By now, you’re aware that sending value-packed pitches is the best way to take full control of your career.
Still, it can be intimidating to reach out to people. That’s often why job-bidding sites can look so much easier by comparison. But, those sites will only lead to low income and high frustration.
What you may not realize is that business owners, while they don’t want crummy pitches, do want value-packed pitches.
Common Freelance Pitch Example
Below, you can take a look at the types of pitches that fill peoples’ inboxes all the time. Use this as an example of exactly what not to do.
The copy of the pitch reads:
I just love the great online place you’re running and I feel they touch the realm of my work and expertise.
I am reaching out to check if you are accepting content from guest contributors.
If you do publish content from guest authors, I would love an opportunity to be one of them and continue our streak of publications to relevant sites in the industry.
I am open to suggestions and I want to thank you for your time.
I am looking forward to hearing from you!
Why This Freelance Pitch is Ineffective
Please understand, I’m using this pitch as an example. This is not intended to shame this freelancer; most freelancers simply don’t know how to send a value-added pitch!
However, what I want to do is break down this pitch so you can see exactly why this is an ineffective way to pitch your services—and show you how much easier it is to do better.
1. Generic email
You didn’t take the time to personalize a pitch. So, why should your client take the time to read it? Is it even relevant to them? Plus, you’re asking for a favor.
How to improve your pitch: You must, must personalize your pitch. Find out who the best person is within the company to send your pitch. Address it to that individual. (Freelance Success Framework students, check out the entire course on pitching for more!)
2. Spammy subject line
This was forwarded to me by a team member from our generic company inbox. I’m going to be honest: I would have immediately deleted this if it came to my inbox. This pitch is focused on the freelancer; it has nothing to do with me. Major no-no.
How to improve your pitch: Add value in the pitch and make it about your prospective client. What’s in it for them? Why should they open the email?
3. No research
Since this is a generic, mass email, it makes sense that the freelancer didn’t spend any time researching our business. They likely sent this same email to hundreds, if not thousands of businesses.
There are mass emails, of course, that at least try to include my name or the business name. But that’s not going to cut it.
How to improve your pitch: Spend some time (20 minutes, for example) looking over the company’s website, social media channels, or other materials. What ideas do you have for their business that would add value to their business? That’s what you want to focus on.
4. No information about the freelancer
If you’re sending a pitch and recommending yourself as the service provider who can provide a solution to the business, you need to include a bit about why you.
In this example, even if we did accept guest posts, the freelancer doesn’t explain how they’d write a great post that hits the target audience.
How to improve your pitch: You don’t want to make the email all about you, but you do want to include a line or two about what makes you qualified to lend your services.
5. No benefit
This whole email is asking for a favor from me—but doesn’t give me a reason to do her a favor.
How to improve your pitch: Focus on the benefit to your prospective client. From the subject line through the body of the email, this is your focus. Go back through your email and any time you see “I” or “me” or “my” see if you can reframe it to focus on “you”—the prospective client.
6. Puts work on my plate
Your job as a freelancer is to take work off your clients’ plates—not put more work on their plates.
In this pitch, the freelancer is asking me to provide topic suggestions. She not only asks me for a favor, but also adds work for me to do.
How to improve your pitch: You’re the expert in whatever freelance service you offer. In this case, the freelancer should have provided a couple of topics and how they’d benefit our audience. The request should never be, “what projects do you have for me?” but “here’s a project that I think could benefit your business and here’s how.”
Ultimately, this is a picture-perfect example of what you shouldn’t do when pitching. Fortunately for you, this is who you’re up against. So, when you send pitches the right way, your pitch will be a breath of fresh air.
What Your Freelance Pitches Need to Include
There is an entire, in-depth training within the Freelance Success Framework. But, beyond the recommendations above, the basic elements that your pitch needs to include are:
- Excitement. This doesn’t mean you need to pepper your pitch with exclamation marks. What you do need to do is show clients your enthusiasm for the company, whether that is a product or service or their company values (or both).
- Personality. You’re a real human. Use your pitch to show that, in addition to sharing your unique insights. Too often, we think we have to be extra professional in a pitch and it comes off as sales-y or robotic. Being a professional and sharing your personality aren’t mutually exclusive.
- Value. Always lead with the benefit to your client. This is not about you asking for work. This is about you showing that you have a valuable idea and would love to partner with them to bring that idea to life. Make it a no-brainer to respond to your email.
When your pitches include these elements, prospective clients are thrilled to receive your email.
If you’re still having trouble hitting the “send” button, reframe the situation: clients have problems and you’re showing up in their inbox with a simple solution. That’s how you land clients and start a lasting partnership.
The pitch example I shared above? That’s when you’re left wondering, “why isn’t the client emailing me back?” It’s likely your prospective client thought, “there’s no reason to apply—what’s the point?” Or, worse, they thought it was spam.
Your turn! Do you have a freelance pitch example that got noticed by clients? Share your story in the comments below!
Last Updated on January 3, 2023 by Kate Sitarz