Lizzie Davey has been a freelance content writer and strategist for 10 years. During this time, she’s worked with 50+ brands in the ecommerce and tech world, including Shopify, CoSchedule, and Hotjar. Alongside her writing business, she creates workshops, resources, and courses for freelancers and content writers at Freelance Magic and Copy Revival.
"Brands won’t know you exist and are open to work if you don’t put yourself in front of them!"
Guide us through your process for pitching a new client.
My pitching process has changed a LOT over the years. It used to be a bit more of a hit and hope activity, whereas now I’m much more strategic about it.
This is the pattern I follow each time I pitch:
- Find a brand I want to work with
- Check that they work with freelancers (by checking their blog, social media presence, and whether they’ve had any recent funding)
- Identify the right contact via LinkedIn to find their first name
- Engage with the contact if they have no idea who I am
- Send a short, personalized message either via LinkedIn or email
- Follow up one week later if I don’t get a reply
Where have you had the most success pitching new clients?
LinkedIn has been a fantastic resource for finding clients to pitch. People are often thinking about work when they’re active there, so there’s not so much of a context switch, plus there are plenty of ways you can find brands to pitch. This might include using the LinkedIn search function to look for open freelance roles, searching for brands in my niche, or using hashtags to find call-outs for freelancers.
How do you build your list of potential new clients to pitch to?
I use a mix of good old Google, LinkedIn, and Crunchbase to find brands that are in my niche, are open to working with freelancers, and that have a good amount of funding behind them (so they can afford me!).
Each time I come across a client I’m interested in working with, I jot down their details. This includes the point of contact, any key notes, any previous connection I’ve had with the brand, the date I send the first pitch, and any follow up that is necessary.
Do you have any email templates for pitching that you could share?
What advice would you give new(ish) freelancers who are intimidated by pitching?
Pitching has been a part of business for centuries. Content leads and hiring managers expect to receive pitches.
I try to come at it from a curious angle, kind of like I’m experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t. That makes the rejection easier to handle because it’s not personal, it’s just another data point. And finally, brands won’t know you exist, and are open to work, if you don’t put yourself in front of them!