If you want to be making a consistent income freelance writing then you need to become a pro in creating a freelance writing pitch.
Many freelance writers quit because they’re not hearing back from their pitches – I’ll let you into a secret. You need to be sending a lot of freelance pitches when you first start. Finding your first couple of freelance clients can be a struggle, but knowing how to write a pitch will help you to land those lucrative gigs.
When I first started freelance writing, my pitching was pretty basic. I still managed to land work but these were low paying jobs (seriously, I didn’t have a clue about anything when I first started out!)
My pitching process has massively improved over the last few years and I now have a pitch that lands me regular work every month.
The difference between cold pitching and warm pitching
In freelance writing, you’ll come across cold pitching and warm pitching.
Warm pitching is when you send an application to someone who is looking for a freelance writer or someone you already have a relationship with. On the other hand, cold pitching is when you send a pitch to someone who isn’t actively looking for help and someone unknown to you.
So, let’s take a look at my 3 step formula for creating a freelance writing pitch. This is a warm pitch for jobs that have been advertised via job boards, social media etc. You can use this as a template for your own pitches.
My 3 step formula for a freelance writing pitch
Let’s pretend we are applying for a job as a blog writer.
At the beginning of your pitch is performance – this entails your background and experience. Let’s look at some of the elements to include.
The first thing you need to do in your pitch is to create an introduction.
In this section, you can include;
- A brief introduction about yourself
- Where you saw the job advertised
This section should be kept straight to the point. For example;
I am writing to you in response to your project X as posted on X. I’m a great fit for your X position as I’m an experienced writer with extensive knowledge on the subject of X.”
As you can see, this is direct – you’ve introduced yourself as a good fit for the vacancy and in the next section you need to elaborate further on this.
In the next paragraph, you can develop your freelance writing pitch by stating;
- Your background in writing
- What you can bring to the job
This is an important section as its what is going to set you apart from other candidates. In this part of your freelance writing pitch, you’re going to sell yourself as a writer – it’s essential that you write in a confident and positive manner. If you’re new to freelance writing, don’t mention your lack of experience. You’re going to state what you CAN do. Here’s an example;
“I have recently created articles and web copy for X and I have worked in content marketing for the past 5 years. My content is known for being engaging, informative and actionable to boost readership and search rankings. A blog post I wrote on X has currently accumulated over X shares on social media. Here are a few reasons why I believe I am a suitable candidate for your vacancy;
- I have three years experience in writing and editing my own blog X. I know how to build an audience and the type of content that gains an effective response in the X sector.
- I have a degree in English. This background has given me an understanding of creating lengthy content, including how to write irresistible blog post titles that entice the reader.
- I have worked remotely for two years so I am able to meet short deadlines and I am available via Skype during the hours of 9 am – 5 pm UK time.”
Why this works
This approach demonstrates your experience in content writing – if you can provide results, even better. This pitch also shows how the applicant’s experience fits potential problems that the client may have. In this case, a company with a blog will be looking to build their audience with engaging content that attracts readers. It’s also highly likely that they’ll want to boost their search rankings.
Now you’ve stated what you can do, I highly recommend including samples of your work or a link to samples in your portfolio. A portfolio doesn’t necessarily need to be your own website as you can use a site like Contently to upload work samples. If you’re not linking to your portfolio, it’s best to only add 2-3 individual samples that are relevant to the job applied for.
Some job adverts will clearly state a budget or fee. Others will want you to state how much you charge.
If you’re asked to state your fees, add a line to your pitch in the form of;
“My fees per X word blog post are $x or I can offer a discounted rate for 4 or more posts.”
Obviously, this line will alter depending on whether you’re prepared to offer a reduced rate for more than one post.
If the job advert states a price, you can skip the pricing section and move onto Promote.
If you’re not sure how to price your work, check out my guide on pricing for freelance writers.
For the final section of your pitch, sign off with a polite conclusion and promote your social media and LinkedIn channels. Obviously, don’t include your Twitter or Instagram if they’re personal accounts as nobody wants to see you getting wasted on a Friday night with Bill (you get the idea). Only include social media links to accounts that are professional – LinkedIn is a great site to link to as it can give further details of your background. However, if you have your own website, you might want to include this instead. An example;
“I would love to speak to you in greater detail about your project. You can contact me via email, LinkedIn or social media. I appreciate your consideration.
[social media links]”
Now we’ve broken down a pitch and looked at three elements to include, let’s put the pitch together.
I hope you found this helpful. Remember to grab the free blueprint download for a step by step guide to finding your first client, including where to find lucrative writing jobs.
Let me know your pitching process in the comments!