If you can get more work then your earnings will (hopefully) be higher, but there are a lot of writers out there to compete with. When you're throwing your hat in for a writing gig that about thirty others look just as good as you are bidding for the same project, how can you make yourself stand out? What can you do to improve your chances of being chosen?
A great pitch can count for more than credentials or experience, helping to position you as a prime candidate for the job. It's so important to remember that when you are starting out your pitch has to speak for you. Eventually, your resume will speak for itself. Although, for now, focus on making yourself un-ignorable in a delightful way.
Write Your Project Pitch Like It’s Worth Money
Some writers pay less attention to the writing that they do for themselves than they do to the writing they do when working for someone else, but it’s not a good habit. Writing a great pitch takes time, but you might get better results if you think about that time spent as time that you are getting paid for. This means choose your words carefully, following the rules of good grammar, and be sure to edit carefully. Even the slightest error made in your pitch could stop you from getting the job. I know if you're stressed trying to find work that you want to apply to as many gigs as possible, but it'll pay off in the end.
Don't...and I mean never send a template response to a potential gig. There are benefits of sending one template email to potential customers, but when you are applying to a job that has been posted talk to them specifically.
Never send a template response to a potential gig.
State the Requirements in Your Own Words
There are always a few (sometimes many) requirements and facts describing the gig you're going after. Demonstrate to the employer that you understand the work that needs to be done, and show that you are someone who follows instructions, by addressing every point made in the job description within your pitch. When making your restatement, be sure to tie in any experience or special training you have that can serve to prove you have the qualifications necessary to fulfill the requirements listed. Few writers actually do this, so it will prove especially helpful in impressing the employer and making you stand out.
Instead of "me, me, me"
Say, "Here's how I can deliver exactly what you want." (in a figurative sense don't actually start your email this way...or with me, me, me that's just ridiculous, but someone will try it)
Be Friendly, But Keep It Professional
I've coached several writers that are WAY more qualified than this guy (me). Although, they weren't getting any results when pitching new gigs or in their cold emails. After looking at their pitch it was so dry. I'm talking people with double degrees, years of experience in a related field, and some amazing sample articles.
The problem was the pitch. It sounded as dry as California and almost as egotistical. They needed a little of themselves and a clearer (easier to read) message.
Now a good stand out pitch is awesome, but many writers make the mistake of putting too much personality in their pitch, taking it to a level that’s too personal and unprofessional. Remember that quality writers are in demand – you do not have to beg. By sounding too eager to take on the work, you come off seeming inexperienced and desperate. From the perspective of an employer, a desperate writer must not be a very good writer.
Find a good balanced approach. Keep it short. Have awesome samples and apply to one job right after the other and you will find work.
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