By Marya Jan
I hate cold calling.
I hate interrupting someone’s day with my message.
Why should I ask for their time? I don’t want to impose. They don’t owe me anything.
We all feel that way, right? We come up with a long list of excuses detailing why we shouldn’t contact people.
Why don’t we pitch our services more confidently and readily? What is stopping us?
I found the answer to this question in Freelance Writers Den. Carol said something that changed the way I look at my business – forever.
You are a business.
Be businesslike. And stop apologizing.
What a concept!
Yes, I am a business. Not a nuisance.
When I approach people, I do so because I have services to offer that have the power to change their businesses.
I get in touch with them because I owe it to them to let them know I can help them.
As I have gone through the Den material and learned how to create effective Letters of Introduction (LOIs), I have picked up two great clients within past two months.
They are paying me upwards of $100.00 for every post that I write for their business websites.
For ongoing work! Hooray!
So how did I do that? Here’s what I recommend.
1. Research and locate businesses for which you’d be an ideal match
Identify businesses who would love to have you on board. Companies that are looking for you right now, companies that can really use your skill and expertise.
When you do your homework, you increase your chances of getting your pitch accepted. It is not rocket science and still, most of us don’t do it.
2. Approach businesses with confidence
There is no need to be apologetic. You are not asking for donations or charity.
Stop saying things like ‘sorry to bother you’ or ‘I know you are really busy but could you give me a few minutes of your time?’
Get to the point.
You are a business, so act like one.
3. Compose letters of introduction tailor made for their needs
The biggest blunder you can do is to send out generic pitches. If you take away the salutation, could you have sent this to anybody? Then don’t do it.
Carol has some excellent material in the Den where she shows you how to craft LOI’s that work. In the forum, you can post yours for review and people WILL respond, ready to help you perfect it.
4. Pre-sell with your writer site
I am a web writer, creating online copy and content so I can’t survive if I don’t have my own site.
Even when you are writing for print magazines and publications, you should still have your site up and running. Ready to refer people to on a permanent basis, and when you mail your LOIs.
5. Don’t guess at rates
Again, reach out to your inner confident, professional self when quoting your rates. Never underestimate your value.
And stop obsessing about if they could have paid more.
You can always bounce off ideas from trusted colleagues. I find Writers Den’s forum to be really valuable in this regard, and Carol is always there to help.
6. Be professional every step of the way
Lastly, if you have done everything right, and you didn’t get the project, then it simply wasn’t meant to be. The most important thing is to be your 100% best in everything you say or do.
Marya Jan is a freelance blogger and online copywriter. She writes at Writing Happiness where she helps solo professionals and small business owners breathe life into their blog content and make it work that much harder. Follow her @WritingH, she is very friendly.