As an introvert, the thought of cold pitching can be intimidating. You may feel overwhelmed by introducing yourself and your services to potential freelance clients. But it doesn’t have to be a daunting task! You can successfully cold pitch high-paying freelance clients confidently if you use the right approach.
I’ll share how you introverts can master the art of cold pitching (even as an introvert!) and give you templates that make it even easier to reach out to your desired clients. Following these tips and tricks can effectively communicate your value proposition to your prospects, giving you an edge over other freelancers vying for the same job.
What is cold pitching?
Cold pitching is essential for freelance writers looking to secure work. It involves directly contacting potential clients with a proposal that outlines the value you can bring to their project.
You can cold pitch through email or social media. Regardless of the method, it is one of the most effective ways to introduce yourself and your services to potential clients and stand out from other freelancers vying for the same job.
When creating a cold pitch for a freelance opportunity, tailoring your proposal to the client’s needs is key. In addition, your pitch should showcase your experience, qualifications, and relevant skills related to the specific project or type of work you’re applying for.
Your pitch should demonstrate how you can help solve the prospective client’s problem or fulfill their need to distinguish yourself from others who may be applying. This means emphasizing your unique specialization, insights, and approaches based on your experience in the field.
For example, I always emphasize in my cold pitches that I have worked for other well-known tech brands and can quickly adopt a brand’s voice and tone.
^^Example of a cold pitch email I received recently
Why should freelancers cold pitch?
Cold pitching is the most proactive form of freelance client acquisition. It’s also an efficient way to build relationships and establish trust with contacts.
Cold pitching gives you access to more lucrative and meaningful work, increasing your chances of earning a steady freelance income. Additionally, cold pitching will set you apart from your competition, who may not be using a proactive strategy.
- Cold pitching is direct
Rather than hoping your ideal clients find your website or social media profiles, cold pitching proactively targets the people you want to do business with. Cold pitching gets your message directly in front of your target clients. Through cold pitching, I was able to get noticed by well-known brands.
2. Cold pitching helps you stand out
Using job boards or waiting for clients to find your website doesn’t allow you to personalize your messages. Instead, you can tailor your message to target each prospect using cold pitching. A personalized message shows that you care and took the time to learn about the prospect.
3. Cold pitching is free
Compared to taking out ads or paid forms of marketing, sending a cold pitch message is free. While it’s time-consuming, freelancers starting should take advantage of this free marketing tool to get their name out there.
What makes a cold pitch effective?
- Personalized and contextual
Personalized pitches stand out to clients and prove that you have a vested interest in helping their business. Generic, one-size-fits-all pitches are much easier for prospective clients to skip and delete. Personalization also shows that you understand their business and their goals.
Long-winded or rambling pitches are also easily skipped. Your prospects are short on time, so it’s best to get to the point and explain the value you can provide.
As someone who receives many cold pitches, I notice that many are self-centered! For example, I get pitches constantly with statements like “I’m looking for freelance work” and “I’m looking for opportunities to write for your company.”
Making your pitch about what you can provide for the client versus what you are looking for is critical. To prevent self-centered pitching, review your messages and check how often you use the word “I”.
Your cold pitch won’t always receive a response on the first attempt. Follow-up is critical. Bonus if you can send thoughtful, value-packed follow-up messages versus the standard “Just bumping this to the top of your inbox” message.
How to start cold pitching
1. Get an email domain
Purchasing your own email domain is crucial in making yourself look more professional and reputable when cold pitching. When you have an email address specific to your brand-such as email@example.com present yourself as a real business versus an individual.
You can stand out much more easily with your own email domain rather than using a generic email provider like Gmail or Outlook. I chose Gmail for my provider. Learn how to sign up step by step here.
2. Get your writer’s website in order
If you’ve never built a website before, there’s no need to worry! As writers, all we need is a very basic, low-cost website. Clients use the information on your website to determine if you’re the right fit, so content and word choice matter much more than aesthetics.
It took about a week for me to build my site. I went with cheap web hosting through Bluehost and an easy drag-and-drop site builder, Weebly.
If you already have a website, you’ll want to tailor it to your ideal client. Tailoring is much easier for a niche-specific freelancer because all your copy will speak to one persona or industry.
The key is to market your services in a way that solves your ideal client’s goals and desires. What business problems do they want to solve? Your website copy should speak directly to these pain points.
3. Choose your social media outreach platform (Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter)
Having freelance-optimized social media profiles allows you to pitch clients directly and helps you get discovered. Create a professional-looking profile tailored towards potential clients, highlighting your experience, skills, qualifications, and any awards or recognition received.
Include keywords in your profiles to boost search engine optimization (SEO), making it easier for prospective customers to find you online. Feature links to your writing samples, giving potential clients an example of the quality of work they can expect if they hire you.
Having an online presence isn’t just about building trust with potential clients – it’s also a great way for freelance writers to network. In addition, it builds relationships with other professionals in the industry who could eventually lead them to more lucrative opportunities or referrals.
4. Make a list of your ideal companies and clients
Once you have identified potential clients through any of the methods above, creating a list of companies you want to contact before starting your cold pitching process is essential.
How do you decide who to reach out to? Your list should be based on what type of services each company needs (e.g., blog writing, website copywriting), the company’s size, and its target audience when compiling your list.
You can then begin researching contacts within those organizations who may be interested in your services, such as the marketing director or the corporate communications manager, and compile their contact information into your database before sending your tailored pitches.
5. Write your cold pitch message in advance
While you should personalize each cold pitch, writing every cold pitch starting from scratch is not efficient or scalable! Instead, keep your templates stored in an easily accessible google doc.
Also, while there are a ton of free templates online, you should understand the basic components of an effective cold pitch instead of just copying and pasting templates. Finally, make your pitches unique to your voice and personality!
- Cut to the chase
Remember that your client is receiving an onslaught of irrelevant offers daily. Always keep your pitches concise and to the point. Be sure to remove long openers and pleasantries. Be 100% transparent with an opening line like, “I’m reaching out to see if you need help with your content marketing strategy.”
- Share what you do and why they should care
Saying that you’re a copywriter looking for work isn’t enough isn’t compelling to clients. Clients will read your message and wonder what’s in it for them. Instead, mention that you’ve worked for clients just like them and helped others with their exact problems.
“I write for health and wellness companies like X, X, and X.”
“I write blog posts and Facebook ads for start-ups in the mental health niche.”
- Mention something personal about them or their brand
Always include something personal about your client or their company to show that you’re specifically interested in working for them and not just sending generic emails to every company in their space. For example, compliment them on their web copy, blog, or recent interview.
You won’t have the time to do in-depth research on every company you message, but you can call out something specific to prove your message is personalized and grab their attention.
6. Set cold pitch goals and stay consistent
To land clients, cold pitching multiple clients consistently is critical. There is a good chance that freelance writers will not land their first client on the first try, it takes multiple attempts!
By cold-pitching regularly, you increase your odds of finding a client interested in working with you. Remember, finding a client is a numbers game. So the more people you reach out to, the greater your chances of success.
Each time you pitch successfully, you get better at identifying which kinds of projects and topics resonate with clients and what kind of language resonates best when crafting pitches.
Think of consistent cold pitching as planting seeds. Over time, your pitches will compound, helping clients remember you when future opportunities arise.
Cold pitch template examples
Subj: Your website
I’m reaching out because I help coaches like you sell more of your programs and get higher ROI on your launches with sales pages.
Last month, I helped [COACH NAME] convert 20% of their sales page traffic to paying members, with an email list of 6,000
Is this something you’d be interested in?
I’m contacting you about potential freelance copywriting roles within [company].
I specialize in writing for the [your niche] industry and draw on my background as a [relevant professional work experience]. I’m passionate and knowledgeable on subjects like [relevant passion and topics in their industry].
I’d love to write for [company] because [reason you love their brand and want to work specifically for them].
My website: [link to your website]
My portfolio: [link directly to your portfolio]
I’d love to find out more about your content strategy for 2021. Would you be open to a quick call?
If you’re looking for more freelance client outreach templates for every scenario, check out The Freelance Template Playbook™️
How do you cold pitch an editor?
The main difference between pitching an editor versus a marketer or business owner is that they might have submission guidelines. These guidelines will require you to pitch angles and topics, whereas companies may already have their topics chosen and just need to assign them to a writer.
How to deal with rejection in cold pitching
Cold pitching is a numbers game, and silence, or “rejection,” is not something you should take personally! In fact, it’s part of the process. For example, I teach a digital course on cold pitching, and I currently have 67 unaccepted LinkedIn invitations!
It happens to the best of us. That being said, if you’re sending dozens and dozens of messages and gaining no traction at all, it could be time to re-evaluate and get an outside opinion on what you could be doing wrong.
Cold pitching is one of the most effective ways to introduce yourself and your services to potential clients while standing out from other freelancers vying for the same opportunities.
Compelling cold pitches are personalized, succinct, and focused on the client’s needs. To start cold pitching, make sure your website and samples are ready. Once you have a list of your ideal clients and a cold pitch template to go off of, you can start cold pitching immediately and building your lucrative freelance business!
Want to land your first high-paying freelance copywriting client in 30 days or less? Check out my free workshop!