Day 32 – I’m on to part 8 of how to become a freelance writer and earn your first $1000.
On day 31 I introduced you to cold pitching. Cold pitching involves making contact with prospects who know nothing about your services.
But how exactly do you find these prospects?
Well, it starts with narrowing your search by using certain client criteria and using tried and tested techniques to find these companies.
Choose your clients based on your positioning and their location.
If you’ve positioned yourself as a health writer, you’ll improve your odds of success by targeting health, fitness, and lifestyle websites. I positioned myself by service so I had a lot of choices.
But, I still selected several niches, stuck to those, and searched for clients based on those niches. Some of the niches included business, start-up, and technology companies.
Filter by Location
- United Kingdom
Once you’re clear on your ideal client, it’s time to find them.
Techniques to Find Clients
Use Google and Linkedin to find companies. These were the two techniques I used for Bamidele’s Challenge, on my quest to earn my first $1000 as a freelance writer.
Using Google search, type the keywords into the search engine e.g. “technology companies”, or if you’re targeting publications, “technology magazines”. You can filter results/searches according to search criteria. It’s useful to help you filter by country.
Here’s how to do this
Type your keyword. Take note of Google suggestions e.g. “largest software companies”. You can use these for future searches.
On the next page click on Advanced Search Under the Settings tab.
You’re then given the option to narrow your search results e.g. by country. When done, click Advanced Search.
Now, scroll through the Google pages and visit links that are of interest. Rinse, and repeat the process using variations of keywords for your niche e.g. instead of “technology companies” use “technology startups”.
Take note of the following when searching for and visiting sites:
- Do they have a blog? If they do, they could benefit from your services. Conversely, if they don’t you could send a pitch emphasising the benefits of blogging and that it’s a service you offer.
- Companies that use Google Ads are more likely to have the budget to spend on a freelance writer.
- Their Google rank. If they’re high up, they understand the value of content marketing. It’ll be easier to bag these clients as you don’t have to explain the value of content marketing for their business. Conversely, companies further down can benefit from an improved blogging strategy.
- What does their site look like? If it looks professional, they’re more likely to spend money on a quality freelance writer.
Any company worth pitching for is probably on Linkedin. Use the search function ant type in the type of company you’re looking for. For example:
Take note of the company size e.g. the number of employees. A company of 1-10 employees may not have the budget. Remember the goal is to land high paying clients. You don’t want to write for $5 an article do you? Targeting companies with 50 or more employees is usually a good bet.
As you find companies I recommend updating all this information on a spreadsheet.
Create a Spreadsheet
Create a spreadsheet with the name of the company and the URL. Find a total of 100 companies to start. This will be the spreadsheet you’ll use to update editor’s name, contact details, and track your progress as you send out cold pitches.
So, I suggest you create a spreadsheet with the following headings or a variation thereof (these are the exact headings I used in my spreadsheet for Bamidele’s challenge).
|Website||Status||Person Pitched||Date Pitched||Follow up 1||Follow up 2||Follow-up 3|
In the upcoming posts, I’ll be exploring how to find editors’ names and contact details, as well as how to craft a successful pitch.
I’ll share the template I used to send out roughly 80 pitches that landed me two clients, one of which paid me $300/ article and has since then become one of my most lucrative freelance writing clients.
From today until early next week I’ll be writing two articles for them that’ll pay me $800. Not bad right? And the beauty of it? These don’t take too long. I complete one article over the course of two days, including sleep time, rewriting, editing and a lot of procrastination 🙂
Anyways until the next post…
Feel free to email me at nick (at) nickdarlington.com if you have any questions.