How’s your freelance writing career treating you?
Sadly, too many freelancers spend too many years in the freelance wilderness. They write for poverty-level fees, and there’s no need for it.
The ability to communicate to people on many different topics is a master-skill. Yes, it takes time to develop, but you’ll improve your skills with every word you write.
Why do so many freelance writers settle for poverty-level writing fees?
Primarily because they:
- Lack confidence;
- Are unaware of the unlimited gigs available, once they have skills;
- Listen to friends and loved ones who gaslight them (with the best intentions, of course, they don’t want you to be “disappointed”);
- Lack experience.
My small aim for all these years — almost two decades — has been to help freelance writers to build their confidence and skills.
Although the world has changed since our first ezine, Creative Small Biz, was published in 2003, the fundamentals of getting freelance gigs haven’t changed much at all.
To help you to master the fundamentals, and to thrive in today’s writing world, we’ve just published Power Pitches For Freelance Writers — Develop Easy And Fast Pitches To Win Gigs And Contracts Today.
Here’s an excerpt.
Intro: pitching builds lucrative freelance writing incomes
New to freelancing? A pitch is an offering. Knowing how to pitch your ideas and offerings will make your writing career much more profitable.
This guide will help you to develop effective pitches, and will help you to follow up on them too. You’ll improve the results you’re getting, and you’ll be more creative with your pitches.
If you’re a seasoned freelancer, you’re pitching already.
Pitching examples: pitch daily to build your career
A creative pitch is basically just an offer to do something, for pay — more on who, what, why, how, and when, of pitching shortly.
Let’s briefly look at two examples of pitches.
Examples of two pitches you could make today to people who know you — “warm” pitches:
- You send an @ message to someone on Twitter — “need 2 blog posts pre-launch?”
- You write a custom email message to a client offering to write blog posts. Your email outlines ten blog posts you’ll write for the recipient’s business. You include the post titles, the categories, and the keywords targeted. You also include a posting schedule, and perhaps an offer to schedule the posts for publication in the business’s WordPress blog.
A suggestion: pitch more, because your income will go up.
Among freelance writers, pitches are often known as “queries” or “proposals”
Magazines and websites are using to receiving editorial queries, and publishers are used to receiving book proposals. These days, I prefer the term pitching. It reminds you that you’re pitching ideas, and also reminds you that you can and should be creative in your pitches.
Speaking of creativity, there are primarily two kinds of pitches freelancers make: online (email, or other messaging app, or video) and in-person pitches.
Online pitches, and in-person pitches, which should you choose?
We’ll have more to say about both kinds as we progress through the program.
In a nutshell…
- An online (email) pitch is used for everyday writing services. A business might need someone to do write ups for new product lines, or new products. Online pitching is a regular occurrence. Businesses form a relationship with a freelancer who writes this material. They may ask the freelancer to pitch — to send along some ideas, or the freelancer may take the initiative, and send ideas.
Payments for these kinds of writing services will usually be good, but they’re not a huge slice out of the business’s budget.
- In-person pitches: major stuff only.
Reserve in-person pitches for MAJOR projects only. Here’s why — the time it takes.
When you consider preparation time, traveling time, and the time it takes to make your presentation and follow up afterwards, there’s not much left of an eight-hour business day. Depending on your daily income, an in-person pitch costs you upwards of $1,000 in lost income if you don’t win it.
So, you’re $1,000 in the hole before your pitch (if accepted) makes you a cent. If your pitch wasn’t accepted, because the company prefers someone else’s offer, you’ll never get that time or money back.
I used to do a lot of in-person pitching decades ago, when I started out as a freelancer, but over the past years, I only make one or two a year.
In-person pitching opportunities you might consider:
- A business is launching a new product.
- An indie author is launching a new book, and wants to hit Amazon’s Top 100 in her genre.
- A business is launching a blog.
- A business is rebranding.
- A business is making a initial public offering.
Payments for major services are which are worth an in-person pitch need to be over $10,000.
Tip: if you must pitch in person, ask for your daily rate, up front, to be paid before you start work on the pitch
I started charging for pitches within three years of starting my practice as a freelance copywriter, and I wish I had done that from the time I started freelancing. It weeds out the tyre-kickers.
After I missed out on a couple of major projects for which I’d pitched, I realized that I’d wasted a lot of time. So I made it my policy not to pitch in person without sending an invoice for my full daily rate, and ensuring that it was paid before I prepared for a pitch.
Why pitch? Pitching takes you from amateur to highly-paid pro status FAST
The benefits of pitching are that they can take you from amateur freelancer to highly-paid pro commercial writer status quickly.
Here’s why. You save businesses time and money. They don’t need additional staff, and they don’t need to pay an agency.
Companies are lazy. Nine out of ten times, they’ll put off projects which require expertise they don’t have. Or they’ll try to do the projects in-house, and get dismal results. Finally they realize that paying a freelancer is well worth the money.
So, when you learn how to pitch, companies already expect to pay you well for your expertise. A freelancer can be paid thousands of dollars for a single sentence, in the case of a tagline for a business.
Creating pitches is the major way to develop a highly paid freelance writing career.
I don’t know any freelancers who pitch regularly who make less than $300 per hour of their writing time.
I wish you much success with your pitches — happy writing. 🙂
- Learn the secrets of top freelance writers;
- Get the writing jobs you want;
- Write less and earn more.
Writing too much? Worried about burnout?
The challenge for writers today is that we’re competing in a global marketplace. So, when you rely on job websites like the freelance marketplaces to get gigs, the race is to the bottom. The buyers want cheap writers, and the cheapest bid wins.More info →
This book will show you how to think outside the box, get creative — and SELL what you create. Making money from your writing can be a real challenge, especially if you're limiting yourself to trading hours for dollars. When you get paid by the hour, even if you're making $200 an hour, you're limited.More info →
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