As a freelancer, you are always on the lookout for new clients and new projects. You may have a great portfolio and plenty of experience, but you’ll never get the work you want if you don’t market yourself well.
One way to market yourself is through cold pitching for freelance work. Cold pitching is the process of contacting potential clients who you have not worked with before in an attempt to get them to hire you for a project.
There are a lot of freelancers who swear by cold pitching and say that it’s the best way to get new clients. But there are also a lot of freelancers who say that cold pitching is a waste of time and that you’re better off spending your time networking and building relationships with potential clients.
So, what’s the truth? Should you be cold pitching for freelance work?
We’ve put together a complete guide on cold pitching for freelance work, including the pros and cons, how to find potential clients to pitch to, what to include in your pitch, and more.
So grab yourself a cup of coffee and settle in because we’re about to deep dive into everything you need to know about cold pitching for freelance work.
What is cold pitching?
Cold pitching is the process of contacting potential clients you have not worked with before to get them to hire you for a project.
You can cold pitch by sending a carefully crafted email to a potential client, or by reaching out to them through social media. You can even cold pitch in person, although this is less common.
How to find potential clients to cold pitch
Say you’re a freelancer wanting to help small businesses create a data strategy. You already have a few clients, but you’re looking to expand your business. You decide to start cold pitching.
The first step is finding potential clients to cold pitch. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Look for businesses in your target market: in this case, you’d be looking for small businesses that would benefit from a data strategy. Look for businesses that are in industries that you’re familiar with or companies similar to your current clients.
- Research businesses that have recently been in the news: this could be because they’ve been acquired or are launching a new product. These businesses are likely to be going through changes and may be open to working with a freelancer like you.
- Use social media to find potential clients: LinkedIn is an excellent platform for finding potential clients. You can use the search function to find businesses in your target market, or you can join relevant groups and participate in discussions. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and looks professional, this will help to reel clients in.
- Use a job board or freelancer marketplace: these platforms are a great way to find clients who are already looking for freelancers. You can search for projects that match your skills and experience and then send a proposal to the client.
- Ask for referrals from your existing clients: your current clients are a great source of referrals. If they’re happy with your work, they’ll be more than happy to give you a referral.
Tips for crafting the perfect cold pitch
Now that you know how to find potential clients, it’s time to start crafting your cold pitch. Here are a few tips to help you create the perfect cold pitch:
1. Make a portfolio that dazzles:
When you’re cold pitching, your portfolio is your best asset. Make sure it’s up to date and includes your best work. If you don’t have a portfolio, now is the time to create one.
2. Include a catchy subject line:
The subject line is the first thing the potential client will see, so make sure it’s attention-grabbing. Using a headline generator can be a great way to craft a subject line that stands out.
3. Keep it short and sweet:
No one wants to read a long, rambling email. Get to the point quickly and be concise. Using an article outline generator can be a great way to come up with an email that’s short and sweet.
4. Create an email signature that builds credibility:
Your email signature is your opportunity to strengthen your credibility with the potential client. Include your name, title, and contact information. If you have any relevant certifications or awards, be sure to include them as well.
5. Personalize each pitch:
It’s important to personalize each pitch so that the potential client knows you’re not just mass-mailing everyone. Mention something you like about their business or something you have in common.
6. Follow up:
Don’t forget to follow up with the potential client after you send your initial pitch. A simple follow-up email can go a long way.
7. Track your pitches:
Keep track of the businesses you’ve pitched and the responses you’ve received. This will help you keep track of your progress and adjust your pitching strategy as needed.
Advantages of cold pitching for freelance work
1. Get your foot in the door with potential clients:
While customer retention is important, acquiring new customers is also essential for business growth. Cold pitching can help you to do this.
2. Stand out from your competition:
With so many freelancers competing for work, it can be difficult to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Cold pitching can help you to do this by giving you the chance to pitch your services directly to potential clients.
3. It’s a great way to build relationships with potential clients:
When you cold pitch, you’re not just pitching your services, you’re also building a relationship with the potential client. If they’re not ready to hire you now, they may remember you for future projects.
4. It’s a great way to get feedback on your pitches:
When you cold pitch, you’ll get immediate feedback on your pitch. If a potential client isn’t interested, you can quickly move on to the next one.
Disadvantages of cold pitching for freelance work
1. It can be time-consuming:
Finding potential clients and crafting pitches takes time. Time that you could spend working on projects for your existing clients. Picture this: You’ve just spent an entire day crafting a pitch and you’ve included everything that you think the potential client would want to see. From the case studies to customer sentiment analysis tools you’re sure they need, you’ve put your heart and soul into this pitch. But then you get a one-word reply. “No.” It can be disheartening, to say the least.
2. You may not be ready for a cold pitch:
If you’re not confident in your pitching skills, cold pitching may not be the right option for you. It’s important to make sure that you’re ready before you start reaching out to potential clients.
3. It can be expensive:
If you’re using a freelancer marketplace or job board to find clients, you may have to pay a fee to access the platform. This can add up, especially if you’re not successful in landing any projects.
Ready to do some cold pitching for freelance work?
So there you have it: everything you need to know about cold pitching.
Cold pitching can be a great way to get your business off the ground. It’s a great way to stand out from your competition, build relationships with potential clients, and get feedback on your pitches.
However, it can also be time-consuming and expensive, and you may not be ready for a cold pitch. If you’re looking for a new way to find clients, cold pitching may be right for you. But if you’re not sure, there are other options out there. Just remember to do your research and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.
Good luck and happy pitching!
About the author
Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Jenna Bunnell also published articles for domains such as SME News and Together Platform. Check out her LinkedIn profile.