How to land freelance copywriting clients cold pitching on LinkedIn: Structuring your messages for higher response rates

getting clients linkedin Apr 25, 2021



 Most writers wonder if it’s really “okay” to message clients.


The answer is YES. (I go more into more detail about how cold outreach built my entire freelance biz here.)


There’s so much bad advice out there about how you need to “organically engage” and jump through hoops to get someone’s attention without reaching out to them directly. They’ll tell you it’s sleazy or salesy or that you just flat out should not do it.


Says who!? 


LinkedIn's professional focus makes it different from social media platforms like Facebook. Cold messaging and connection invitations on LinkedIn aren't like DMs on Instagram.


If you’re hesitant to send cold messages, let me remind you that: 


  • You are not a telemarketer calling someone in the middle of dinner.
  • You are not an MLM boss babe asking someone to join your pyramid scheme.
  • Offering your copywriting services to marketers in need does NOT make you sleazy!

The people you’re messaging are already tasked with searching LinkedIn and other platforms to hire writers. You’re simply putting yourself in that lineup!


Avoid these cold pitching mistakes

There are two main mistakes I see constantly made in LinkedIn messages:


  1. Being too vague (AKA beating around the bush)


A lot of people dance around why they’re reaching out. They have long openers that get their messages instantly sent to trash. Cut to the chase! Always be straight-up with people. If they don’t need your services, they won’t respond, and you’ll move on—simple as that. 



  • Being self-centered. 



Explaining who you are and why you’re great will only warrant a response if it speaks to how you can help them. Everything you tell a prospect about yourself should be tailored towards their needs, not your accomplishments.


Other outreach pitfalls to avoid: 


  • Mentioning that you both have the same connections. They have thousands of connections that they probably don’t know. This isn’t a good reason to reach out.


  • Starting your message with my name is... They see your name next to your photo—no need re-state it.


  • Opening with I came across your profile... This is super common, but I don’t like it because it sounds like you’re reaching out by accident. And you didn’t just stumble across it. You were looking for them—so don’t indirect and act like you tripped over their profile while you were headed somewhere else.


  • Sending blank invitation requests or not editing the generic message LinkedIn provides.


How to structure your cold pitch LinkedIn message


Start with an invitation request


If your prospect isn’t in your network already, you need to send them a connection invitation. LinkedIn gives you the option to leave the invitation blank or use their generic message. Choose the “add a note” option.



Your initial message in this connection request is POWERFUL. This brief little message can sometimes be the only message you’ll need to send to book a client meeting. 



My message formula:

Their name + your reason for messaging + why they should choose you + personalization


Let’s break it down:


  1. Always address them by their first name and be careful to spell it correctly.
  2. Jump right into the reason you’re sending them an invitation.
  3. State why you’re qualified to help them (because you’re a copywriter that focuses on their niche) 
  4. Something about them or their company to personalize the message and prove you’re not sending templated messages. 




The following is a LinkedIn request I’d send to Sheila, director of marketing at Red-E-CRM. 


Wanted to connect to see if you need help with content like white papers and eBooks. I write for SaaS companies in the sales enablement space with the same audience as Red-E-CRM. 

Also, I enjoyed the article you published about B2B marketing trends in 2020!


If this seems a bit brief and informal–that’s because it is! Better to be short and casual than to sound sales-y or overly formal. As long as there are no typos, a concise, friendly message is fine. 


**Your message will cut through the noise of all the robotic-sounding messages they receive daily!**


The golden rule of cold outreach

My outreach message formula will only work if you write it through the lens of what’s in it for me? (WIIFM?)


No—not you, your prospect! Prospective clients read everything through a lens of “what’s in it for me?” No matter how impressive you are, the only thing clients care about is how your skills can help them. 

The bottom line on cold pitching freelance copywriting clients

Now that you have my messaging formula with screenshot examples go open a Google Doc, type out a LinkedIn message you can customize, and start messaging prospects! 


  • Cold pitching works, so don’t listen to anyone telling you otherwise. You have every right to get on LinkedIn and start pitching.
  • Avoid being vague, indirect, or self-centered in your outreach. Don’t make the same messaging mistake made by 90% of people selling on LinkedIn.
  • Use the messaging formula I provide in this post to send a compelling connection request to your ideal clients.
  • Remember to use the golden rule of cold outreach to make your messages about the client and their needs.

You’re more than capable. You got this!

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