For freelancers, finding work is already hard enough. Getting work is doubly difficult. One of the biggest speed bumps freelancers face is the dreaded e-mail pitch.
If you think about it, sending e-mail pitches are a huge part of our freelancing career. It’s a primary means through which we get constant work. If you’re wondering why you’re not getting work even though you’re sending editors aplenty, maybe your e-mail pitch isn’t exactly on-point.
On this article, we’ll take a look at what an ideal freelance e-mail pitch looks like, and how you can re-use it on your own projects.
It is important to note, too, that this guide assumes that you have done your homework. What do I mean by homework? Research. Lots of it. Gather everything you know about the company, the founder/decision-maker, and the project. When you go the extra mile this way, it shows that you’re dead serious about working. Sadly, this is a rarity, although it is supposed to be the standard of freelance work.
However, with that said, here are three elements which I think are essential to any e-mail pitch.
No editor/headhunter wants to read a whole composition contextualizing why you are fit for the position. In most cases, straightforwardness is favored. My tip: always be direct and concise. You can indicate in your e-mail how you’re fit for the task at hand, the experience to back up the claim, and even how you found the listing and the e-mail to which you’ve sent the application, but I say you try to strike the balance between anecdotal and practical. Remember: these people receive hundreds to thousands of queries every day.
So here’s what I say you add: an opening statement stating your value proposition clearly (are you a skilled copywriter? An excellent web developer? etc.), a brief statement about how you found out about the gig, and a strong, clear call-to-action towards the end.
I feel like this is one aspect that people often overlook. Don’t keep your personality from shining through your e-mail pitch. Don’t join the thousands of freelancers who use a boilerplate template that they don’t even bother to personalize. You’re welcome to use a template, but make sure to make everything is custom to the person you’re sending the e-mail to.
Be personable. Ask questions. And most important: express yourself sincerely.
The subject line is the first thing that headhunters will see, so naturally, there should be much attention put to it. The problem: some people put too much of it, that they start to trek “spammy” territories. Some people would even capitalize the subject line on the slight chance that the editors will notice their e-mail first. Don’t do this. For the love of God, don’t. You’re losing credibility when you do that. When in doubt, refer to these questions:
- Is your subject line specific?
- Is your subject line concise?
- Is your subject line actionable?
- Is your subject line straightforward?
What does an effective email pitch looks like?
Here’s a very rough sample of what an effective e-mail looks like. This is actually the template I used that helped me land a $800 writing project with an Australian client.
Hi [Name of client],
I saw in your ad that you are in requirement of a freelance writer. Count me in!
I also took a look at your website—it looks awesome. Love your hustle in the B2B field.
This is partly the reason why I eached out, because I specialize in writing B2B content. In fact, I’ve written for publications like [Sample 1], [Sample 2], and [Sample 3].
I’m excited by the possibility of us working together in the future, if you’d like to move forward, I ask that you fill out a quick 5-question survey. This will help me better understand what you need and give you the results that you want.
If you wish to look up more of my stuff, find my website here.
Have a productive day, [Name of client].
Finding work is only half the battle, the real win is winning the client. Your first move lies in the impact that your subject e-mail gives off. Make sure you nail it and get more work.