Have you ever looked at a website or blog and thought, I could really help improve this? I could add in more content or build their social media profile?
So what do you do about it? How do you approach that business or website and offer your services?
A “cold pitch” is sending an email to these businesses, telling them who you are and why they should hire you.
Essentially, it is marketing yourself to someone that is not advertising for freelancing services, but appears to be in need of them!
Why Cold Pitching?
It is easy for you to find companies or businesses in your niche that could potentially use your services and send them an email. Simply conduct a Google search.
You will not be competing against hundreds of other freelancers, as is the case if you are answering a job advertisement or on job boards and content mills.
A very important point I need to make about cold pitching, is that it can feel ineffective and like you are getting nowhere. You could send out 10 cold pitches, and only receive 3 replies. Of those 3 replies you may only gain 1 successful client.
So why cold pitch?
If you send out 50 emails in a week, you could potentially receive 15 replies. Of those 15 replies, what if even just 5 of those responses was a positive one? That is possibly 5 new clients!
Eventually you will start attracting interest and more clients.
How to cold pitch.
I mentioned above that you might send up to or surpass 50 emails in one week. If you have the time!
Obviously, it can be difficult to find the time and energy to be cold pitching 50 times in one week. Especially if you are running your freelance writing business as a side-business.
My advice is to develop a basic cold pitch template.
The important thing to remember is to tweak it each time so it is personalised to the person you are pitching to.
It can be as simple as addressing them by their name, throwing in a few sentences about their website, and paying them a complement. This will prove that not only have you visited their site, but also that you have paid attention to it.
Important points to include in your cold-pitch email.
- The recipient: you want your email to get to the decision maker of the company. Make sure you look around their website for people like the head of marketing, or the business owner, for contact details.
- The subject line: Do not use a spammy subject line. Be honest and direct. “Do you need a great freelance writer?”
- Be personal: Do not send a generic email. Make sure you greet the person you are sending it to personally, briefly mention how you found their website and how you can help them. It doesn’t hurt to complement their company or business either!
- A Call to Action: You need to end your email with asking them to get back to you if they are interested. Otherwise, what is the point?
Where to send your cold pitch emails.
The best place to cold pitch is companies, business, and blogs that suit your niche. You can do a Google search and see what pops up, or look at nearby businesses on Facebook or other social media.
Go for a walk and look at the local businesses in your area. Do any of them fit your niche? Do they have an online presence? If not, then send them a cold pitch!
There is no point in approaching a well-developed website and blog, focus your attention on those that look like they could do with some better content or whose blog has been inactive.
Handy tips for cold pitching
I found that if I set a goal of how many pitches I want to make in a week it helps to keep me motivated. From 1 pitch daily, to 50 a week, it doesn’t matter what goal you have in mind, as long as it is achievable and you follow through.
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Keep track of your pitches.
Whenever I send a pitch I make sure I enter it into a spreadsheet in Excel. It helps me to know where and when I have sent a pitch so if you need to follow up you can. You also don’t want to be caught out by cold-pitching the same people over and over again, so you can double check before you send an email off if you have already approached them and what the response was.
Don’t just send the one email and leave it at that. A week or so after your original pitch has been sent if you haven’t heard back then it is a good idea to send a brief and polite email to your potential client.
People are busy and can become distracted so a friendly reminder never goes astray!
So there you have it! A guide to the who, what, where and how of cold pitching. I hope it helps you land some clients.
Don’t forget to grab your FREE copy of a cold pitch template today!
I would love to hear your experiences of cold pitching, and any other ideas you may have around landing clients.
How have you landed clients?
What is the most creative method you have used to land a client?