As a freelance writer, the concept of cold pitching isn’t something I used to be comfortable with, so I thought about it for far too long rather than taking action as I had a number of concerns about it.

First, I didn’t want to bother people or get accused of spamming, and secondly – and most crucially – I had no idea how to go about it.

However, one day the decision was pretty much made for me. A freelance contract was about to come to an end and I was going to have to start finding some extra work from somewhere – and fast. The answer? Cold pitching!

I searched the Internet for templates to adapt so that was the problem solved of how to actually pitch to clients and then there was no stopping me!

I actually sat up to 2.00am on my first day of pitching because I was determined to get an answer from at least one person – and I did.  An SEO company offered me $45 for a blog post, with more to follow if they liked my work. Fortunately, they did, so I am still working for them and they send me regular work.

My early success spurred me on, so I got busy pitching all over again.

Next, a client offered me over £200 worth of work right away, and I am still working for them on a monthly basis.

One company told me they didn’t need writers at the time, but this might soon change. Sure enough, they got in touch with me within a month and gave me a £150 project as a test, and they’ve offered me on-going work ever since.

Another company contacted me after a month and offered me £500 worth of work with more to come, and I am currently in discussion with a company about a series of eight blog posts at $100 a post.

Cold Pitching Tips H2

If you are a freelance writer who is thinking of cold pitching for clients, here are some tips.

  • Don’t think about it – just do it! I spent far too long worrying about the pros and cons, and so far, it’s only been positive.
  • Don’t pitch late at night. One night, I was way past tired and sent out a whole batch of e mails with a typo in each and every one of them. Now, I send my pitches at intervals during the day, and any pitches I write late at night get checked – and double checked – the next morning.
  • If you’re the type of person who gets disheartened quickly combine your cold pitching with some ‘warm’ pitching. By this I mean try well-paying job boards like ProBlogger and sites that are actively seeking guest posts as you’re more likely to get a response; if your consistent in your efforts, you’ll start bringing some money in and it’ll help ease the financial pressure.
  • Personalise. Personalise. Personalise. When I started I was churning out 30 emails a day, but I’m now sending out fewer messages and personalising my emails to the specific wants and needs of potential clients; this had made a signficant impact on my response rate.
  • Experiment with different styles and templates and measure the results. If you’re not getting a great response, tweak your pitch until you do.
  • Don’t give up! You’re going to have to pitch, pitch and pitch some more, but you will get results.

Conclusion:

When I first started out as a fulltime freelance writer, I depended heavily on freelance sites. However, recently they have become far too competitive. I used to be able to secure 8 out of the 15 projects I was bidding on every month, but to win the four  most recent jobs it took me more than 40 proposals – and cost me an awful lot of wasted time.

While cold pitching can also be time consuming, I have a basic template I can personalise, and if I choose to I can pay someone to research a list of potential prospects for me.

Given the results, I am going to keep cold pitching until I have enough steady clients to keep me busy even during the quieter times.

Have you tried cold pitching? Or do you have other suggestions for marketing your writing services? If so, please share your experiences.

Jane Fazackarley is a Cheltenham-based freelance writer offering a range of services to clients around the world.

Her services include blog posts, press releases, brochure and web copy, newsletter, social media content and book content, ghost writing, case studies, features poetry and fiction. For  further information, visit: http://jfwriting.co.uk/ or sign up for regular updates using the form at the bottom of this page.