— September 10, 2018
Most people don’t like sending pitches, but it can be exciting to actually receive a response. I know I’m not the only one who lights up when I see a new email response to a pitch I sent.
As humans, we’re naturally wired to move toward pleasure and away from anything that’s painful or produces negative results. It’s safe to say that the more responses you get, the better you’ll feel about the whole pitching concept.
So how do you actually start getting more responses to your freelance pitches? Here are 4 things you can do.
1. You Didn’t Follow Directions
One of the easiest things you can do to ensure you pitch gets read and responded to is follow directions if there are any. You’d be surprised at the number of people who skim through job postings and don’t follow all the instructions when sending their pitch.
If you don’t follow directions when pitching, it almost always automatically discredits you as someone who would be a good fit for the job. I once beat out over 70 other freelancers thanks in large part to simply following directions.
Granted, my pitch was pretty well but I also followed the specific instructions that were laid out in terms of titling my email, including my desired rate, and answering all the application questions.
Even if you’re just sending a cold pitch and there are no instructions, do a little research and see if you can learn how that person likes to be pitched and when the best time to contact them is.
I once sent a follow up to a potential client via Twitter instead of email (as I did initially) and they quickly responded and shared that they receive a ton of emails and sometimes lose track of them.
Now if someone pitched me via Twitter, it would not be a good idea because I don’t check my account every day but everyone is different.
2. You Made it All About You
It’s important to establish credibility by explaining your background and experience in your pitch, but don’t make the mistake of making the entire thing about you.
If you make it all about you, the person receiving the pitch may not be able to make the connection and determine what you can actually do for them. It’s all about serving your client well so it’s important to convey that message in your pitch.
If you have experience that makes you feel qualified to do the work, explain how you’ll use it to help them solve a problem or fill a need.
3. You Didn’t Include Samples or References
Not including work samples or references can be a huge mistake and the key reason why your freelance pitches are going unanswered. It’s important to show a prospective client that you’re not just all talk and can actually back up your claims.
The best way to do this is by showing relevant past work samples or at least including quotes and contact info for references in your initial pitch.
This can also speed up the back and forth negotiations when you’re trying to get a new client under contract. You know they’ll probably be interested in seeing examples of your work anyway, so why not send it the first time around?
4. Your Pitch Was Too Generic
I know some people favor quantity when it comes to sending freelance pitches. The more people you reach the more chances you have to land a promising client, right? While this may be true, I’ve always been in favor of quality first and it’s paid off over time.
Sending a ton of generic pitches to prospects can really be a waste of time. People get pitched daily and can spot a boring, effortless pitch upon reading the first sentence.
If you truly want to stand out, you’ll need to make your message authentic and add something special. I try to do my research in advance and find a way to connect with the client during the pitch.
In addition to providing work samples, I also go the extra mile and provide them with ideas I’d like to implement or projects I can work on if hired on to do the work. This shows that I understand their business model, goals, and audience already.
Sending pitches isn’t always easy or fun but it can be profitable if you get positive responses and feedback more than half of the time. Don’t just view pitching as a mindless email and utilize these 4 tips to start getting more responses to your freelance pitch.