4 Reasons Why We Should All Start Cold Pitching

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More and more cold pitches seem to be showing up in MY inbox.

Point of arrival, right? Haha!

Most of them are web designers/developers that are trying to get my business. But I already have a pretty awesome web guy, so there’s little to no chance they’ll succeed anyway.

But one thing they all have in common? They suck! No seriously, they do. They are hardly ever addressed to me personally, they don’t cite anything specific about my website and basically, they fall flat.

Don’t let this scare you off from trying cold pitching though. As the title suggests, there are numerous reasons why we, as freelancers, should be cold pitching (which I’ll share with you shortly).

Next week I’ll show you some real life examples and a template that one of my coaching clients and I worked up together. I do love pitching after all (yes, I know how weird that sounds!) and it’s my goal to get you to love it too.

What Is Cold Pitching?

If you don’t know what cold pitching is, you might be slightly confused. When you “cold pitch” someone, you’re basically sending them a personalized email after checking out their website/blog (you need to know a bit about who you’re targeting) and then pitching them on why they should hire you as a content writer for their site.

You should have a template saved in your email drafts folder (more on what this should look like next week) that you customize per pitch. This will serve as a great starting point, so you don’t have to start from scratch each time.

Why? The short version: It’s easy to seek out companies in your niche and you won’t be competing against hundreds of other candidates at the same time either (like you might be when responding to a job board ad). Here are four more reasons why.

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1. Opportunity Abounds

We’re either hearing on the interwebs that the freelance writing market is becoming saturated or that opportunity abounds. I choose to focus on the opportunity (glass half full kinda girl) and I’ll tell you why.

Every business needs a website and every website should have a blog.”

But most don’t. Or they’re not regularly updated. Or their content sucks. That’s where we come in!

If you want to read the facts behind how much opportunity exists in online writing, read this awesome post from Be a Freelance Blogger. It’s seriously one of my favorites (who doesn’t love data to support that they’re in a lucrative career) and should be read  by YOU too!

2. It’s Great Practice

I used to tell this to my coaching clients all of the time! Pitching in general is great practice.

How?

If you’re not getting any response (from sending A LOT of pitches), then there’s probably a reason why. You should always be perfecting your pitch – trying to improve it and increase your conversion rates.

When you do get a response, it’s great practice communicating with prospects. Over time, you might notice that you get a lot of the same questions.

  • What’s your rate?
  • What’s your turnaround time?
  • Do you need a deposit?

Some writers develop a FAQ or a summary of services that they send in return. I have one (mostly done), but I usually just respond inline to each of their questions.

3. You Get to Set the Terms

Being that you’re the one that sent the email, you’re in a way in the power position. You’re directing the conversation (starting with that very first email) and get to guide them through the process of what it looks like to work with you.

As mentioned above, since you’re approaching them, you’re not competing directly against a hundred other writers for their business. You’re really just competing against yourself, providing they see the need and value in hiring a writer.

4. You Control Your Activity

I have nothing against job boards (it’s where I got a successful start), but when you’re hunting for new opportunities, you can only pitch as many as are listed. Someday’s you’ll find quite a few to apply for and other days you won’t find any that are right for you.

On the other hand, when cold pitching, you can find as many opportunities to apply as you have time in the day. It’s as simple as conducting a Google search for “Blogs + [Your Niche].”

It sounds intimidating, I know (the internet is a big place), so I suggest getting started locally. Stick to your own state, province or country as you’re getting started.

A great reason to start locally, is that when you mention that you live just down the road or across the city from their office, an instant connection is made. It also humanizes you, which is really important when talking to people online/via email.

In Conclusion

We should all be cold pitching for new work. There’s boundless opportunity and it’s great practice. You can set the terms and control your activity. Really, it’s a numbers game after you get your pitch worked out.

Remember, every company needs a website and every website needs a blog. It helps them to connect with their current customers, deepen the relationship and prospect for new business.

I’ll be back next week with a post on how to go about cold pitching (with templates). Until then, tell me:

Have you tried cold pitching? Why did/didn’t it work for you?

PS: Want to learn how to get paid to write for the web? Learn how to set up your own freelance writing business in 30 days or less!

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14 thoughts on “4 Reasons Why We Should All Start Cold Pitching”

  1. I love this idea because I am already guilty of of not pitching enough–it’s always two spots down on the list of things to do.

    We have some pretty draconian laws here in Canada that make it very difficult/risky to make cold calls to other Canadian businesses using any electronic means. Technically, if I email a business in Canada without their consent, I’m at risk of being fined. Direct messages via any social media channels cause the same problems.

    Obviously, the easy way around this is to pick up the phone or use snail mail but are there any other tactics than anyone is trying? Maybe just steer clear of Canadian businesses?

    • Hey Daryn! So Elna’s from Canada (and she’s doing it!). You should absolutely be able to if you’re reaching out to companies via their “contact us” page of their website. They’re asking for you to get in touch, so it shouldn’t be illegal. I think if you were to harass them with unsolicited email after email, it might be a different story. But if you’re just looking to reach out once and see if they hire writers, I don’t see the harm.

  2. Gina,
    Great topic and can’t wait to see your templates.

    I’ve done my fair share of cold pitching and it can be intimidating, but it helps us be better at our copywriting skills.

    I find more work, however, from my writer website or from referrals, so cold pitching is on the bottom of my list.

    But, it doesn’t mean I’ll never stop cold pitching. Looking forward to your tips.
    Elna

    • Thanks Elna! That’s great that you receive so many inbound leads – it’s the point of arrival that most freelance writers are striving to get to!

  3. I used to cold pitch a lot. I managed to get a 1/15-20 response rate which I took personally and my confidence plummeted so I stopped for a few years instead of improving them. I’ve realised though that regardless of what I do, not everyone is going to like it, that’s life. So, I’m really looking forward to your posts on cold pitching, so I can get back into it and stop making making excuses.

    • Rejection in any form is hard. When you feel like you’re putting in all of that effort for little to no response, it’s frustrating. But I think when you’re super targeted and take the time to do it “right,” it can be fruitful. If nothing else, it’s activity and activity breeds activity. You might not get anything from it today, but you never know what doors it could open tomorrow. Hopefully next weeks post can help you to improve your process and get back out there. Remember, you should be chasing rejection like it’s your job;-) We’ll work on not taking it personally!

  4. Hey Gina,

    I do cold pitch occasionally. I find that with cold pitches it’s useful to identify publications/websites that clearly accept/want pitches from other people. This can be as simple as seeing if there are multiple guest posts on the site or if they have a “write for us” page. If there is no clear indication, you’ll want to establish a relationship so that the editor/website manager knows who the heck is pitching him/her.

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