Land more clients by following these 5 steps
This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.
For most freelancers, pitching clients is an absolute necessity to get more clients. However, it is a very time-consuming process and sometimes yields a lot of unanswered or rejected emails. According to an independent study by Freelancers Union and Upwork, nearly 50% of freelancers say the biggest challenge is finding new work.
If your pitches are not returning the results that you are looking for, follow the steps below to start landing more clients through effective pitching.
Don't Send Your Pitch To Just Anyone
If you're pitching a potential business to do work for, one way to most likely have your email get ignored is to send it to a general contact email. From my personal experience, every email I have sent to a general contact has been ignored. It wasn't until I did a little more research on finding the right person that my emails started getting replied to.
You can increase your odds of getting your pitch answered by sending it to the right person in the company. Most of these people can be found under the "team" section of the company website, or if they aren't listed there, the next best solution is utilizing LinkedIn. Most companies have their own profiles on LinkediIn, where you are able to search the employees who work there. It's a good tool to see if you have any connections to that person as well that can vouch for your work. If their email isn't directly listed on their profile, you can add them in your network and send an InMail message or guess their contact from another person at that company.
For example, if one person at that company has their email available, it is easier to guess other people's contact at the company that way. This approach doesn't always work, but more often than not it does. If you want to learn more about this strategy and others, Hubspot put together an informative guide.
Create A Catchy Subject Line
It's one thing to craft an effective pitch, but no one is going to open the email unless you entice the potential client to want to read more. There isn't a cookie cutter solution for crafting the perfect subject line, it really comes down to who you are pitching. However, here are some solid tips on how to increase your open rates.
Ideally, your subject line will include some sort of value proposition to your potential client. Listing your services as something that is of value to them will make sure your emails get read.
Adding Value To Every Pitch
I know it is very time-consuming to prospect and reach out to hundreds of clients, especially when you have actual client work to handle, but it is necessary in order to get a consistent work coming in.
It's alright to have some sort of email template setup when pitching new clients, but don't forget to personalize each message when pitching. For example, if you are a digital marketer, you should be letting your potential client know the different ways on how you can help them grow their social media.
Don't just list your services, point out some of their flaws in their system now and show them how you can help.
Show Your Expertise
When pitching new clients, remember that they most likely have no idea who you are, which is why a lot of them are hesitant and don't respond back. Think of it this way, if you receive an email from someone who you don't know, telling you that you should run your business a different way and are asking money for it, you might be a little hesitant to. One way to prevent this from affecting your business is to establish a strong brand with social proof.
For example, if you're cold pitching a potential client, beyond just describing your value in the email, it is also important to showcase your expertise by sharing case studies from success stories that you have accomplished, articles that you have written for or featured in, links to your social media, or any testimonials from past clients that prove how good you are at what you do.
Follow Up And Repeat
All of the steps I listed above are pointless unless you can follow up. Treat pitching a client the same way you would when applying for a job that you really want. If you just send your resume and a short note but don't follow up on it, it might be a major missed opportunity. Your potential clients are most likely busy and emails easily get lost in the mix and they might have full intentions to reply back but simply forget.
When following up, you are showing your potential client that you are persistent and really want and value their business. There is a fine line between following up too much which can come across as annoying, but if you haven't heard back in a week or so, it is most likely a good time to check in.
Landing More Clients
Tailoring your pitch, sending it to the right contact, creating a catchy subject line, providing value, showing your expertise, and following up are all great steps to land more clients.
Max Pete aka One Hand Wonder Man is a freelance website designer and digital marketer. Max Pete also specializes in social media management, email marketing, content creation, and paid advertising. You can check out his work and get in touch with him via his portfolio www.maxpete.co.