Freelance Writing Pitch Guide: Template, Examples, Mistakes, Tips, and More)
Wanna learn how to write fucking awesome freelance writing pitches?
I’m talking about the type of pitch that gets an INSTANT response and inquiries about giving you 100 blogs a month?
If you can’t, you aren’t going to get any work.
Sorry, but there are thousands of writers out there each vying for your target’s attention. If you don’t tighten your game up NOW before you learn bad habits, chances are you’ll get discouraged and quit.
WARNING: HUMBLE BRAG INCOMING…
I’ve always been a natural at pitching myself as a freelancer.
And I’m going to give it all away here. I’m going to show you:
- How to pitch (So clients choose you and not some other a-hole)
- How NOT to pitch (So you don’t waste your time, get discouraged, and quit)
- Real examples of successful and unsuccessful pitches
- An easy-to-follow template so you can start landing clients right away
- Greens, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, lamb, turkey…YOU NAME IT!!!!
- Business cat memes
Ⅰ: The Power of Amazing Freelance Writing Pitches (How I Landed Clients With 0 Experience or Samples)
I remember how hard it was when I first started freelance writing…
I was getting almost 0 responses, and all of my pitches on Upwork weren’t working.
Upwork sucks. Here are 21 easy ways to find freelance writing jobs for beginners that ACTUALLY WORK.
Until I figured out the easy, chill, EFFECTIVE way to pitch clients (Without being pushy or creepy).
I remember waiting to go into one of my English lessons (That paid about $10/hr) and seeing the email notification. Someone had responded
There I was about to make $10/hr to talk to disinterested adults about business English. And I had my first opportunity to make almost triple that while sitting in front of my computer.
Now, working with other writers and trolling writing groups I see why this is such an issue.
Most writers SUCK at pitching. They same the same shit. They oversell themselves. They lie. They’re vague. They sound like a used car salesman. They….OK, rant over – you get it.
Ready to learn how to write fucking awesome freelance writing pitches that really land clients?
Ⅱ: Have Your Shit Together Before Pitching
I wish I had known this before I started freelance pitching. Actually, this is the #1 mistake new freelance writers make in terms of pitching:
HAVE YOUR SHIT TOGETHER BEFORE WRITING YOUR PITCH!!!!
“Thou shalt have thy shit in order before writing a freelance writing pitch” - the 11th commandment (Lost when Moses dropped the 3rd tablet)
The greatest freelance pitch in history won’t land you a single gig if you don’t position yourself as a professional writer first.
Want to learn how to become a freelance writer online fast? Check out my guide to becoming a content writer and earning up to $2k/mo quickly.
Run through this checklist before you start sending any pitches:
2.1: The Freelanceaholic Checklist
- Do you have the RIGHT samples to appeal to your target?
- Are your social profiles optimized for conversion?
- Do you have a writer profile with the right tagline to make you stand out and maximize sales?
- Do you have social proof in your email?
- Do you have a presence that proves your knowledge anywhere online (Guest post, personal blog, professional group?)
If I were you, I would focus on that first. At least the first 3. If you can get all 5, you’re the BOSS.
OK, back to pitching…
Ⅲ: How to Write a Pitch That Actually Works
I’m actually going to skip my first pitches. Even though they were decent, they kind of make me cringe now.
I’m 100% sure that if your presence on the web is optimized for your target, even a decent pitch will land writing work.
But why waste your time when I can just show you some fucking awesome pitches that CRUSH.
Yar she blows:
3.1: Why This Pitch Works
This pitch works for several reasons. Not only do I tick all of the boxes, I AVOID the mistakes that nearly every other freelance writer makes that kill their chances of landing a client. I cover that in the next section so don’t miss out.
FACT: Including the recipient’s name in a subject line increases open rates drastically (Hubspot)
- I’m Really Chill
I don’t go crazy and make any big claims. I’m personable and make it seem natural. Clients are inundated with pitches that sound sleazy. Be chill.
2. I Schmooze a Bit
I include a personalized compliment that proves I actually went to his site and learned about the company.
3. I Say Exactly What I Do and Show Proof
I tell him what kind of services I offer and then explain which topics I’ve covered. Compare my pitch to one that says “I write all kinds of law content. Hire me!!!”. See why what I did worked?
Humor fucking works man, (Or woman).
It proves you’re real. It shows you’re confident. If you can’t crack a joke at your own expense, you’re taking things WAY too seriously. Humor increases retail sales, so why can’t it increase your success rate too?
5. I Provide Targeted Samples
Pretty self explanatory here. I provide links to samples targeted to his industry. Legal content is SO HARD to get right. Any time a client sees someone who can actually do it and not be drier than your mouth after 2 sleeves of Saltine crackers, they take out their wallets.
I don’t care if you’re pitching a magazine, a business owner, an individual, or North fucking Korea (Hopefully in protest – unless Dennis Rodman is reading this). THIS WORKS.
Ⅳ: Freelance Writing Pitch Mistakes That Clients HATE
I know I said I’ve always been a natural. I am. But I used to be afraid to write pitches my way since all of the blogs out there told me to be super professional. Don’t listen to that BS.
Here are 3 mistakes every clients HATES in pitch:
- Sounding Over-Professional
See my pitch from above? Don’t do that.
I repeat: DO NOT DO THAT. This is the most robotic, BS-filled pitch on Earth. This is 2019, nobody wants to read that crap.
Instead: Be chill, personable, and honest. Identify with your client. Explain how you’ll solve their issues or why you’re different than other writer. But not the typical “I’m the best” crap. Actually explain why you’re different. EX: “I’ve written for xyz company and they loved it. The CEO said he was happy that someone finally cared about writing a blog”.
2.Don’t Say the Same Things Everyone Else is Saying
Most companies get dozens of pitches per day.
You need to STAND OUT. If you can’t, you will get lost in a pile of pitches.
You stand out with:
3. Your Sales Pitch Isn’t Congruent With Reality
Ever wonder why people are skeptical when a car salesman says “this is the best one we have.”
It’s because if it really were the best, it wouldn’t still be for sale. Someone would’ve snatched it up already.
Same with new/aspiring writers. Whenever I see a pitch where a new writer tells me they’re an expert or they’re perfect or they’re freaking amazing or I’ll reach Nirvana reading their posts, I instantly trash it.
If you really were an expert, how do you have the time to pitch me? If you really were the best, why are you charging me introductory rates? High-end writers fetch $200+ for 1,000-word blogs. Those are the experts. I’ve been writing about digital marketing for 5 years now and I hesitate to call myself an expert.
You need to be realistic. Here are some tips:
- Instead of saying you’re an expert, just tell them you have a lot of experience with “x” topic. Then PROVE IT
- Instead of saying you write the best stuff, say WHY it’s good. It’s SEO-optimized. It’s well-researched. It’s personable and informative. Etc, etc, etc.
- Instead of saying generic things like I did in the first example “cut above”, “rich”, “engaging”, “expand your reach”, etc. Tell a personal anecdote “I stumbled on your site and I xyz”, or identify with their issues “We both know how hard legal content can be. It has to be engaging but professional; professional but readable for a layperson”
PRO TIP: There is 0 shame in honesty. ZERO. If a new writer tells me they’re looking to break into the business and charge low rates in exchange for experience. I instantly respect them and proceed with a trial period. If they tell me “I’m an expert looking for work”, I trash it.
Confused about how much to charge your clients? check out my guide on freelance writer's salary with tips for what to charge for different types of content!
Ⅴ: Pitch Template
Rather than actually write out a template word-for-word, I’m going to just provide bulleted sections and let you fill in the details. That will give you enough flexibility to work your own magic. Freelance writing pitches are not hard if you know what you’re doing.
Section 1: Intro – DO NOT START SELLING IMMEDIATELY THAT IS SPAMMY
Start by using their name/company name and intro with a PERSONALIZED greeting. I usually use:
- A compliment about their site
- A quick anecdote about how I stumbled upon them
Section 2: Who You Are – What You Do – Why They Should Hire You
Pretty self explanatory here. Tell them why you’d be a good fit for them. Be professional but be chill.
“I think I’d be a great fit because XYZ”. “I’ve written for a number of companies just like yours, and the last client loved how I XYZ’d”.
Section 3: PROOF
Tell them the topics you’ve covered, any kind of accolades you have, drop names, do whatever you have to do. Just don’t be over the top.
Section 4: Offer a Sample
This is up to you but I always offer a free sample. It works. Nobody turns down free stuff.
Section 5: Crack a Joke
I always tell clients “if you like my sample, let’s work together. If you don’t, feel free to ridicule me on Facebook”.
Oh, and if you think clients don’t like memes, here are two memes I added into pitches that landed me a client paying $130 for 1,000 words ($260+ PER BLOG).
Remember this: MEMORABLE AND FUN > PROFESSIONAL AND BORING.
How Can You Apply This to Your Freelance Writing Pitches?
I know there was a lot to take in here. Learning how to write fucking awesome freelance writing pitches is not something you’ll get overnight.
Here are a few key takeaways:
- Be boring
- Oversell yourself
- Start selling immediately, that’s slimy
- Lead with a personalized intro
- Be chill but professional
- Offer a free sample
- Explain WHY you are a good fit with proof
- Crack a joke or add personality
Let me know how your cold pitches go! Check out Freelanceaholics Anonymous on YouTube and the Facebook group, and let me know when you land your first client!