In our experience, one of the biggest issues holding people back from going out on their own as a freelancer is the fear of business development — of securing enough (or lucrative enough) work to never have to worry about being short on consistent income.
Finding the jobs is getting easier and easier with the increased presence of online job boards, Facebook groups, LinkedIn, Vine, etc. But once you’ve found the jobs you want, how do you get them to hire you?
We’ve been blown away by the pitches submitted to CloudPeeps clients, many of them securing several jobs within just a few months. We’ve asked these pro Peeps to share their pitching tips for landing the freelance jobs they wanted.
1) Make it personal
When pitching Bohemian Guitars, Jade Whitham immediately acknowledged the company’s guidelines and expectations for the position of Content and Email Marketing Badass. She also shared a bit of background information about herself, like the fact that she is currently living in Morocco, that she’s working on a book, and that she used to work with Airbnb. She created a deeper connection and further proved her qualifications by mentioning that she had done email marketing work in the music industry, for SoundFriend.
“I know that when sending a pitch, it’s important to seem qualified and impressive, but I think that employers really appreciate a genuine and personable pitch. It’s better to be yourself and speak from the heart, while also displaying your qualifications. People appreciate that more than an impersonal and wordy pitch that doesn’t reveal anything about who you are as a person, especially in today’s world of remote employment.”
2) Speak their language
When Briana Green pitched to Millennial Week for their Social Media Manager position, she clearly had the experience required with years of event management and promotion under her belt. She also understood the need for an event company to establish constant engagement year-round.
In her pitch below, you’ll see she used phrases that would both get them excited about her work and that would resonate with them as event organizers. Phrases such as “heighten the awareness and excitement around your events;” “grow your social channels into the top destination for discussion;” and “to share valuable content, facilitate discussion.”
3) Demonstrate what you’re going to do for them, and why
Exercise tact of course, but don’t be afraid to share areas you’ve identified as having room for improvement in how the potential client is communicating. Ash O’Brien did an excellent job of this when pitching for a social media strategy job. (Full disclosure: this client did not end up going with a Peep, but this was one of our favorite pitches.)
Sharing these recommendations shows that Ash knows what she is talking about and is confident in her work. She will be able to work autonomously and get stuff done. It also shows that she already started thinking how she can help the company excel.
Providing examples of work demonstrates this as well, giving potential clients an idea of the type of work you’re capable of. Briana Green says:
“Help them visualize it. Beyond just linking samples of your past work, offer examples of posts and / or creative images you’d create specifically for the client. It helps them visualize what their social media feeds might look like with you as their peep.”
Amy Rigby (pitch below) says:
“Be specific on how you can help them. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking, ‘How can I show them I’m qualified for this position?’ but what you should really be asking yourself is, ‘How can I help this client?’ Clients are looking to hire you to solve a particular problem for them, so be specific on how you will do that.”
4) Focus on specific and measurable results you’ve achieved
As community-minded people, we tend to speak to emotional appeals, which is great. But at the end of the day, most of the clients who come to CloudPeeps want to see growth. Growth in what area depends on their individual business goals, whether it’s growing their audience base, reach, visits, sales, etc. No matter what it is, they want to see that you can produce results. We really liked the way Ash O’Brien shared quantitative results for similar jobs in the past:
5) Communicate how you understand their audience
As humans, we have the tendency to gravitate towards companies that resonate with us, or maybe that touch our everyday lives. If you fall in a company’s target market, tell them that! Better yet, if you’ve used their product or service, explain how and why. This is going to demonstrate that you know how to communicate with their audience, and that you know the trends the company needs to be on top of inside and out. Check out how Cynthia Boris communicated both her relevant experience and how she fits into their audience:
Amy Rigby demonstrated qualitative and quantitative results she has achieved, while getting super meta sharing her Breather experience as a customer:
6) Align your passions in your pitch
We get it, the jobs that align with your passions are either limited in number or seem like a pipe dream. However, they’re probably more attainable than you think. Not to mention, these companies want people who are passionate about their mission working for them.
Amy Rigby (from above) says:
“It isn’t enough that you’ve got the experience; businesses want to know that you care about what they’re doing. Tell them what excites you about their business. If they’re faced with choosing between two equally-qualified candidates, guess which one they’re going to go with? The one who’s the most passionate.”
Of course, your passions might not directly align with all of your clients, but having a job or two that does align allows you to satisfy that yearning.
As we saw earlier, Jade, Cynthia and Briana all went after jobs that aligned with their passions. This allowed them to communicate build a relationship with the client on the first touch point. They understood the company before even talking to them, and their excitement shown through their pitch without being forced. At the end of the day, it just makes sense to do work that you’re passionate about. At least that way, it feels a little bit less like doing work.
Briana Green says:
“Pitch for dead ringers. Peeps are all high-quality so its fair to assume your competition will be top notch. Rather than pitch for something every week, wait until you see the one that’s a dead ringer for your interests and experience. By being selective you’ll have more time to craft a thoughtful pitch and higher likelihood of hearing back.”
Danielle Maveal subtly spoke to the types of clients she was interested in working with (community-focused startups, and those that focused on animals) by making her profile photo one of her and her dog, and by sharing a couple of the startups she worked with in the past.
7) Be yourself
We’ve championed the value of being genuine when working with clients before, but Peep Cynthia Boris said this better than we ever could:
“Pitch yourself, not what you think the client wants you to be. If you’re a little quirky and the client doesn’t like that, no problem. You’re better off with a different client. But when you find the one who likes you for you (quirks and all), that’s a match made in CloudPeeps heaven.”
The most important thing to consider when writing your pitch is that this is your first or second touch point with a potential client. It’s your chance to sell them on you and your services. Err on the side of brevity, but also show your personality and what you can do for them. Talk to them like someone you’d want to work with. After all, communication is so critical to the success of any business relationship.
Ready to get started pitching? Check out the jobs currently available on the CloudPeeps platform.
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