John states to write about how my writing is as posts on Reddit to generate more leads. This is contrast to what I’ve been doing in the past by saying I’m a new writer (who is also a software engineer).
Elna has shared a cold pitch sheet that I’ll be using to track my leads. Remember, with cold pitching is a numbers game. I have to send lots and lots of pitches. And keep track of them, too. However, Elna is providing an optimized cold pitch so I don’t have to spend hours cold pitching to companies.
What Elna does is go from company website to website -> check if they have a blog -> if they do, put the website on her spreadsheet.
Once that’s done, she goes to LinkedIn -> inserts the company name -> Goes to ‘People’ -> And searches for the Content Editor or someone in charge of the blog.
After that, she finds the email address of the content editor -> sends her a personalized cold pitch (review The Cold Pitching Process vid; it’s excellent) -> Sends email.
Elna recommends looking at the cold pitching templates and working off that.
IMPORTANT: Elna also STRONGLY RECOMMENDS following up with your cold pitches. Freelancers who are successful follow up with their contacts. Do this twice.
IMPORTANT: Send 20-30 cold pitches a day.
Cold Pitch #1
I’m reaching out to see if you need someone who can help with your content at (business). I’m (Name) and I’m a freelance writer. I’ve been featured in (x),(x) and (x), and I extensively write about (niche).
I’d like to know if you need a freelance writer who can help with your content needs. I can help with writing blog posts, articles, newsletters and any other content marketing needs.
I’d be happy to discuss my experience and how I can be of help, if you’re interested.
Do you have time this (day of the week) for a quick call?
Cold Pitch #2
I ran across (Business) [mention how you found out about this business] and was really impressed by your company. I love that it’s your mission to [find out their mission statement as a way to connect with them.]
As a freelance writer with experience in [niche], I want to reach out and see if you’re in need of expanding your writing team. I share your mission and would love to work with you.
Feel free to check out my Hire Me page for more information, my client testimonials for references or these publications to see some of my work:
Also, [mention a noteworthy gig or additional information to seal the deal]
I’m confident that I would be a great addition to your team. I’m detail oriented and mindful of time management and meeting deadlines.
I have a couple of quick ideas in mind that we could apply to your current blog to make it more reader friendly.
I look forward to your response,
Cold Pitch #3
I came across your website today and noticed you don’t have a blog. Did you know that blogging can introduce you to new prospects and increase the loyalty of your current clients?
Why should you care?
- Blogging can help grow your business exponentially
- Small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads than those that don’t have a blog
- Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors
Who am I?
I’m (name), a freelance writer (can mention location if pitching to local businesses) – (located not far from your office). I would love to help you get started blogging for your business.
I have two great ideas that we could get started with ASAP. Let me know if you want to continue the conversation.
P.S. Want a sample of my writing style and skills? Click Here!
Cold Pitch #4
Hi (Company/ Owner Name),
[open with a story about their product or service. This pitch means you have to have at least heard of their product or service first]
I recently learned about (product) and was impressed by the way your website makes (product) seem not only enticing but completely feasible even for the “average” homeowner who doesn’t have a big estate and vast economic resources.
I immediately shared your site with all of my home-owning friends and I can’t wait to see which one [uses product/service] first.
A little about me – I’m a freelance writer and blogger for hire with experience blogging for small businesses like yours.
I would love to join your marketing team to create a blog that generates leads and adds even more value to the services you already offer your clients.
I noticed that your blog has slowed. You must be incredibly busy as (job title), and updating a blog does take a lot of time and effort.
I offer blog posts that are SEO-friendly and ready-to-publish on your ideal time frame. In other words, my job is making your job easier.
You can see my examples at (x), (x) and (x) and on my writing portfolio, all of which demonstrate my ability to capture a brand’s specific voice in engaging blog posts. I’d also be happy to provide testimonials from other clients.
If you’re interested, I’ve got several ideas I’d love to discuss with you to get started. Let me know what you think?
Cold Pitch #5 (When Using Facebook Groups)
Hi there (Name),
A friend tagged me in your Facebook post on (Facebook Group) about you needing help with your content strategy, and I was so excited to read your post.
I’ve been a freelance writer for over two years now, and it’s been an amazing experience (and kind of a whirlwind one!).
I know how tough it can be to create content on a regular basis for your business. And time-consuming. I would love to help you out!
As a freelance writer I can:
- Provide four blog posts a month based on your ideas or I can pitch topics to you
- Upload my post in your backend
- Create shareable and Pinnable images for each post
- Provide SEO content and engaging content for social media
- Email copywriting
So, you have a few options here! But honestly, based on your Facebook post, I think you might want to consider the four blog posts a month bundle that includes uploading my posts to you backend, optimized copy and images.
Do you have time (day in the week) for a quick call? I would love to discuss some content ideas for you.
Cold Pitch #6 (From a Google Search)
My name is (name) and I’m a freelance writer with experience in (your niche).
I found you on Google (or through a friend, using your product, etc.)
Now, wait. I know what you must be thinking –
Here’s another pitch with cookie-cutter copy.
Oh, no you didn’t! As a freelance writer I know how to capture a reader’s attention and help begin your inbound strategy on your blog.
With my (#1 years) experience in (niche), I can really help grow your brand and bring that loyalty with your audience by providing emotional-based copywritten content.
I see from your site that you’re selling X/writing about X/, and I’d love to help bring the masses to your service/product. I already have several content ideas that can help you reach your target market. Hear a few of them:
Idea 1 | Idea 2 | Idea 3
I’d be more than happy to discuss this further – just hit reply or we can hop on a call!
Thank you for your time,
Cold Pitch #7 (Using a Contact Person)
Subject line: Contributing to XYZ company/website/brand
I’ve been following your [company blog/website/social media accounts] for a while now and you’ve been turning out some stellar content, especially your latest piece on [XYZ topic]. [Include relevant comment showing that you read the piece]. I was recently talking with [Contact name], a contributor to your site, and he/she suggested that I reach out to you to discuss the possibility of contributing some content as well. I write about [XYZ relevant topic] and I have some ideas I’d love to share you with about [XYZ topic that represents a content gap for the site]. Here’s a peek at some of the stories I’ve covered lately:
Would you be open to a quick chat?
Hope to talk soon!
Cold Pitch #8 (Using a Contact Person)
Your customer service rep (name) suggested I contact you about finding out whether you’re currently looking for contributing writers to help with content on (site name/blog). As an active enthusiast of both (name niche like Keto health) and (ex: mindful meditation), I’d love to know if I can lend my experience in a way that really helps your business grow.
My name is (Elna) and I’m a writer who specializes in (list out niche specialities). I’ve written for (mention notable brands or clients if applicable) and other large publication with large audiences.
Of course, my aim isn’t simply to supply you with content to fill up your blog – my main goal is to provide highly valuable content to get you results quicker. Whether that’s sales, a newsletter subscriber, a social share or something else, I want to help you get more out of your visitors.
I’d also be happy to discuss helping with (list other services like: guest posting, white papers, case studies, website copy) and any other marketing materials you may need.
I’ve taken a look at the content and products on (site name) and would like to suggest a few headline ideas I’ve come up based on what I’ve seen:
(for a Keto living site)
“X of the Most Beneficial Keto Foods You Need to Succeed Long Term”
“How to Easily Incorporate Mindfulness When Eating on a Diet”
“X Benefits You’ll Notice Immediately After Starting a Keto Diet”
If you’d like to see more of my work, please feel free to check out some of the articles in my portfolio (portfolio link).
I’d love to discuss my experience and how I can be of help, if you’re interested.
Thank you and would you be open on (day of the week) for a quick chat?
Cold Pitch #9 (Supply Topic Ideas)
Subject line: Do you need help with [XYZ type of content]?
[XYZ site/blog/brand] has been producing some great content lately! Your recent post on [XYZ topic] helped me [include a relevant
result/outcome]. I wanted to reach out and see if you needed any help with your content schedule. I’m a freelance writer specializing in [XYZ topic] and I’ve previously worked with brands like [brand name]. I’d love an opportunity to share my skills and expertise with you. I’ve put together a few topic ideas that I think could be highly valuable for your readers:
Topic #1: Include a brief description of your pitch
Topic #2: Include a brief description of your pitch
Topic #3: Include a brief description of your pitch
Would any of these be a fit for [XYZ site/brand]? Hit reply to continue the conversation!
P.S. My portfolio [insert link] showcases some of my recent work and brand collaborations.
Cold Pitch #10 (Simple approach)
My name is (X), and I’m a writer. I’m reaching out because I’m very interested in creating content for (business/blog).
All of my content includes keyword research, SEO, images, and up to three edits. I write with the goal of improving ranking and increasing website traffic.
I’d love to talk more about possibly working together. Can you tell me a little more about your goals for your blog?
I’d love to hop onto Zoom to discuss your project needs.
Okay, this is what I’ve been waiting for: Cold pitching & sending cold emails. This is where I finally take action and search for clients to work for. If I had to choose two primary ways to find freelance writing clients, they’d definitely be LinkedIn & cold emailing.
Let’s get to the lesson:
Elna says cold pitching is a fabulous way to land reoccurring writing gigs. There’s far less competition and you have a much better chance landing a gig if you contact the client directly.
There are freelance writers that only use cold pitching to find clients and they are making a living off of doing that.
However, Elna’s main method of obtaining high-paying work is through referrals and inbound leads, but for the new freelance writer, if I can get my cold pitch strategy working, I’ll have no shortage of profitable work.
In this lesson, Elna goes over what cold pitching is, where to find businesses to pitch to, and how to craft my pitch.
What Is Cold Pitching?
Cold pitching involves reaching out to companies directly, finding out if they have any current or future writing needs, and pitching myself as the go-to writer when the opportunity arises.
Since there’s no competition like I would see with job boards, odds are I am one of the only – if not the only person – approaching a company at any given time for freelance writing work.
I take the risk of them not needing a writer, but by starting the conversation and building a relationship, I’m increasing my odds of being remembered when and if they do have a need in the future.
Essentially I would be cold pitching editors, entrepreneurs, start-ups, publications, blog owners, and businesses.
With cold pitching I control my prospect pool and I’ll come to find that every company needs a blog and every blog needs me – a freelance writer.
Where To Find Businesses To Pitch To
There are several places I can go to to find businesses – and all of them are free to use.
Trust Pilot curates businesses online based on my search term. Plug in my niche or topic and see what companies I can pitch to.
Other business directories include Owler, Content Marketing Agencies, Manta, Venture Radar, G2, and Crunchbase.
LinkedIn can be a goldmine for finding work. But for cold pitching, the best way to land work is to use my connections and groups.
A lot of them are writers, but a lot of them are also companies and small businesses. It’s a good idea to always accept connections since one of them can be my best client.
Look over my contacts and develop a relationship with them.
Visit their company page, invest time in finding out about them and comment on any posting they have or an article on the Pulse or even on social media.
Once I’m on their radar, email them and ask if they are interested in a writer.
Another way is to search for companies on LinkedIn.
On the search bar up top, put in the type of company you want to pitch to. Elna chose marketing.
From there choose companies and I’ll get similar marketing companies.
I can filter by industry or by location, industry or company size. Elna chose to filter by size and her topic was, “marketing.” I want to make sure that your topic isn’t too general or else I might end up getting companies that are hospitals, educational institutions or manufacturers of equipment.
I wanted to set the size to 51-200. This is a smaller to mid size marketing agency or company that has the funds to hire a tech blogger or SaaS writer like myself.
I then filtered the Industry type to Marketing & Advertising. After looking around, I found The Marketing Practice.
I click to their page and then click to the people working for The Marketing Practice.
Boom! I find the head of content. I can take the time to visit the site and see who their clients are and if it aligns with the type of content I can provide.
From there I can pitch my services to the head of content.
For the next remaining ways to find clients, we are going dive into new businesses. These are startups or newly launched businesses. Google is a great starting point to find these types of businesses.
Just type in “startups in (your niche) industry.”
But, if you are a tech writer, take a look at their blog and see what type of content they are publishing before you cold pitch them.
If you are looking for the exact person to email you can Google the domain name (company) + CEO or whatever title you want to use (marketing director, etc..)
Looking at Newly Launched Sites
Looking at new websites can help you find some great clients.
A lot of these companies are new to the online world or new startups. The best way to find these sites is to go to a directory. A great place to start is 500 Startups. They have a list of tech startups in the US. I’d imagine I can find a company with a blog to pitch to.
IMPORTANT: Start off with 500 Startups to look for my first client. Research their company and submit a personalized cold pitch to net a response.
Finding Contact people on LinkedIn
After I Google search, social media search and startup search I still need to find the contact name I can use LinkedIn.
Just plug in the company name into LinkedIn, go to their page and choose people to see if they have a content manager of something similar.
Alternatively, use Contactout – which I just installed.
Crafting Your Pitch
Before I cold pitch a company, make sure I do some recon on the business. This means taking some time looking at their website and checking out their:
- Homepage –To learn what information the company wants to convey about the business to their visitors.
- Approach page and/or About page –To learn more about the company and its values, as well as find out “who’s who” in the company.
- Blog –To make sure they have one and see what type of content is published and how often.
- Finding out who to contact – use About us page or team pages to find the right person to pitch to
Elna has several cold pitching templates in the Pitch Archive that have been successful for many writers in her WriteTo1K course.
Go ahead and use those templates.
But, make sure I:
- Personalize your pitch – Review their About page and locate the name of both the CEO and CTO and email them.
- Include how I found them – It’s a good idea to let them know where I found their business.
- Try to make an immediate connection – Some businesses have a mission statement or a story of how they created the company. Find a way to connect to their brand and story in your pitch.
- Keep my pitch short by giving them the necessary information about me and what I offer.
- End my pitch with a call-to-action – This might be, “looking forward to collaborating with you” for example.
Here’s a few pitches used by WriteTo1K students that Elna showcases:
One of Elna’s coaching students Elise, won a $1200 /month writing gig with this pitch.
Who to Pitch
Learn the types of titles companies have for their marketing person.
Some common names are: CMO (chief marketing officer), director of marketing, EVP marketing (executive vide president), SVP marketing (senior vice president) or VP of marketing, head of content or head of strategy, content marketing manager, managing editor, content editor, content creator, or marketing manager.
Sometimes my contact person will be the VP, CEO or any executive person.
Still other titles:
- Head of digital marketing
- Head of digital strategy
- Chief strategy officer
- Chief editor
From there you need to find their email address.
If I want to directly email someone in the company (marketing director or owner) and I know their name, but don’t see their email address on their site, visit Norbert and find out their email address easily.
Tracking Who Has Opened Your Emails
Finally, if you install the free Chrome Extension Streak, it will allow you to track email open rates.
So you can see if your cold pitch email is actually getting opened and read.
How Many Cold Emails Should I Send Per Day?
The more pitches I send per day the higher chance I’ll have at landing a gig.
However, my email provider may flag my account as spam if, all of a sudden, I send 40 or 50 emails in one day.
This may happen for a variety of reasons:
- If I have a new email account.
- I sent too many emails in an hour (all 50 in one hour because you are using a template)
- I used the same email subject line 50 times
- Not having a professional domain email address (ex: email@example.com)
- One or more recipients reported me as spam (higher chance with cold pitching)
- Using the same template word for word in all 50 emails
- Including links in my pitch emails to an email address I’ve never sent emails too (so instead of linking to your samples in a cold pitch email, I would avoid doing this until the company replies to see your writing.)
If I regularly use your email for your business like with sending guest post ideas, some cold pitching, etc.. then I can start with sending 20-40 cold pitches.
For new freelance writers – and some seasoned writers – cold pitching is the number one way to find profitable clients.
I understand the importance of content marketing and how a blog can help a business make more sales and obtain more customers.
And once I perfect your pitch, cold pitching might be my new best friend.