Have you ever come up with a bunch of good freelance ideas and then tossed them in the virtual trash?
You brainstorm some freelance ideas for a query or letter of introduction to land an assignment. You even write up a partial pitch.
And then for whatever reason (fear, procrastination, shiny-object syndrome, or too many open windows on your computer), those freelance ideas never make it to the Great Beyond.
Been there, done that?
If your hard drive looks like the inside of a hoarder’s house stacked with unfinished freelance ideas in every corner, it’s time to put on some rubber gloves, and start digging through the trash.
Why? Some of your discarded freelance ideas are worth money, an assignment, your next best client.
Having a little hoarder freakout about now? Here’s what you need to do:
How do you go about writing a pitch?
If you’ve been slaving away in content mills or spending all your time replying to job ads, you might be a bit confused about what writing a pitch actually means.
So you ask Google.
One writer-guru claims that if you master the art of cold pitching, you can land your dream clients.
Another recommends sending letters of introduction, or LOIs, so you can build relationships for ongoing work.
And yet another touts the advantages of writing a pitch to an editor as the way to land an assignment.
So, which of these should you use to build your freelance writing business?
The answer: All of them.
Because all three are powerful tools, proven to help you get freelance writing gigs.
Want to learn the craft of writing a pitch to land more clients? Here are the tools you’ll need:
“You don’t know what you don’t know.” Not exactly the most mind-blowing piece of advice when you’re trying to go from broke to well-paid professional writer.
This quote frustrates me every time I hear it—of course you don’t know what you don’t know.
As a newbie writer, I spent way too much time making mistakes, working for low rates, and racking my brain trying to figure out how to find well-paying clients. I didn’t know.
Fortunately, I’ve learned a lot from the school of hard knocks and other professional writers. And I thought it was about time to give that tired quote a makeover for up-and-coming freelancers:
“Here’s what you don’t know, that I do. Learn from me, and you’ll be ahead of the game.”
Ready for some mind-blowing epiphanies about being a professional writer? Here are 11 things you need to know:
Does your letter of introduction have the right ingredients to make prospects open your email, salivate over your writing skills, and hit reply?
It should. Writing a letter of introduction to a prospective client is a great marketing strategy for freelance writers. The more you reach out to prospects, the more likely you are to get paid to write.
But if you don’t include the right ingredients in a letter of introduction (LOI), it can turn out like a failed recipe nobody wants to eat.
Think of writing an LOI (letter of introduction) like you’re competing for the $10,000 cash prize on the reality TV cooking show Chopped.
Your letter of introduction needs to have specific ingredients to catch the attention of a prospect, provide a taste of your writing style and personality, and include just enough on the plate that prospects will ask you for more.
Want to know the recipe for writing a tasty letter of introduction? Here’s the list of ingredients and directions:
I wasn’t always a freelance writer. In fact, I used to be a brainy corporate accountant who made a six-figure income. But I wanted out in a bad way. And I made up my mind that I could earn a decent living by booking well-paying freelance writing jobs.
Here’s how it all went down. I raided my 401(k), a very un-CPA-like thing to do, bought a townhouse, renovated it and flipped it. Pretty smart, right? But I still needed freelance writing jobs lined up before I could quit my day job. And not the content-mill kind.
So I joined the Freelance Writers Den and went through the bootcamp, “Learn to Write White Papers,” by Steve Slaunwhite. That was my light-bulb moment. Writing white papers was the perfect match for my skills and goals to get freelance writing jobs that paid pro rates. Without hesitation, I named my new business and launched my site, “Savvy White Papers.”
With that done I busted my butt until I had a $250/hr contract in my hand and a check in the bank. Want to know how to land freelance writing jobs that pay top dollar? Here’s how I did it: