very first freelance writing job, in fact!), so at the time it was hugely successful for me.
Why it was successful:
I used my experience of writing in my spare time (remember we spoke about selling skills not freelancing experience) to elevate my pitch to professional status.
You’d never have known I was a brand new freelance writer from this, would you?
Why I decided to change and improve it:
First of all, my niche changed.
At the start of my career, I was going full steam ahead with the whole travel writing thing because that’s where I had the most knowledge. I had clippings from passion projects and I’d worked as a marketing assistant in a travel company.
But then as I learned more and more about digital marketing, start-ups, and the tech world, I became increasingly fascinated with it and decided to side-step over.
This meant I needed to mix my pitch up a bit to radiate my new skills in that industry (I’d struggle to land a digital marketing writing gig with the above pitch!).
Example of My Freelance Writing Pitch Now
This is the pitch that landed me a job where there were 96 applicants, and another where there were over 300. Today, it sees about a 70% response rate whenever I use it, so I’m pretty pleased with how it’s turned out.
Sidenote: It took me a while to get it to this stage. The thing with pitching is you need to keep experimenting. If you’re not getting the responses you need from yours, mix it up and change things around until you do.
In my Launch Your Life as a Freelance Writer program, we really dig into how to make a successful pitch work for YOU. We take your skills, passions, and words to create a pitch that converts at a dizzyingly high percentage – there’s a dangerously effective system to it, and I reveal all in Module 2!
Let’s dig in!
I hope you’re good!
Professional business copywriter, blogger, and digital marketing pro here.
I’m known for my conversational tone and actionable content that doesn’t include any vague, fluffy nonsense.
I’ve worked in the digital marketing, tech, start-up and business world for half a decade and love experimenting with new, authentic ways to promote content, improve business logistics and systems, use social media, and grow audiences (and I enjoy writing about it, too!). I’ve created a community for small business owners and freelancers at Wanderful-World.com and love helping other brands provide stellar marketing advice to their audiences.
A few of my relevant articles:
Creating compelling, long-form content that deep dives into tech, marketing, and online apps and offers actionable advice is my jam!
Looking forward to discussing the project further with you.
Have a great day,
Apart from my selection of published links, this could have been a pitch written by a beginner. Note how I say I’ve worked in the digital marketing, tech, and start-up world for half a decade, not that I’ve been writing in it.
So, if you’ve been working in the finance industry but have no experience writing in it, you can still make your application stand out and appear like an expert.
Why This Pitch is So Successful:
1. It’s personable
Note how I start by saying “I hope you’re good!”. Creating a human connection goes a long way when you’re pitching for a job, and people are much more likely to hire you if they feel like they’re connecting with you on a personal level.
2. My one-liner intro
Professional business copywriter, blogger, and digital marketing pro here.
I dive straight into where my expertise lies (which just so happens to be the topics the client was looking for). There’s no hanging around telling them about my love of writing when I was a kid.
3. I tell them why my content is better than others
There’s going to be tonnes of other freelancers pitching for the same job, and it’s likely there’ll be tonnes who are really good at writing. That means it’s not enough to simply say you’re a good writer.
Instead, you want to show them how your writing will help them achieve their goals. Why should they choose you to write for them – how is your skill better than anyone else’s?
4. I share my passion
I could have easily have reeled off the topics I can write about and my experience in a year-by-year format, but instead I weave my passion about the topic into the pitch.
I tell them that I love writing about these topics, and show that I’m passionate about helping others by my dedication to Wanderful World.
If you can show that you’re passionate about their industry, either by creating bespoke pieces or by sharing side projects related to the industry that you’ve worked on or are working on, you’re onto a winner.
5. I link to relevant pieces
Notice how in the first pitch I linked to my portfolio on my site. That’s all well and good, but it means the client is responsible for clicking through and then selecting pieces to click on.
With this new pitch, I don’t give them that option. Instead, I directly link to four pieces that are extremely relevant to their wants and needs.
Obviously, this comes with time. Having a portfolio of relevant pieces to pull from is a huge help, but you can still make it work for you as a beginner.
There you have it – my freelance writing pitch two years ago and my pitch now, which has gone through all sorts of evolutions and changes over that time period.
Remember, the pitch you write now doesn’t have to be the same one you use next year or even next month. In fact, if you’re not seeing the traction you want, I’d recommend tweaking things until you start getting responses.
If you’re serious about getting your freelance writing pitch in order (and why wouldn’t you be?! It’s such an important part of being a freelancer!), my Launch Your Life as a Freelance Writer program offers a step-by-step strategy to creating a dangerously effective freelancing writing pitch that converts like kerazy!