3 Pitching Mistakes Freelancers Make While Messaging Potential Clients

Freelancers, don’t make the same errors I did.

3 Pitching Mistakes Freelancers Make While Messaging Potential Clients
Photo by Karmen Kendrick on Unsplash

Freelancers, don’t make the same errors I did.

As a freelancer, one of the most essential skills you can develop is the ability to write a compelling pitch.

At the start of my career, I used to send a lot of cold emails to prospective clients. It took me over hundred tries to finally get the tone and wording right.

Prior to landing my first paying customer, I’d spent hundreds of hours honing my pitching game.

In this post, I’ll go over the lessons I learned. I’ll also include the dos and don’ts of crafting the perfect pitch as a freelancer. Of course, these pointers apply to freelancers in any field, but they’re especially useful for writers.

If you’re looking for your first high-paying freelancing client, keep reading for some super useful and actionable tips that you can apply in your own outbound emails. And whatever you do, don’t make these three mistakes.

1. Send Out Multiple Cold Emails

At the start of my career, I used an easy-to-replicate framework in almost all my emails. I wrote the email’s basic body, then listed out all the companies I intended to pitch to. Next, I added a few lines here and there to suit the needs of the company. And then, I sent these emails to any contact information I could locate on the firms’ websites.

Can you guess what my success percentage was?


Yes, that’s correct.

If not done right, cold emails are extremely inefficient. If you want to understand a client, instead of spending several hours studying many companies and writing a one-line description for each, focus on just a few firms and fully understand what they require.

Then, using this information, send a tailored email to convince the CEOs that you understand their requirements. Convey through your text that you have the ability to offer them with what they want.

This way, you’ll spare yourself the trouble of mindlessly copying and pasting the same email repeatedly. You will also increase your chances of receiving a response.

Key takeaway

Don’t target a hundred firms. Instead, focus on ten organizations and spend enough time learning about their needs before reaching out to them.

2. Quote Prices In The First Email

When you quote your price in the initial outbound email, you’re assuming that you understand what the organization needs from you. This is nothing short of a blunder.

I used to commit this mistake very often at the start of my career. In every email, I used to tell the CEOs that I could create a thousand-word piece for X dollars.

Do you see the mistake I was making? In quoting prices, I’m claiming that the firm needs thousand-word articles.

But, what if they wanted long-form articles or eBooks written specifically for them? What if they don’t care about articles and are looking for someone to write social media posts for them? I wouldn’t be aware of the company’s requirements unless I had a conversation with them to understand their specific needs.

Key takeaway

Don’t quote your prices in the first email. Instead, include a call to action that encourages them to respond to the email or call you. Then you’ll be able to fully comprehend the company’s objectives. Based on that, you may provide a full proposal outlining the job you’re willing to do and the price you’d charge for it.

3. Pitch Without Understanding a Company’s Needs

There’ve been several instances where the company’s tagline or SEO description was completely ambiguous and unrelated. I assumed it to imply something, but the solutions that the organization offered were nothing close to what I’d envisaged.

My entire wording and tone were off when I sent out the emails.

And, of course, I received no responses.

If you’re a new freelancer and aren’t sure what the company does, it’s best to avoid wasting your time and effort by not pitching them at all.

Another walk-around might be to just Google for the company’s competitors. You’ll very certainly come across several, so have a look at their websites. Once you’ve figured out what they’re up to, only then, if you feel you are the best person to assist them, should you write them an email.

Key takeaway

Don’t think that since you read a two-line SEO description of a firm, you know what they do and what they’re searching for. Instead, spend some time on their website and jot down all the details you can. Then, create a pitch that demonstrates how effectively you’ve grasped their requirements, so they have no qualms about hiring you.

Closing Thoughts

As a new freelancer, it’s very natural to become enthusiastic about every potential customer you come across online.

But there’s more to it than just needing to make money.

It’s crucial that you enjoy yourself during the process. Nobody enjoys being rejected over and over again. And if you don’t pitch your clients the right way, you’ll be disappointed even after sending hundreds of emails.

If you want to get your freelance career off to a great start, avoid making these three pitching mistakes that I made when I first started out:

  1. I sent cold emails randomly to as many companies as I could find.
  2. I quoted my price in the very first email, assuming I know the kind of content my prospective clients want.
  3. I sent pitches without fully understanding the company’s objective.

Did you resonate with any of these tips? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Want to be a successful freelancer but struggling to find good clients? Check out my 90-day guide to finding your first high-paying freelance client. You’ll find 5 pitching secrets, 2 email templates, and a framework to get your freelancing career started.

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