Starting out as a freelance writer can be scary. It was (and still is) for me.
I had no experience, portfolio, or even the basic “know-how” to get things done. But that didn’t stop me.
With a little bit of research about how to freelance write, a little bit of practice writing the “perfect” pitch, and a whole lot of faith in the process, I landed my first client via pitch and am well on my way to getting more!
The First Step
Before I first became really serious about freelance writing on the side (I do, after all work a full time job Monday through Friday) I had one goal in mind. Make more money so I can get out of debt and really start enjoying the life my family and I deserve. I knew I did not want to take on a second job (that defeated the purpose of living a better life) and honestly, I had no time for that!
After researching on the web about crazy things to do from home for $money$, I had just about thrown my hands up and accepted life as it was.
“Be serious, making money from home is a scam and everyone but you knows it.”
But then I came across this work form home, make more money, do what you love “job” called freelance writing.
How I Found Out About Freelance Writing
The truth is, I am not really sure how I learned about freelance writing. I don’t remember the specifics but I do remember thinking, “Hey, I like to write, and I am good at it. Why don’t I give this a try?”
That is when I happened across what has become my staple freelance writing blog: Leaving Work Behind. Quickly convinced this was the best route to take, I purchased Tom Ewer’s Paid to Blog course and started right away.
The great thing about this course is it’s easy to digest (everything is clearly laid out in a step-by-step manner so you don’t miss a thing) and you can work at your own pace (score! working full time, being a mom, AND attempting a new job of sorts at the same time can be unpredictable).
From there I created my website via the WordPress platform (which I am growing to love more and more each day).
Pitch Those Clients
After my website was ready to go and I had a couple of blog posts under my belt, I realized I needed to get clients.
My first pitch was anything but good. But I had to start somewhere. Here is what it looked like:
My name is Lindsay and I am new to the freelance writing world. I recently happened across your blog and noticed you offer the opportunity to guest post for it. I would love the chance to do so as I have become an active reader and love the uplifting stories that are told.
I have attached a possible post regarding a special moment in my life involving my child. I am also interested in writing about other topics included on your site should you enjoy my thoughts and allow me to continue writing for you.
Although I do not have any samples to provide you, as I am a complete beginner, I can offer you the consideration of following deadlines and giving you my best. I look forward to hearing from you. Please do not hesitate to let me know if there is something more I can do.
I originally got a response rejecting my sample post (lesson learned: don’t write full drafts unless required to because it takes far too much time.). Yet, I was offered a chance to submit some different ideas. After researching the style of the site more intently, I offered three ideas and they were well received! I then drafted my guest post and sent it on its way.
**Unfortunately for me, that guest post is still lost in e-mail land for all I know. I sent the post and followed up approximately one week later when I had not heard it was received. This was my first guest post submission and I was not clear on the technicalities (format of submission, byline/picture requirements, etc.). Since then, no communication has been forwarded in my direction. Although I am definitely disappointed, I still learned a lot from this experience. And who knows, maybe they will get back to me eventually and confirm the acceptance of my post!
My Current Winning Pitch
Since my very first pitch I have read up a lot on how to perfect it. Although my current one is far from perfect (I am still tweaking it), it has a lot more structure and depth to it, without all the time wasted to create it!
Here is what my new client pitch looks like:
Your ad placed on [WHERE I SAW AD] immediately caught my attention. I am an aspiring freelance writer trying to make it in the online world and I would love to work with you.
I recently started working with a major WordPress writer, although I am still new to freelance writing.
I am confident I will be a great addition to you and your website. [PERSONAL EXPERIENCE RELATED TO JOB] Please check out my blog or my “Hire Me” page to check out some of my writing and contact information.
Additionally, here are three post ideas I think would work perfectly for your audience.
1. POST IDEA #1 – Write a short summary explaining what the post will be about. Not too much, just enough to get the client interested.
2. POST IDEA #2 – Again, a short summary describing the post.
3. POST #3 – Again, a short summary describing the post.
Thank you so much for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
~ Lindsay Liedke
Why This Winning Pitch is Going to Land a Client
- I mentioned clearly where I saw the job posting
- I mentioned some of my most recent work (my blog) and how to contact me (I also hyperlinked to those particular places making it easy for my potential client to check it out)
- I offered 3 succinct ideas without drafting an entire piece that could possibly be rejected. I simply brainstormed some quick and easy ideas that could later develop into great posts.
- It is structured and can be used for almost any job posting pitch. You simply address the specifics of the job ad your are responding to but use this template every time.
Of course, there are never any guarantees a client will like what you have to say in your pitch. But this style ups the chances and guess what…it worked for me!
This particular client responded to my e-mail stating he had already booked his writers but that after seeing my e-mail he was impressed and wanted to reach out to me. I am excited to say that I have now started a new project and am confident this opportunity will open many doors for me.
Freelance writing is often a game of numbers. The more you pitch to new clients the higher the chance you have of receiving a positive result. There is also no right or wrong way of pitching your ideas, but having a routine makes it a whole lot easier. Try creating a template yourself and using it every time you pitch to a new client. If it is winning, you will be too!
Have you ever used a template for pitching new clients? In what way is your template winning? Share below, I would love to hear from you.