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How to Write a Pitch That Wins Freelance Clients (in 7 Steps)

Trying to figure out how to write a pitch makes many freelancers…queasy. How do you know who to pitch? What do you say? What do you do in the face of rejection? If any of those questions cross your mind when you think about this form of marketing, you’re not alone.

Here’s the thing about figuring out how to write a pitch. The old saying is true: you can’t win if you don’t play. The good news? Pitching your ideas doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Once you have a process in place, it becomes much easier to put yourself in front of potential clients. If you’re ready to up your pitching game, these are the steps you should follow.

How to write a pitch that wins clients in 7 steps 

1. Understand how you can help

2. Find contact information

3. Personalize 

4. Define the benefits

5. Add credibility 

6. Edit, then edit some more

7. Craft your subject line 

1. Understand how you can help

Before you write a single word, you need to know is that your pitch is not about you. It needs to be about what you can do for the people you’re pitching. That means you need to do your homework and figure out how what you provide will benefit the person who reads your pitch.

Honestly, this can be tedious, especially when you’re first learning how to pitch, but every good pitch starts with research. Is there a great story you can write to attract more readers to a publication? Do you have any experiences that make you a good fit to work with this client or business? What ideas can you share that will connect with them or their audience? Figure this out before you go any further with your pitch.

2. Find contact information

Once you know how you can help, you need to get the contact information, likely the email address of the person that you’ll pitch to. You can do a quick search for their name and their title and often this information will come up.

Still stuck? One of my favorite ways to find this information is with hunter.io. Just enter the web address of the organization you want to pitch and it will find email addresses for you. The best part? You get 50 free searches each month. 

3. Personalize 

Making a pitch stand out can be tough, but personalization is an absolute must. It sets you apart from other people offering freelance services. This requires you to take a few minutes to get to know the people you’re reaching out to. However, that few minutes can go along way. Honing in on key details about the client, business or publication makes it easy for you to make a good first impression.

4. Define the benefits

You already know how you can help. At this point, it’s time to make this clear in your pitch Everything you write should support this benefit and move the prospective client towards saying yes.  You need to explain what you have to offer in a way that makes sense to them and show them that you understand what their goals are. 

Let’s say that you’re a content writer. Don’t just say “I can help you create content for your blog.” Instead, talk about the results one can expect from working with you to create more content for their blog, like appearing higher in search rankings and increasing website traffic. 

5. Add credibility

Explain to the person you’re pitching why you are the right person for the job. Tell them about your experience, knowledge or any relevant samples you may have of your work. Remember, the person you’re emailing could be getting hundreds of pitches You have to show them why it’s worth paying attention to yours and convince them that you have the ability to provide what they need.

Freelance writers: Find out how you can create the perfect portfolio in this post. 

6. Edit, then edit some more

Don’t send potential clients a novel, please. They won’t read it. There are so many other messages in their inbox that they need to get to. If you send a long, rambly pitch full of fluff, it will end up in the trash. Once you write your pitch, do a quick scan and edit relentlessly. If your client can’t understand the point of the email in the first couple of sentences, your pitch won’t be effective. 

This doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice any personalization. It simply means that you should make sure that every word counts. Make sure your pitch contains information that will help you connect to the recipient and allow them to understand why you’re reaching out. Cut the rest.

7. Craft your subject line

The subject line is the first thing potential clients will see. This is your chance to capture their attention and add a subject line that they can’t resist opening. AWeber reports that 47% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone.

You could write the best pitch in the world, but if your subject line can’t convince clients to open it, those efforts will go to waste. 

Not sure how to write click-worthy subject lines? Here are some things that you can try:

Asking question

Using a question in your subject line is a good way to stand out and engage with the reader. This should not be a question they can quickly answer with no if it doesn’t apply to them (example: Looking for a freelance writer?) Instead, focus on asking a question that makes the reader curious.

Keeping it short and sweet

Short, clear subject lines can encourage people to open your pitches. Especially in cases where the person you’re pitching recently posted a freelance job or if they’ve suggested that they’re open to pitches. These potential clients don’t need you to keep them guessing. 

Using emojis

Many of us are visual people. This means that adding emojis to your pitch emails and subject lines can help you capture attention. It’s worth noting, though, that this doesn’t work for all types of clients and markets. Some respond to it better than others. Test this one out for yourself and see how your target audience responds.

After the pitch: What’s next?

If you follow these steps to send your pitch out, congratulations. You’ve done something that others spend weeks, months or even years working up the courage to do, but you aren’t done yet. If you want to have a lucrative freelance career, there are a couple of additional steps you need to add to your process. 

Get ready to do it all over again

Writing and sending a single pitch is a great first step, but it won’t get you very far. You need to send many pitches and send them often. When I was using cold emailing as my primary marketing method, I sent 5 cold pitches every day.

Is this a lot of work? Yes, but cold pitching is a numbers game. If you want it to work, you have to be willing to put the time in, especially early on. That’s how you figure out what works. 

When we send pitches, we have to focus on what we can control. We can’t control how any particular client or editor responds to us. What we can do is increase our chances of getting a freelance gig by sending out more pitches. 

Track your results

Before you hit send, make sure you have a system in place to track your results. This is critical because the data you collect can help you improve your future pitches and get better results. To read more about how to do this, check out 9 Simple Freelance Pitching Tips.

Time to get out there and start pitching

If you want to reach your goals as a freelancer, sending great pitches can help you get there. It’s one of the fastest ways to reach potential clients and pick up work, no matter what your experience level is. Practice is the key here, you’ll get better as you gain experience. 

Want to get more freelancing tips? Sign up below to receive the Freelancing Flow newsletter. You’ll get more tips and tricks to help you start and scale your own freelance business. You’ll also get updates when I share new blog posts. 

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If you have more questions about what makes a good pitch and a bad pitch, let me know in the comments. I’d also love to see your best pitch writing tips. 

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