• Advice

The fear of pitching for freelance gigs

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.

One of the things a lot of us freelancers fear these days is pitching to companies. It doesn't matter whether you saw a posting for a job on a job board or if you're cold pitching them. There is bound to be a sense of fear in your gut as you send that email.

The sense of fear when you call them is even higher since you'll be speaking to them in a more direct sense. That is why I've always preferred emailing them since they have more time to reply in a more honest way.

You aren't putting them on the spot like you would if you were calling them out of the blue. Still, the fear of sending that dreaded email can make you go crazy.

You might end up not even sending the email at all because you're so scared of being rejected by the person hiring the freelancers. At the end of the day, you know you need the job so that need for the job pushes you forward into sending the email anyway.

You feel anxious as you wait for a reply, wondering how long you should wait before following up with the person at the other end of the figurative line. You want this job badly enough that you are willing to do what it takes to get the other person's attention.

Crafting the Pitch

You craft the perfect email, you think of the perfect subject line for the email, and you send it with the hopes of getting the job over the other applicants. But what if you don't get the job? That is the fear settling into the back of your mind as you wait for an answer with bated breath.

You can't seem to help yourself as you hold your breath, knowing that this is a silly reaction to have. However, you hold your breath anyway. This job is aligned with your interests so you can't help feeling invested in the results of your pitch.

You decide to give it a week before you follow up with them so they can have enough time to go through all the applicants. You don't want them to see you as desperate, after all. The very thought of coming off as desperate makes you shudder in spite of yourself.

You can't seem to help it and it shows in the way you act. In truth, you know that every freelancer feels this way at some point in their career. We all start from the beginning, whether we want to admit this little gem of a fact or not.

We all remember what it feels like to get that first client. We all remember what it feels like when the first paycheck hits the bank account. For some of us, it wasn't that long ago. Or at least, it didn't seem like that long ago.

Thinking Back to My First Pitch

Thinking back on my first paycheck caused my thoughts to turn toward my first pitch. How else will prospective clients learn about us when we first start out? Think about it for a moment, my friend.

You are new to the scene and no one knows your name yet. Your SEO hasn't kicked in for your website yet and you don't have any guest blog posts to your name at the moment. You are working on a few but you are running out of money.

What the heck do you do about this conundrum? Well, the answer is quite easy, my new buddy. You have to pitch your rear end off. When it comes to pitching in the competitive freelancing world, it's all about the numbers.

The more pitches you send off, the more likely you are to have a successful pitch. For every 100 pitches sent off, maybe 10 are answered. Think about it this way: how many of those pitches do you think will be accepted?

I know it's a stark possibility that you might not get much work out of the effort but who would know the answer to that unless you give it a shot? I've learned over the past year to take on that mindset.

I keep having a thought going through my head: I won't be rejected if I don't reach out. It might be frightening to put your freelancing career on the line in such a public way but you won't fail if you don't try.

Lizzie is a freelance writer for creative entrepreneurs, including freelancers. She loves video games and chocolate. If you need a content expert, check out her website. You can also send her an email at