#16 - How do you write a freelance cold email or letter of introduction (LOI)?
Today I'm going to talk about how to write a freelance cold email also known as a letter of introduction. The acronym is LOI. So what is a letter of introduction or a cold email? I'm going to use this definition from location rebel. A cold email or an LOI is a quick note or email that introduces yourself and gives an overview of your freelance writing skills. Well, okay, why should freelancers even care about this? Well, it works. I'm proof that it works. Cold pitching is how I built my entire freelance copywriting business. It is how I landed my first client in less than 30 days and it's how I began making a full time income in as little as four months. So for those of you who don't know me I'm Christine I'm a full time freelance copywriter in the b2b SaaS niche, but what I love doing is guiding and teaching other copywriters, how they can get on LinkedIn, cold pitch their ideal clients and build their full time freelance business. So let's get back to the reason why freelancers should learn how to cold email.
I told you how it worked for me but it works for the majority of successful copywriters that I speak to. I think I had a bit of an advantage because my previous career the nine to five that I transitioned out of was in sales. And in that job, I had to send hundreds of cold messages a lot of you know, emails and LinkedIn messages and cold call so I understood kind of how to break through the noise and grab someone's attention and get them to trust me enough to book a meeting and learn more about my product. So yes, I had that going for me. But other than that, I am not special like anyone can succeed with cold pitching and letters of introduction on LinkedIn. Just as long as you're sending the right messages.
Here's another reason. And I want you to understand, you know why this is so effective? Why sending a message to your ideal client, even though you don't know them why it is effective? Well, companies use cold pitching to generate business, a company does not exist without somehow generating revenue. And that's why in some form or another, all companies have a sales function responsible for bringing in new business. So I was in sales for many, many years. I brought in 1000s and 1000s of dollars for the companies that I worked for, and I did that by doing cold outreach for them. So companies of all sizes are paying these really big salaries for sales reps because they know that this method of selling and introducing yourself and getting your foot in the door, they know that it works. Someone has to hit the phones, write those emails, knock on doors, and find customers and acquire them.
Now the third reason is that creating your own opportunities, it puts you in control. So there's obviously other ways to gain freelance writing clients. You can go on Fiverr and Upwork and go on job boards. A lot of come a lot of copywriters work off referrals, they ask their current clients for more work, but when you cold pitch or you send cold emails or you send letters of introduction, and you're proactive, you know, you're sending a set amount of those cold pitches and it's going to translate to a number of opportunities that arise from those messages, right. So in sales and marketing, we call that a conversion rate. If I send X amount of messages in this amount of time, I think it will result in this amount of responses from clients. So when you don't send cold messages, your likelihood of getting in front of a client, you know is pretty much zero you have to do something so when you set your own outreach goals, you're pretty much taking destiny into your own hands and playing that numbers game.
Now let's get into how to cold pitch right like how if I wanted to do this as a freelancer, how do I do it? I'm going to go over four tips. They're going to help you do it successfully.
But if you want to see this entire process for now, I'm going to have a link to a whole post about it in the show notes. So go there and take a look. It's a blog, you know, that's about cold outreach.
So number one, always address them by their first name and be careful to spell that first name correctly.
Number two, when you write a cold pitch, I want you to jump right in and immediately state why you're sending them you know, a message you know, no fluff no openers, just say hey, I'm reaching out because I'm a copywriter and I'm looking and I you know, I saw that you have an opening for a copywriter or I saw that your brand publishes blog posts. I write blog posts for companies just like you number three is state why you're qualified to help them so you want your message to include that you're not just a copywriter but that you're a copywriter that focuses on their niche. So if you listen to my episode about choosing your niche and the importance of choosing a niche and establishing yourself that way that's going to make your cold pitch really compelling for you to just say hey, I help SAS companies increase their conversions their their emails, hey, I help health and wellness companies create really relevant content that provides a lot of value and free information to your audience that creates you as a trusted authority. So you're stating the compelling reason why you are the copywriter for them. Now, tip number four is you want to say something about their company. You want to personalize your message. And what this does is proves that you're not sending templated messages. It's basically including something personal that says no I reached out to you this is not a spam message. And if you go to the episode that I did with Scott my freelancing mentor, one thing we talk about is how to not have our messages appear like they are spam. You want to mention something that proves that you research them for me. I always say hey, I read your blog, and I really liked this post. While that isn't like maybe the craziest detail. It doesn't show that I've done a ton of research on them. It does show that I went to their website and took a look at their blog.
The error that I see and the issue that I see is that people understand personalization. So they'll get on LinkedIn and I get cold pitched all the time and I'm sure you do too, if you're on LinkedIn, but I get a lot of cold messages and they'll mention something personal about me that they were able to read in my headline, but then their message has nothing to do with anything I care about. So like they're trying to offer me a service that I'm not a good fit for. And beyond mentioning my headline, the rest of the body of their message has nothing to do with me. So that's a example of failed personalization. If you are writing to them of your pitching them because you want to create blog posts for them. Mention a blog post that you saw on their site, make it out up make it match. I know I just went through that super quick these four steps but again, you can read them in the post but I just want to kind of recap them. Number one is just address them by their first name and their first name only. The reason I say that is you just really don't want to come across as overly formal. I wouldn't even say dear or Hello, just their name, comma. You want to put yourself on the same level as them.
Right the way you're writing to a colleague if you're overly formal could be seen as robotic or spammy.
Tip number two is to be very direct and state that you're reaching out to them for a writing opportunity. Don't include any fluff or openers or any unnecessary statements just get right into it so that you're not wasting their time or yours. If they're interested. They'll very much appreciate that. Tip number three is to state why you're qualified to help them and I say that because a lot of people will say I'm a copywriter, but it's like that's not a compelling reason for them to hire you. You have to go a little bit further and say I'm a copywriter that specializes in this so I can help you because that's your industry or hey, I've done X, Y and Z so I know I can help you with this. Go into a little bit deeper detail into how you as a copywriter have skills and knowledge and special experience that can help them and then tip number four, just personalize your message as much as possible. Now, I obviously suggest sending a lot of cold pitches and doing you know especially if you're starting from scratch like I did, it really was a numbers game. So there's only so much that you're going to be able to personalize those messages. But you can include something about maybe you saw them post something on LinkedIn, maybe you listen to a podcast of theirs or a webinar or you saw that they were quoted somewhere. include something personal to show that you actually are intentionally reaching out to them and not just everyone and anyone. Cold pitching is such an important skill. I mean, if you're able to actually reach out to people and get them to say yes to you and persuade well that's number one and copywriting you're a persuasive writer, you are somebody who sells with words. So it's such a great habit to get into. But number two, you can use this skill set in any endeavor in life. That's why I know that even though I was technically or I guess I was in the wrong career. For so many years before I became a copywriter because I was in sales. I am so grateful that I did take that path and I did get those skills that I did get that experience because learning how to cold pitch and get clients for my jobs for my employers. I was then able to turn around then able to turn that around, turn those skills around and land my own freelance copywriting clients and leave the nine to five and not rely on an employer for my income. So even for this podcast, that I'm creating for you guys. I am so excited. I mean I'm gonna announce it soon who the guest is but I am interviewing a LinkedIn branding expert who has been featured in Forbes and all of these incredible publications. And I actually sat through like a master class, a free master class that she did about LinkedIn branding. And I asked her to be on the podcast but the message that I sent her was so highly personalized. I mean, I mentioned at least three different things that I heard in the master class that I would never have known unless I took her master class. She knew that I did my due diligence and she knew that I was interested in that I had a strategy and I explained to her how my audience would get a ton of value out of what she had to say I explained to her what the benefit would be for her to have similar audiences. So the more compelling you can make your message and more relevant to them in their needs, the better and you will get faster and faster and be able to personalize those messages as you do this more. So that is the ins and outs of cold emailing sending letters of introduction. It's a great way to proactively build a freelance business from scratch and get the client acquisition part you know, under control, you could always control your results when you're using this technique. If you go to paid copywriter.com I have a free download for you where you can set up your LinkedIn profile properly you can choose your niche make sure your website looks good. All the preparation steps that you can take