We’re officially moved into the new house (after weeks of working after hours to get it move-in ready).
More than any other emotion, I’m just relieved that we’re done with these first important milestones as new homeowners. Ok, I’m excited too, because for the first time in my life, I have my own dedicated home office space!
Now, to find time to use it while also unpacking enough to feel like I live here…
In other news, I started the first of my free mentorship office hours this week.
With my first mentee, we talked about business development, focusing on how to create a list of prospects and how to find their contact information (I recommended Hunter.io
, which gives you access to 50 free email requests per month).
The next step in the process, which I get asked about a lot, involves creating a cold pitch template email. Though you’ll definitely want to customize this for every contact, a template gives you a solid foundation from which to build from (plus it’s better than staring at a blank page).
When I first started The Blogsmith, cold pitching my own list of prospects is how I won my first clients. It’s a skill I brought with me from my sales days that every freelancer (and business owner) should master.
Nowadays, inbound marketing and referrals from happy clients are my greatest source of leads — but I still put these cold pitch skills to use when I see an opportunity to work with a dream client that I’m not connected with yet.
So… how do you write an awesome cold pitch email?
Here’s my basic formula:
Introduce yourself with your name and specialty (but don’t spend too much time talking about you — you need to focus on your prospect for the rest of the email). For example, “I’m Maddy Osman, an SEO Content Strategist at The Blogsmith.”
Offer a third-party testimonial (or list of brands you’ve worked with that the prospect would recognize) that establishes you as someone worth talking to. For example, “I work with brands like Automattic, Kinsta, and Sprout Social to create content that helps connect them with relevant searchers.”
Mention a relevant news item or initiative that revolves around your prospect to show them that you’ve done your research (and to help personalize your pitch). For example, “I shared the results of the industry report you recently published with my Twitter audience. [Insert stat here] really surprised me — thanks for putting that together.
Highlight a pain point that your services might help them to solve (you’re taking a guess at that pain since you haven’t talked to them yet — you can dig into their exact pains in more detail when you get them on a call). For example, "I’m getting in touch because I noticed that your company has a blog, but you haven’t published new content in the past 6 months. If you need help establishing consistency and accomplishing business goals, my clients tell me that my process makes it easy to stay on top of a successful content strategy.”
Provide a call-to-action to move forward (offering specific dates/times is important, as they force your prospect to make a choice and think about when they’re free). For example, “Is this something you’d be interested in discussing further? I have time on Monday at 10:30AM or Tuesday between 2-4PM.
Note that a cold pitch becomes a warm pitch when you get help connecting to the decision maker you’re trying to reach. Before emailing a new prospect out of the blue, see if there’s anyone in your network who can facilitate that initial introduction.
It’s also worth noting that just because you’re ready to work with someone, they may not be ready to work with you — yet. But even if they aren’t ready to work with you now, it doesn’t mean that they won’t in the future!
If someone responds to your cold pitch saying that they’re not ready to move forward but are interested in staying in touch, take them up on that.
Now is not the time to be pushy — but it is the perfect time to build a relationship.
For me, this involves adding this prospect as a connection on LinkedIn and working to stay top of mind with them by consistently posting relevant status updates and interacting with their updates, as well. Then, when they’re ready to talk about content, they remember me as someone worth reaching out to.
Over to you: do you have a cold pitch email template that you’d like me to look over? Send it my way and I’d love to help you make it the best it can be!
Maddy Osman, The Blogsmith