Being able to get new clients is one of the most important aspects of being a freelancer or small business owner. If you can’t get clients, you won’t be able to bring in any money.
One of the most popular ways to obtain new clients is by sending pitches to attract them. Unless you’re very well known and have a ton of connections, you probably can’t rely on getting referrals and expecting potential clients to come to you, so you’ll need to reach out to them.
In the beginning, many of the pitches you’ll send may be cold pitches especially if you are trying to break into a specific niche and don’t know a lot of people.
A cold pitch is when you send a pitch to someone you don’t know and haven’t had any contact with prior to your sales pitch. This pitch is intended to break the ice and tell the person on the receiving end about your products or services and ask if they’d like to work with you.
Cold pitching is definitely easier said than done, but when you’re trying to pitch effectively and track your progress, there’s one main thing you need to realize…
Stone Cold Emails Hardly Ever Work
It’s true. Stone cold pitching won’t help you land new clients in most cases. Stone cold pitching is when you don’t do any prep work and literally send out a pitch or pitches at random. Not every prospect will be a good client for you and you can determine this even if you don’t know the person you’re emailing, personally.
Some people say that it’s best to send out a ton of pitches when you’re looking to land a few new clients to improve the odds that some of the prospects will respond.
However, I’m a much bigger fan of the idea of sending out a quality and specifically targeted pitches even if you can’t send out as many. This is as opposed to some who feel you should send out dozens of pitches per week.
With cold pitching, you may not know the person on the receiving end of your message but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know anything about your potential clients needs.
If you’re looking to make your cold pitches more successful, here are 4 tips to help you improve them.
Do Your Research
Before you send out a cold pitch, it’s important to do your research. Take a few minutes to learn more about the prospective client and identify which solutions you can provide them with.
While you may not actually know the person or company, you can learn a ton of information online by checking out their website and blog, looking at their social media profiles, or simply Googling their name.
The more you learn, the better your pitch will be because you can tailor it to the recipient. Plus, your research will help determine whether you’d actually be happy working with the client or not.
During the research process before sending your pitch, you may find out that a company you were interested in partnering with doesn’t pay on time or treats freelancers poorly after reading some reviews. In that case, you might want to avoid pitching them altogether and dedicate your time to reaching out to another, higher class potential client.
In many cases, doing your research prior to sending your pitch can help you save time and increase your chances of landing the gig.
Introduce Yourself, But Keep It Concise
When sending a cold pitch, you want to make sure that you clearly introduce yourself and leave a good first impression. You don’t have to tell your entire life story or mission, but you also shouldn’t assume that the person reading your pitch knows anything about you so be sure to share the important details.
It’s important to find a way to introduce yourself without sounding like a salesperson or offering up too much irrelevant information.
Think about which questions the potential client may have for you or which aspects of your experience and background would help you stand out and prove that you’re great at what you do.
Above all, be sure to keep everything concise and really try to capture the reader’s attention early on. Most people will skim through pitches that are too long because they lose interest quickly or don’t have time to read a bunch of lengthy paragraphs.
Attempt to Make an Initial Connection First
It doesn’t hurt to try to connect with the potential client prior to sending your pitch. Even if you’re not able to meet prospects in person, you can still interact with them online.
Try connecting on social media first or commenting on one of their blog posts. That way, the potential client may remember that you follow each other online (even if you’ve never officially met) or have a general idea of who you are.
Another way to make a connection is to look at their work and include a comment or compliment about it during your pitch. If you follow them on Twitter and notice they’ve made a new announcement about something, you can say congrats in your pitch or make a comment about their work or business to demonstrate that you’re engaged and aware of who they are and what they do.
Make It Personal
Consider the idea that the client you’re pitching receives a ton of emails daily and a lot of pitches each week or month. Many of these could very well be cold pitches so to make yours stand out, you need to make it a little personal.
Be sure to address the prospect by name in your pitch and don’t be afraid to show a little of your personality as long as it’s respectful and can contribute to you getting the job.
If you have learned anything interesting and lighthearted about the company or the prospects personal life in your research, you can use it to your advantage to capture their attention.
Cold pitching can be boring in large part because you and the client don’t yet know each other so anything you can do to lighten the mood and spice up your pitch may help out especially if the client can visualize you working with them and getting along.
[Related: How to use “Context Effect” to Get Clients]
Summary: Warm Up Your Cold Pitches
Cold pitching can be difficult but not impossible. The truth is, most successful cold pitches that have led to new work have often been warmed up which is why it’s best to avoid pitching people you don’t know at random without putting some effort into it.
You can warm up your cold pitches by taking a few minutes to do some research on your prospect to ensure they’re a good fit for you in the first place, and learn about their needs. Then, try to connect with them online prior to sending the pitch and make it personal but remember to keep it concise and to the point so as to respect their time.
By putting more effort and strategy into your cold pitches, you’ll be sure to land more clients and increase your profits.