How This Email Helped Me Land an $800 Per Month Client By Francesca Nicasio on July 25, 2013
Lucrative and consistent. Nothing makes a freelance writer’s heart flutter more than hearing those two words in the same sentence. So you can just imagine how I felt when I recently discovered a goldmine for projects that fit that very description.
I was on PRWeb.com, reading a press release that I wrote for a client, when I decided to check out the site’s “News Center” to read up on what other businesses are doing. And as I was scanning through the press releases of other companies, I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of them could use some work.
As I read one article after another, I found myself making mental notes and corrections on how they can be improved. That’s when it hit me: I can help these companies.
And thus began my press release client-hunting mission.
How I Did It
Below is a step-by-step guide detailing how to I found and reached out to potential clients. Take notes, and see how you can apply it to your own writing business.
Step 1: Prospect
Most PR newswires will let you browse releases by industry. Since I do a lot of writing for tech companies, I focused my attention on articles under that category. I then scanned the headlines and excerpts for press releases that seemed interesting or looked like they needed work, and clicked through those articles.
Step 2: Read and Recommend
I thoroughly read each article, determined the areas that needed improvement and made recommendations. Some of the common mistakes that I found include:
– Lack of an engaging or persuasive headline
– Lack of direct quotes in the article
– Not including links in the body
– Lengthy paragraphs that aren’t ideal for reading content online
– Lack of a proper boiler plate
Step 3: Find the Contact Person
I located the press contact and took note of their email address and company website. (These things can usually be found at the bottom of the release.)
Step 4: Do a Bit More Research
Before sending the pitch, I made it a point to visit the company’s website to see what the business is all about. I looked around and gathered more information so I can further personalize my pitch.
Step 5: Craft and Send a Kick-Ass Pitch
I took all the information I learned about the company and used it to craft a personalized pitch. I then added my recommendations and included links to other press releases that I’ve written to showcase my experience.
To give you a better idea of what I’m talking about, below is a screenshot of the exact email I sent to a prospect:
(Certain parts were blurred to protect the client)
I sent about 15 pitches, and I spent around 15-30 minutes on each company that I reached out to, so yes, it did take quite a bit of time. It was worth it though. Less than 24 hours after sending out my pitches, I received a call from one of the companies I reached out to, and they were very interested in my services. They appreciated my recommendations and were eager to learn more.
And here’s the best part: It turns out the company issues several press releases per month, and they wanted me to take on the task of writing all of them. After some negotiations and computations, the amount of money that I stand to earn for writing all their press releases adds up to around $800 per month. Not bad at all.
Why Press Releases Can Be a Goldmine for Lucrative and Consistent Work
Publishing press releases isn’t cheap. PR distribution companies can charge anywhere from a couple hundred to over a grand just to publish a single release, so when you see a business doing it on a regular basis, you know that company a) has the budget for it; and b) sees the value in publishing press releases.
That means you won’t have to convince them to pay good money for your services. Sure, haggling and negotiations might take place, but you can be sure that any legit business that regularly issues press releases won’t end up paying you pennies per word.
Additionally, some PR newswires offer annual packages that let companies publish press releases several times a month. If you’re able to land and impress a client that has one of these packages, you can expect to be given consistent work.
It’s no piece of cake, but…
Like I said, crafting those personalized pitches takes time and it takes a lot of thought and effort as well, because you’ll need to read each article and make recommendations. Factor in the time spent learning more about the company and actually writing the pitch, and you can expect the process to take a while.
Here’s the good news though: Practice makes perfect. The more you do it, the better and faster you’ll get at identifying prospects, finding errors, and customizing your pitch.
Here’s the even better news: All that work will certainly be worth it once you land that high-paying client that sends work your way on a regular basis.