Horkey HandBook Blog

5 Ways to Up Your Pitching Game

Are you making enough money?

Be honest with yourself. Are you earning enough dinero from your freelance business?

If your answer is no, pitching for new work is the best and easiest way to fix that. And if you don’t have any clients yet, your number one job should be pitching for your first paying gig.

You could have a full roster of clients, but if your income isn’t where you want or need it to be, then you might need to replace some of your existing low paying gigs. You may have been happy with the fee as you were just getting started, but the amount of work (or time) that you’re spending on that one client might no longer warrant the fee they’re paying you.

Of course, the easiest way to rectify that is to ask them for a raise. But you need to be prepared that their answer will be no (if they can’t afford it). And then you need to be prepared to move on. And the best way to confidently do this? Is to have another higher paying gig ready in the wings.

But how can you do that? By consistently pitching for new jobs.

Here are five ways that you can increase how many pitches you send on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You’ll have a full or higher paying client roster in no time!

1. Make It a Daily Habit

You know the best way to succeed at something that’s important to you? Make it your number one priority.

So when you get up to begin your workday, start with your most important task (MIT). For you this should be pitching for new work. Open up your email (where you ideally keep a sample draft pitch ready to go) and the job boards or editor listings that you want to target to start looking for potential good fits.

Find one? Stop, draft and customize an email and send it off now. Don’t wait until later. Don’t wait until your pitch is perfect. Use your template and tweak it to fit the listing and press SEND! Right now!

2. Set a Minimum Goal

This worked really well for me when pitching was one of my biggest priorities. I had a 10/5/10 metric that I wanted to hit each week. It was my goal to:

  • Pitch at least 10 new writing jobs
  • Pitch at least five new guest posting opportunities (these were usually unpaid, but helped me get my name out there and grow my platform)
  • Connect with 10 other bloggers or people of influence via email, social media or by commenting on their blog posts

The first step is having a clear goal of the metrics that you want to hit. The next step is tallying up each action that you take. You can do this in a Google doc, a physical piece of paper or another way that works well for you.

Set your goals and start working towards them. Then see how you did at the end of each week. And don’t forget to start over each Monday!

3. Cast a Wide Net

It’s no time to be picky when you’re just getting started as a freelance writer. You should be pitching for anything you’re remotely interested or experienced in. It’s okay if it’s not your ideal client.

I don’t mean that you have to do work that you’re less than thrilled about until the end of time. But we all have bills to pay. And we all have to start somewhere. And the best way to get samples, is to get paid while writing them.

Your ideal clients will come with time. And who knows, maybe you’ll land one right away. But by casting a wide net and pitching more often than not, you’ll just be increasing your chances of landing one.

4. Start Cold Pitching

There are only so many jobs listed on job boards. Luckily, there are more and more all of the time, but on any given day you might find only a handful that meet your experience/interest criteria (remember, don’t limit yourself too much though).

So how else can you control how many pitches you send? By cold pitching, of course! If you haven’t read them yet, you should start with:

  1. 4 Reasons Why We Should All Start Cold Pitching
  2. The Ultimate Cold Pitching Template (Including Examples)

These two posts will set the foundation for why you should be cold pitching and then give you a template to get started. The best part? You control how many you send in any given day, week or month! No excuses!

5. Compete with Yourself (or Others)

I just read about a pitching contest where you have to pay more than $100 to enter. Craziness, no?

On one hand, yes. You don’t need to pay to enter a contest to pitch more. On the other hand, there are prizes and additional support that is offered. Plus, for some people they need skin in the game to take action.

But, you’re a go-getter. You can do this on your own or round up a few peers. Make a contest with a real prize (I do this often to challenge myself). Or have a group of you put $20 in the pot for the person that sends the most or gets the best conversion.

Whatever motivates you to take action and succeed, right?

In Conclusion

You should always be pitching for new work. Even though I don’t do it as diligently as I used to, I still do it. I probably pitch for 1-2 new gigs per week. It’s a lot less than my previous 10-15, but it’s still something.

And it corresponds to the phase that I’m in. I.e. I’m looking for that next ideal client, rather than taking on anyone and everyone that can pay me (it wasn’t that long ago that that’s where I was).

If you’re not making enough money, then I challenge you to up your pitching game. Start with making it a daily habit, setting a minimum goal and casting a wide net. Then start cold pitching to increase the number of prospects you can target.

Lastly, consider starting a contest with yourself of your peers. Put a little skin in the game and see what happens. What’s the worst that can happen? You hear a few more no’s or no replies?

How many pitches are you sending per week right now? Is it enough?


Photo Credit: Padurariu Alexandru via Unsplash

Gina Horkey

Gina Horkey

FOUNDER & CO-OWNER

Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama from Minnesota. Additionally, she’s the founder of Horkey HandBook and loves helping others find or become a kickass virtual assistant. Gina’s background includes making a living as a professional writer, an online business marketing consultant and a decade of experience in the financial services industry.

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