More and more cold pitches seem to be showing up in MY inbox.
Point of arrival, right? Haha!
Most of them are web designers/developers that are trying to get my business. But I already have a pretty awesome web guy, so there’s little to no chance they’ll succeed anyway.
But one thing they all have in common? They suck! No seriously, they do. They are hardly ever addressed to me personally, they don’t cite anything specific about my website and basically, they fall flat.
Don’t let this scare you off from trying cold pitching though. As the title suggests, there are numerous reasons why we, as freelancers, should be cold pitching (which I’ll share with you shortly).
Next week I’ll show you some real life examples and a template that one of my coaching clients and I worked up together. I do love pitching after all (yes, I know how weird that sounds!) and it’s my goal to get you to love it too.
What Is Cold Pitching?
If you don’t know what cold pitching is, you might be slightly confused. When you “cold pitch” someone, you’re basically sending them a personalized email after checking out their website/blog (you need to know a bit about who you’re targeting) and then pitching them on why they should hire you as a content writer for their site.
You should have a template saved in your email drafts folder (more on what this should look like next week) that you customize per pitch. This will serve as a great starting point, so you don’t have to start from scratch each time.
Why? The short version: It’s easy to seek out companies in your niche and you won’t be competing against hundreds of other candidates at the same time either (like you might be when responding to a job board ad). Here are four more reasons why.
1. Opportunity Abounds
We’re either hearing on the interwebs that the freelance writing market is becoming saturated or that opportunity abounds. I choose to focus on the opportunity (glass half full kinda girl) and I’ll tell you why.
Every business needs a website and every website should have a blog.”
But most don’t. Or they’re not regularly updated. Or their content sucks. That’s where we come in!
If you want to read the facts behind how much opportunity exists in online writing, read this awesome post from Be a Freelance Blogger. It’s seriously one of my favorites (who doesn’t love data to support that they’re in a lucrative career) and should be read by YOU too!
2. It’s Great Practice
I used to tell this to my coaching clients all of the time! Pitching in general is great practice.
If you’re not getting any response (from sending A LOT of pitches), then there’s probably a reason why. You should always be perfecting your pitch – trying to improve it and increase your conversion rates.
When you do get a response, it’s great practice communicating with prospects. Over time, you might notice that you get a lot of the same questions.
- What’s your rate?
- What’s your turnaround time?
- Do you need a deposit?
Some writers develop a FAQ or a summary of services that they send in return. I have one (mostly done), but I usually just respond inline to each of their questions.
3. You Get to Set the Terms
Being that you’re the one that sent the email, you’re in a way in the power position. You’re directing the conversation (starting with that very first email) and get to guide them through the process of what it looks like to work with you.
As mentioned above, since you’re approaching them, you’re not competing directly against a hundred other writers for their business. You’re really just competing against yourself, providing they see the need and value in hiring a writer.
4. You Control Your Activity
I have nothing against job boards (it’s where I got a successful start), but when you’re hunting for new opportunities, you can only pitch as many as are listed. Someday’s you’ll find quite a few to apply for and other days you won’t find any that are right for you.
On the other hand, when cold pitching, you can find as many opportunities to apply as you have time in the day. It’s as simple as conducting a Google search for “Blogs + [Your Niche].”
It sounds intimidating, I know (the internet is a big place), so I suggest getting started locally. Stick to your own state, province or country as you’re getting started.
A great reason to start locally, is that when you mention that you live just down the road or across the city from their office, an instant connection is made. It also humanizes you, which is really important when talking to people online/via email.
We should all be cold pitching for new work. There’s boundless opportunity and it’s great practice. You can set the terms and control your activity. Really, it’s a numbers game after you get your pitch worked out.
Remember, every company needs a website and every website needs a blog. It helps them to connect with their current customers, deepen the relationship and prospect for new business.
I’ll be back next week with a post on how to go about cold pitching (with templates). Until then, tell me:
Have you tried cold pitching? Why did/didn’t it work for you?
PS: Want to learn how to get paid to write for the web? Learn how to set up your own freelance writing business in 30 days or less!
Photo Credit: JuanChristophe via Compfight cc