Let’s talk about a topic that might be frustrating, confusing, intimidating you. I’m talking about…
Sending cold emails as a freelance writer.
If you’ve spent even five minutes looking into a freelance creative career of any kind, you’ve heard someone bring up cold emailing.
You’ve probably felt your stomach churn at the idea of reaching out to a complete stranger and asking them to ‘give you money‘.
So, we’ll get REAL fundamental for a second- like basic BASIC. I want to be thorough because I think it is important.
What Is Cold Emailing?
Cold emailing is when you spend time researching clients YOU WANT TO WORK WITH, find their email addresses, and send them a “pitch“.
This pitch is a strategically crafted email intended to open communication and forge profitable business relationships.
Is Cold Emailing Hard?
Well, yes, in a sense. In a way, it’s THE HARDEST part of your job.
It takes time, strategy, research, and personality to write an effective cold email.
And even then… 95-99% of your cold emails will NOT result in a business relationship (most of your cold emails may not even get a response)…
If you do it right… you don’t NEED more than 3-5% to work out to make a sustainable income.
It’s true, as long as you don’t undercharge-
(WHICH YOU MUST NEVER DO NO MATTER HOW LITTLE EXPERIENCE YOU THINK YOU HAVE)
… you can make good money and maintain a good career in writing.
Why Is Cold Emailing CRUCIAL To A Freelancer’s Success?
Because you have to realize that YOU ARE NOT SOMEONE ELSE’S EMPLOYEE.
It is YOUR responsibility to make YOUR MONEY. Suppose you want a lucrative and sustainable Copywriting career (or any other type of freelance career). In that case, you’re the ONLY ONE WHO CAN MAKE THAT HAPPEN.
Cold emailing is the BEST WAY to control the influx of $$ to your business.
Cold emailing sets you apart because…
You choose who you want to pitch (which means you’re very likely to LOVE the work you’re doing).
You’re only pitching(cold emailing) to people who fit your niche/experience, so you’ll have relevant samples and expertise in the field.
(If you haven’t picked a niche yet, you can check out my guide right here)
You don’t have to swim through job boards and Facebook groups trying to stand out from 900 other comments on a job post.
The point is: you are in control. The more well-written cold emails you send out, the more work you will have.
What Makes A Good Cold Email
Now that we’ve covered the ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ of cold emails, let’s chat about the how.
Cold emailing is hard if you don’t keep 5 KEY concepts in mind.
Number 1: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU
When you send a cold-emailing, don’t talk about yourself or your qualifications. I know this sounds weird (especially when many of us come from a corporate work culture where we have to talk about ‘what makes us worth their consideration‘).
You have to remember that YOU ARE A BUSINESS OWNER. You don’t work FOR anyone anymore as a Freelancer. You work WITH clients, but you’re nobody’s employee.
Your cold emailing should provide a solution to the recipient’s problem or demonstrate how YOUR SKILLS will benefit THEM.
We’ll go over HOW you do that later.
Number 2: YOU’RE NOT BEGGING
You have to get the toxic idea that you’re ‘asking people for money/work. It’s inaccurate and detrimental to your success.
You are a professional with a very particular set of skills that make you a DREAM COME TRUE for people like your clients.
You’re cold-emailing and opening a line of communication wherein you OFFER your services to clients.
SERVICES THAT WILL HELP THEIR BUSINESS.
If you don’t start respecting what you have to offer, neither will potential clients.
It doesn’t matter if the recipient doesn’t need your services at the time. There’s NOTHING unprofessional about sending cold emails… as long as you do it correctly.
Number 3: BE YOURSELF
While you should always be professional, don’t be a robot. A cold email should be personalized and pleasant to read.
(Again, we’ll go into some easy to follow steps to get you started)
Number 4: MAKE IT EASY
Do not make potential clients work to find samples of your work.
ALWAYS INCLUDE RELEVANT SAMPLES IN YOUR COLD EMAILING.
It’s better to insert links to ‘published’ samples (and that can just mean you’ve posted to a personal blog or your website).
You should ABSOLUTELY have a website before anything else, by the way.
Don’t ever make a potential client ASK where they can find your samples. It’s your job to give prospects with everything they need to make a decision.
However, you DON’T have to include pricing if you don’t want to, that’s fine to keep to yourself until an interested prospect asks.
Number 5: K.I.S.S. (KEEP IT SHORT, SONNY)
Don’t send a novel. Only include what needs to be there. Respect your prospect’s time. Don’t ramble.
How To Send A Cold Email
Okay, so here’s how you actually APPLY the 5 CONCEPTS for the best chances of sending a cold email and makin’ a real living.
Make sure you get to know a bit about the company you’re pitching. Not only should you get a feel for their content and brand voice, but also make sure you contact the RIGHT person.
Search for the company on LinkedIn and check out the company’s “people” section. 9/10 times you’ll find the right person to email.
(You can find email addresses using apps and plugins like [name], and [name] and [name])
Make sure you mention something you like about the company, too. Be that an ad campaign, blog post, product- etc. This will really help you personalize the email.
Only Send Relevant Samples
Don’t just send any old writing samples. Only send samples that would matter to the prospect. Even if you don’t have any, write some up and post them to your website.
It’s a massive waste of time to send irrelevant writing samples.
A Few Final Tips For Cold Emailing
Remember that this is going to be time-consuming- even with the template. It usually takes me at least 2-3 hours to send a batch of cold emails from research to actually hitting send.
But it’s VITAL to your success.
You also need to send a lot, sending 100 cold emails is a pretty base-line number to shoot for.
Do it in small batches (10-20 a day). If you can do MORE, then go for it. Just make sure you personalize that email and make sure you spell names right lol.
I find(with a kid and client work to take care of) that 10-15 a-day is manageable.
I usually take an hour or so on one day to collect the emails. Then the next day, I actually SEND emails to the contacts I’ve gathered.
Hopefully, this post helped you out. I remember how intimidating cold emailing was when I first started.
This post should’ve demystified and simplified the cold emailing process so you can start sending cold emails and making a sustainable income as a Freelancer.
Good luck, you got this!