Pitching is the absolute bane of many a freelancer’s life.
Not only is it time-consuming, but it’s down right scary. But it’s also the most popular way for freelancers to get new work.
I know from speaking to lots of you that pitching gives you the heebie jeebies for a number of reasons, whether that’s because you feel like you’re hassling prospects or because you simply don’t know what to write to make you stand out.
Like you, I would shudder in my boots every time I hit that send button on a pitch and I’d cower away in shame until the silence and crickets got too much to bear.
Because there will be a lot of silence and crickets when you’re pitching.
There’s a lot of advice out there telling you to send out pitches en masse; you know, just bombarding anyone and everyone with a pitch and showering them with your glorious skills.
But, like most things in life, I value quality over quantity, and so do prospects.
I’m ashamed to admit it took me a long time to learn this.
In the early days I was firing off emails left, right, and centre, barely bothering to personalise them to the people who I was hoping would become my clients.
But if I couldn’t be bothered to learn a bit about them, why should I expect them to be interested in me?
These days, I’ll often come across an amazing brand I’d love to write for, so I shoot them an email pitching my services.
It took me a while to hone that pitch to something I was proud of and that got the results I wanted, but I think I’ve finally got there. My pitch now receives response like:
So let’s break this party down.
The Breakdown of My (Not-So) Magic Pitch
Hi [first name of prospect],
It’s really important to try and find the name of the person you want to reach.
If you can’t get this information from their website, try searching LinkedIn and choosing the best person for what you’re pitching – e.g. if you’re a writer, pitching the marketing manager is a good shout.
I hope you’re having a great week!
I’m British, which means I’m painfully polite.
The thought of jumping straight into a pitch without acknowledging the other person and their time makes want to curl up in a ball and drink copious amounts of tea because, well, British.
SaaS copywriter, storyteller and digital marketing pro here.
I introduce myself in one short sentence, which can be switched up depending on what kind of company I’m pitching for.
I mainly write for SaaS brands, AI-focused marketing businesses, and digital marketing companies, so mixing and matching these in my opening sentence is totally do-able.
I’ve worked in the marketing, tech, and start-up world for 5+ years, and I now specialise in creating high-end, data-driven blog posts for SaaS and marketing companies that boost conversions and build authority.
Here, I dig a little deeper into what I do – sort of like a tagline for my header. I outline what exactly I do and how that can help them.
You might have seen me Tweeting business and freelancing advice from Wanderful-World.com, too, which is an award-winning community I created to help people all over the world start businesses. And now, off the back of the site’s success, I help other brands just like you provide stellar stories for their audiences.
This paragraph is my “social proof” section, where I share that I have won awards with my blog and am dedicated to helping people with content.
I’d love to chat further to see how I can help you get more conversions on your app/site and build your authority in your niche with content. I know you’re already doing great stuff with your blog, but there’s always room to do more, right?!
To finish up, I switch it back around to the prospect and offer to chat with them to see how I can help them solve their key content problems.
Please feel free to take a look at some data-driven pieces I’ve written for top-name brands like Social Media Examiner, TINT, and LeadQuizzes on my site.
This solidifies my expertise and experience.
Name dropping isn’t my favourite thing in the world, but it puts some oomph behind your pitch if you can say you’ve worked with recognisable brands. I’ll always link to my site or a couple of portfolio pieces that are a good fit for the prospect as well.
So far, this pitch has treated me well.
Could it be better? Sure!
There are so many things I could put in it, but I like to keep things short and sweet to begin with, then once I’m in a dialogue with the prospect, I can elaborate on other experiences that I have.
To recap, let’s go over the key paragraphs that make up this pitch:
- Include your prospects name (I can’t stress how important this is. No one wants to receive an email that kicks off with “To whom it may concern”)
- Acknowledge the recipient and be a human being
- Kick off with a short sentence explaining what you do
- Dig deeper into that by explaining how what you do can help the prospect
- Add social proof if you can to solidify your expertise
- Switch it back round to the prospect and push for a chat to see how you can help them
- Sign off with a link to your website or a select few portfolio pieces
There, it doesn’t seem so daunting, right?
Putting ourselves out there is never easy, but it’s an important part of freelancing.
I often find that putting a structure to something and making it systematic takes away the “oh god this feels so personal” aspect of pitching, which is why I’ve settled on this approach that breaks things down paragraph by paragraph.
Feel free to use this template and let me know how you get on!