Most of the pitches I’ve sent out have been cold pitches in which I’ve had to propose topics to a prospective client. At first, this felt uncomfortable for me. I’d become anxious, afraid that I’d made the greatest, dumbest typo in history before hitting the Send button. I still remember the first time I pitched The Huffington Post. I nearly hyperventilated!
The reason? It’s because my entire future is riding on the words I type. The pressure is on and is palpable. Every day, I send cold pitches to major publications. Although now, it’s not so bad.
The key is preparation. Set up a primo, fleshed out cold pitching template and save it to your email’s drafts folder. Tweak only what you need to help your potential clients find it relatable and relevant to what their needs may be.
What does an effective cold pitch look like?
A fantastic, relatable cold pitch is made up of a few components. The best way to ensure that these components fit nicely within your pitch is to follow a list. The one below is a suggestion for the progression of a cold pitch.
Start With Information About the Business
- Will the business soon be celebrating an expansion, anniversary, or a launch?
- Mention it like, “This must be an exciting time for the folks at [XYZ COMPANY]! Congratulations!”
Segue Into How This Information Relates to You and Your Background
- For me, this is easy. I use this to transition, “Change is exciting! I’ve recently switched over from ghostwriting for writers, businesses, and large freelance websites to writing for the Web full-time.”
- A soft transition can help the prospect see you through your words. The goal here is to seem relatable to your reader. This will set you apart from other applicants.
Suggest Two to Five Potential Topics
- Make sure you read through your prospect’s Web content. The goal is to be able to hear your client’s voice coming through.
- Also, remember to get a feel for the topics they usually cover. This will help you narrow down a list of options to your client’s specific preferences. The more you appeal to them, the more likely you are they are to hire you.
- These ideas are represented by headlines presented in title case and ending in a period.
- Follow the headline with two to three sentences. These should elaborate on the topic. They should sell the topic for you.
My Cold Pitch Template
As always, I’ll use my own as an example. Here it is.
My name is Cruz Santana, and I noticed your publication is will be launching its first issue on December 28th. The staff at [XYZ COMPANY] must be thrilled! Congratulations!!
I’m also undergoing some career changes. Since 2007, I’ve worked as a ghostwriter and editor for authors, businesses, and large freelance websites. I recently shifted my focus away from ghostwriting in favor of writing articles and creating Web content. I write about these changes in a project I call, My Sweet November.
Your site is interesting, entertaining, helpful, and relatable to my daily life. It’s evident that you’ve been doing a lot of work to add actionable/valuable content. This article on ways to bootstrap a list of potential leads really resonated with me! I’ve used your list to secure three new clients in the last month!
I’ve noticed that you’ve accepted guest posts in the past. I’d love the opportunity to contribute if you’re open to submissions.
Here are three topics that come to mind.
- Topic One Title. Follow this with two to three sentences describing what the proposed post or article would be about. What would this piece teach the reader?
- Topic Two Title. Follow this with two to three sentences describing what the proposed post or article would be about. What would this piece teach the reader?
- Topic Three Title. Follow this with two to three sentences describing what the proposed post or article would be about. What would this piece teach the reader?
I write all my own original content and do my best to deliver exactly what my clients ask for.
Will one of these topics I’ve proposed work for [XYZ COMPANY]?
If not, please tell me what you’d like to see on your site. What’s currently missing from your Website or blog? I’d love to cover it.
View my Hire Me page for more samples and more information.
How do I know this pitch works? I’ve used it to land a paying gig with a major publication! That’s right! There’s your proof it works.
This type of cold pitch is written in a way to better reach your client. The goal is to stand out from other writers and bloggers who your prospect may be considering.
By showing interest in the company, softly transitioning to how their changes relate to you, and suggesting topics to cover, you’re making it easier for the client to work with you. This is enticing and could be enough to land you the job.