For a novice freelance writer, the freelance world may seem nearly impossible to navigate. The first step for any aspiring freelancer, however, is as simple as getting a “foot in the door.” The most effective way to delve into freelance writing? Master the art of clear, impactful pitching! Here are 7 excellent ways to pique your prospective client’s interest with the perfect pitch.
1. Know Your Client’s Style
The golden rule of fashion design also applies to freelance writing: Style matters. Research your client’s style and tone prior to pitching to ensure that your writing fits their needs, both stylistically and topically. If your client is searching for long-form personal narratives about identity politics, you wouldn’t want to send them a pitch about which dog breed matches your zodiac sign! Knowing exactly what your client is willing to publish is key to your client selecting your pitch.
2. Understand Your Client’s Preferred Angles (And Work Them Into Your Pitch!)
You’ve heard it before, and it’s true: Everyone has an angle. Once you have a clear understanding of your client’s tone, pay attention to any angles they seem to gravitate towards. In freelance writing, an angle refers to the perspective from which a potential hire is writing, and it can easily elevate your pitch and persuade your client to hire you. Lean into the aspects of your identity that help you stand out, particularly if your client is looking to publish personal narrative or advice for a niche audience. Instead of simply stating that you are looking to write about body positivity or exercise tips, specify that you would like to write about what body positivity means to you as a woman of color or about pain-free exercise tips for people with chronic pain conditions. Including your specific angle will strengthen your pitch and convince your potential client that you’re the right candidate for the job.
3. Research Who’s Reading Your Pitch
There’s nothing more satisfying than being addressed by name, especially if you’re a client looking to hire a freelancer. Diligently research the company to which you’re pitching, and address your pitch to the specific company official who will ultimately be reading your pitch. Tailoring your pitch to your specific client will not only demonstrate that you’ve clearly done your research on the both the company as a whole and your particular client, but it will also will warm your client’s heart — and maybe even compel them to hire you.
4. Choose An Appropriate Subject Line
In today’s digital world, it’s highly likely that you will be pitching to prospective clients via email. Selecting a clear subject line for your email will persuade your client to read your pitch in full. Your subject line should include “Pitch:” followed by the client’s job listing or your prospective headline. Keep the subject line simple, clear, and concise, and ensure that it reflects the assignment concept, rather than you. You’ll have ample space to introduce yourself in the pitch itself.
5. Know the Components Of An Effective Pitch
Prospective clients may be diverse in their specific pitching requirements, but knowing the basics of composing effective pitches greatly simplifies the pitching process. Begin your pitch by briefly introducing yourself and explaining how your professional background, style, and concept fulfills your client’s needs. Pepper in specific phrasing from your potential client’s listing to illustrate that you are aware of your client’s needs and are willing and able to fulfill them.
The second paragraph of your pitch should include the specific direction in which your potential piece of writing is headed. Clearly outline the beginning, middle, and end of your piece in order to express how it matches your prospective client’s vision. Explain why your specific idea is relevant to the client’s overall concept, and if necessary, express its importance in today’s world.
End your pitch by reiterating your interest in your potential client, expressing that you are looking forward to hearing from them, and most importantly, thanking them for their time. Your prospective client likely spends several hours per day sifting through pitches, so a little appreciation for their work goes a long way! Don’t forget to sign off with your name; your client needs to remember who sent them that excellent pitch!
6. Carefully Proofread Your Pitch Before You Send It
Regardless of their specific needs, your client is looking for a strong writer who can effectively demonstrate compelling writing skills, including proper spelling, grammar, and syntax, and the best way to showcase your writing skills is to ensure that your pitch is grammatically sound. Is your punctuation located in the appropriate places? Does your pitch contain any typos? Any run-on sentences? Is it organized in a clear, logical way? Have you expressed your ideas succinctly, or does your pitch ramble?
Once you’ve zoned in on the areas in which you can improve your pitch, make the necessary corrections before you send it to your potential client. Proofreading takes time, but your effort will be well worth it when your client inevitably notices your meticulous writing approach!
7. Don’t Forget The Attachments
Oftentimes, prospective clients will ask you to submit additional documents as part of your pitch. These “extras” may include a résumé or CV, a cover letter, a bio, or writing clips or samples. Make sure that you are prepared with all of the above before you begin freelancing to ensure your chances of securing work.
Once you’ve drafted and proofread your pitch, double-check your client’s pitching requirements to ensure that you’ve included everything they expect from you. There’s nothing more disappointing to a client than eagerly reading through an otherwise flawless pitch, only to discover that the writer forgot to include a résumé and writing samples!
As soon as you are absolutely certain that your pitch is clear, well-developed, appropriate for the client’s needs, grammatically and syntactically sound, and inclusive of all appropriate attachments, send off your pitch and wait for the freelance writing world to open up to you.