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How to pitch to clients as a freelance writer: An easy guide

  • 14 mins read
  • Reading time:29 mins read

Pitching to potential clients is a critical skill for freelance writers. It’s the gateway to securing gigs, building your portfolio, and establishing a successful career. In this guide, I’ll share my experience and insights on crafting persuasive pitches that grab clients’ attention and land you the projects you desire.

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We’ll cover various aspects of the pitching process, including understanding your niche, tailoring your approach, pricing your services, and the art of follow-up. By the end, you’ll have the tools and strategies to pitch like a pro and thrive in the competitive world of freelance writing.

Before we start, this book is a must-read for new writers, There are so many fabulous ideas to put to work instantly. Filled with humor and how-tos!

Table of Contents:


1: Understanding Your Niche

To excel as a freelance writer, you must have a clear grasp of your niche. Your niche determines your specialization and can greatly impact your earnings. Here’s a deeper look at important aspects of this:

  1. Profitable Niches: Some niches are more lucrative than others. Research shows that niches like technology, finance, health, and digital marketing tend to pay higher rates for quality content. However, don’t choose a niche solely for financial reasons; pick one that genuinely interests you and aligns with your expertise.
  2. Researching Niches: To identify profitable niches, you can refer to freelance job boards, industry reports, and market research. Websites like ProBlogger, Indeed, and Glassdoor can provide insights into niches with high demand.
  3. Building Your Portfolio: Your portfolio is your showcase of skills and expertise. Include a variety of writing samples that demonstrate your ability to handle different types of content. These may include blog posts, articles, case studies, and whitepapers related to your niche.
  4. Tailored Pitches: Crafting a compelling pitch is crucial to winning clients. A successful pitch should:
    • Address the client by name.
    • Mention your expertise and experience in their niche.
    • Highlight your understanding of their specific needs and challenges.
    • Provide relevant writing samples from your portfolio.
    • Propose a clear and customized plan for the project.
    • Offer competitive pricing with transparent details.
  5. Networking: Building a professional network can open doors to opportunities. Here are some strategies:
    • LinkedIn: Create a strong LinkedIn profile and connect with professionals in your niche. Join relevant groups and engage in discussions.
    • Freelance Platforms: Platforms like Upwork and Freelancer allow you to connect with potential clients. Complete your profile and bid on projects matching your niche.
    • Conferences and Webinars: Attend virtual or in-person industry events to meet experts and potential clients. These events often provide valuable insights.

Remember, success as a freelance writer is a combination of expertise, effective communication, and a robust network.

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2: Researching Potential Clients

Before you can pitch to clients effectively, it’s essential to identify and research potential clients within your niche. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Industry-Specific Publications: Explore industry-specific publications, magazines, and websites related to your niche. For example, if you’re in the technology niche, consider websites like TechCrunch or Wired. These platforms regularly publish content and often require freelance writers.
  2. LinkedIn: Utilize LinkedIn to search for potential clients. You can filter your search by industry, location, and company size. Once you identify potential clients, follow their profiles, connect with them, and engage with their content. Don’t hesitate to send personalized connection requests and initiate conversations to establish a connection.
  3. Online Communities: Join online communities and forums dedicated to your niche. For instance, if you’re in the fitness niche, you can participate in fitness-related subreddits or forums like Bodybuilding.com. Engage in discussions, offer valuable insights, and discreetly promote your services when appropriate. This can help you build relationships with potential clients.
  4. Content Marketing Agencies: Many businesses outsource their content creation to content marketing agencies. Identify agencies specializing in your niche. For example, if you’re in the healthcare niche, agencies like HealthLink Dimensions may be relevant. Reach out to them with your expertise and portfolio.
  5. Freelance Job Boards: Visit freelance job boards like ProBlogger, FreelanceWriting.com, and Contena. These platforms often list freelance writing opportunities in various niches.
  6. Content Platforms: Platforms like Medium and HubPages allow you to publish articles on specific topics. Write informative and well-researched articles related to your niche to attract potential clients who are interested in your expertise.
  7. Networking Events: Attend virtual or in-person networking events, conferences, and webinars related to your niche. For instance, if you’re in the finance niche, look for events like the Financial Blogger Conference. These events are excellent opportunities to connect with potential clients and showcase your knowledge.

Now, let’s delve into LinkedIn networking strategies and create a list of actions to enhance your networking efforts:

LinkedIn Networking Strategies:

  1. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile: Ensure your LinkedIn profile is complete, professional, and showcases your expertise. Use a high-quality profile picture, write a compelling headline, and craft an engaging summary that highlights your niche expertise.
  2. Join Relevant LinkedIn Groups: Search for LinkedIn groups related to your niche. Join these groups to connect with professionals in your field.
  3. Participate Actively: Engage in group discussions by offering valuable insights, sharing relevant content, and asking thoughtful questions. Showcase your expertise without being overly promotional.
  4. Connect with Intention: When sending connection requests, personalize your messages. Mention your shared interests, experiences, or goals to start meaningful conversations.
  5. Follow and Engage: Follow companies, influencers, and potential clients in your niche. Regularly engage with their posts by liking, commenting, and sharing valuable insights.
  6. Publish Content: Share your knowledge by publishing articles, posts, or updates on LinkedIn. Consistent content sharing can position you as an authority in your niche.
  7. Use Advanced Search: Utilize LinkedIn’s advanced search features to find potential clients by industry, location, and keywords. This helps you identify specific professionals to connect with.
  8. Send Direct Messages: Once you’ve established a connection or engaged with a potential client’s content, send a polite and personalized direct message expressing your interest in working together.

By following these LinkedIn networking strategies and utilizing the specific websites and platforms mentioned earlier, you can effectively research potential clients and build meaningful connections in your niche.

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3: Crafting Tailored Pitches

Crafting a well-tailored pitch is crucial for winning freelance writing gigs. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create effective pitches:

1. Research Your Client:

Before crafting your pitch, thoroughly research your potential client. Understand their business, target audience, content needs, and pain points. This knowledge will allow you to personalize your pitch effectively.

2. Introduction:

Start your pitch with a concise and engaging introduction. Mention how you discovered their company or publication and express your genuine interest in working with them.

3. Highlight Your Expertise:

Clearly convey your expertise in your niche. Share your relevant experience, qualifications, and any notable publications. Show them that you understand their industry and can provide valuable insights.

4. Address Their Needs:

Tailor your pitch to address the specific needs of the client. Explain how your writing services can solve their content challenges, improve their online presence, or engage their audience.

5. Showcase Your Ideas:

Offer a brief overview of potential topics or article ideas you have in mind. This demonstrates your proactive approach and helps the client visualize your contributions.

6. Provide Samples:

Attach or provide links to relevant writing samples in your niche. These samples should highlight your writing style, quality, and expertise.

7. Clear Call to Action:

End your pitch with a clear call to action. Invite the client to discuss the project further, ask any questions, or request additional information if needed.

8. Personalize:

Personalization is key. Mention specific details from your research to show that you’ve invested time in understanding their business.

9. Professional Tone:

Maintain a professional and courteous tone throughout your pitch. Avoid sounding too informal or overly self-promotional.

10. Follow Up:

If you don’t receive an immediate response, don’t be discouraged. Follow up politely after a reasonable period, expressing your continued interest.

11. Be Concise:

Keep your pitch concise and focused. Busy clients appreciate pitches that get to the point without unnecessary fluff.

12. Proofread:

Before hitting send, thoroughly proofread your pitch for grammar and spelling errors. A well-written pitch reflects your attention to detail.

13. Subject Line:

Pay attention to your email subject line. Make it intriguing and relevant to capture the client’s attention.

Pitching Example:

Now, let’s provide an example pitch to illustrate these principles:

Subject Line: Freelance Writer with Expertise in the Finance Niche

Dear [Client’s Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I recently came across [Client’s Company/Publication] and was impressed by your commitment to providing valuable financial insights to your readers.

As a freelance writer specializing in the finance niche, I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to contribute to your platform. With [X years] of experience, I have crafted informative and engaging content for leading finance websites such as [Example 1] and [Example 2].

I understand the importance of delivering accurate and reader-friendly content in the finance industry. I’m well-versed in topics ranging from personal finance and investing to cryptocurrency trends and economic analysis.

I have several article ideas in mind that I believe would resonate with your audience, including topics like “Navigating Investment Strategies in Volatile Markets” and “The Future of Digital Currencies: Trends and Predictions.”

Here are a few samples of my work that showcase my writing style and expertise: [Link to Sample 1] [Link to Sample 2]

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how I can contribute to your content goals and help you provide even more valuable insights to your readers. Please let me know a convenient time for us to connect or if you require any additional information.

Thank you for considering my proposal. I look forward to the possibility of collaborating with [Client’s Company/Publication].

Best regards, [Your Name]

By following these steps and maintaining a personalized and professional tone, you can craft pitches that stand out and increase your chances of securing freelance writing opportunities.

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4: Networking for Success

Networking is a vital aspect of building a successful freelance writing career. It can open doors to new opportunities, provide valuable insights, and help you establish a strong professional presence. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to network effectively:

1. Online Networking:

  • LinkedIn: Build a robust LinkedIn profile highlighting your skills, experience, and writing samples. Connect with professionals in your niche, engage with their content, and join relevant LinkedIn groups.
  • Twitter: Follow industry experts, publications, and fellow writers on Twitter. Share your insights, participate in conversations, and use relevant hashtags to expand your reach.
  • Professional Websites: Join freelance writing platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, or ProBlogger to connect with potential clients and other writers.

2. Attend Virtual Events:

  • Look for webinars, conferences, and virtual meetups related to your niche. Participate actively, ask questions, and interact with speakers and attendees.

3. Guest Blogging:

  • Contribute guest posts to reputable websites in your niche. It not only showcases your expertise but also introduces you to a wider audience.

4. Join Writing Associations:

  • Consider becoming a member of writing associations like the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) or the Freelancers Union. These organizations often provide networking opportunities and resources for freelance writers.

5. Attend Local Meetups:

  • In-person meetups can be valuable, even for freelance writers. Search for local writing groups or industry-specific gatherings to network with professionals in your area.

6. Online Forums and Communities:

  • Participate in online forums and communities relevant to your niche. Share your knowledge, answer questions, and connect with peers.

7. Collaborate with Others:

  • Seek opportunities for collaboration with other writers, whether on co-authored articles or joint projects. Collaboration can lead to new connections and shared opportunities.

8. Be Proactive:

  • Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Reach out to fellow writers, editors, and potential clients. Express your interest in collaboration or simply initiate a conversation.

9. Follow Up:

  • After making a connection, remember to follow up. Send a thank-you message or an update on your recent work. Building relationships requires ongoing communication.

10. Provide Value:

  • Networking isn’t just about what you can gain. Offer assistance, advice, or insights to your connections. Generosity often leads to reciprocal favors and lasting relationships.

11. Online Portfolio:

  • Maintain an online portfolio showcasing your best work. It serves as a powerful networking tool when sharing your writing samples with potential clients or collaborators.

12. Attend Industry-specific Events:

  • Keep an eye out for events, webinars, and conferences specific to your writing niche. These events attract professionals in your field and provide excellent networking opportunities.

By actively engaging in networking efforts, you’ll not only expand your freelance writing contacts but also enhance your professional reputation. Building a strong network takes time and effort, but the benefits are invaluable.

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5: Evaluating Your Progress

Evaluating your progress as a freelance writer is crucial for continuous improvement. It allows you to measure your success, identify areas for growth, and refine your strategies. Here’s how to effectively assess your freelance writing journey:

1. Track Your Income:

  • Maintain a record of your earnings over time. This helps you understand your financial growth and identify your most lucrative clients or projects.

2. Analyze Your Portfolio:

  • Regularly review your writing portfolio. Are your samples up-to-date? Do they reflect your evolving skills and niche expertise? Update and improve as needed.

3. Client Feedback:

  • Solicit feedback from your clients after completing projects. Their insights can provide valuable information on your strengths and areas that may need improvement.

4. Set and Review Goals:

  • Establish both short-term and long-term goals for your freelance writing career. Periodically assess whether you’re on track to achieve them.

5. Networking Growth:

  • Measure your networking efforts by tracking the number of connections made, collaborations initiated, and opportunities gained through your network.

6. Portfolio Diversity:

  • Assess the diversity of your writing portfolio. Are you covering various topics, industries, or niches? A diverse portfolio can attract a wider range of clients.

7. Time Management:

  • Reflect on your time management skills. Are you effectively balancing work and personal life? Consider strategies to optimize your productivity.

8. Market Trends:

  • Stay updated on industry trends and market demand for your niche. Adapt your services to align with current market needs.

9. Client Retention:

  • Evaluate your client retention rate. Satisfied clients are more likely to provide repeat business and referrals.

10. Continuous Learning:

  • Acknowledge your commitment to ongoing learning. Are you investing time in improving your writing skills, staying updated on industry changes, and expanding your knowledge?

11. Personal Growth:

  • Consider your personal growth as a freelance writer. Have you developed resilience, effective communication, and negotiation skills?

12. Income vs. Expenses:

  • Compare your income to your business expenses. Are you maintaining a healthy profit margin? Adjust your pricing or expenses as needed.

13. Review Your Pitches:

  • Analyze the success of your pitches. Identify which pitches led to successful contracts and which may need refinement.

14. Online Presence:

  • Assess the effectiveness of your online presence. Is your website generating leads? Are you engaging on social media platforms where potential clients hang out?

15. Seek Feedback:

  • Don’t hesitate to seek feedback from mentors, peers, or writing communities. External perspectives can offer valuable insights.

By regularly evaluating your progress, you can adapt your freelance writing career to align with your goals and ambitions. Remember that growth is often gradual, and each assessment contributes to your development as a successful freelance writer.

You might also enjoy our article, “How to Keep Your Readers Engaged as a New Blogger”.

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