Freelance dry spell? How to land paid work fast

Written by: Sapphire Li, BA

Communications specialist, 8+ years writing and copywriting for companies
Money can grow anywhere you water it
Table of contents

Template: send a message to all of your email contacts asking them if they know someone your services can help

Even when you follow some copywriting formulas like talk about benefits or mention results like "lowered churn by 3%", prospects are unsure how your product would be able to do this for their business. This cold email outreach shares a few examples of specific value they can get from your product, so they can see exactly what it can do for them.

Subject: Favor   🙏︎
Hey {First name},
How are you?1
A bit of an update from my side:
I started helping clients with their digital marketing a few years ago and it has been immensely rewarding helping businesses grow their customers with interesting campaigns.
Some of them have tightened their budgets recently so I have a big ask to make.
Do you know someone who is open to creative ideas to grow their customers.
I can offer them a free 30-min brainstorm session. Even if we don't end up working together, they'd get a lot of value and ideas out of it.4
Here's a template you can use:5

I know a digital marketer who's offering a free 30-min brainstorm session for growing customers. Let me know if you'd like to connect with her.

If you can pass this along to someone you think I can help, it would make a huge difference for me. Big thank you.6
If I can return the favor in any way, please let me know.7
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1.   Start off with a greeting and jump straight into it. Beating around the bush about your ask can unnecessarily make it seem like an even bigger deal that you have to ease into it.

2.   Briefly mention the client work you've been doing and how you've been helping clients, in everyday language. Avoid business lingo like "higher conversions" which can sound like you're pitching them.

3.   Explain that your clients have been cutting back so you're asking if they know anyone who'd benefit from what you can help with.

4.   Offer their contact something valuable upfront so your contact is more likely to refer you to them.

5.   Share a prewritten template your contact can adapt and use. This makes it easier for them to refer you and gives you more control over how they talk about what you do. Focus your template mostly on your upfront offer so your contact is more likely to use it, compared with a salesy pitch.

6.   Mention how much this would mean to you to express your gratitude.

7.   Offer to return the favor. They may not take you up on it, it's about showing you're willing to reciprocate.

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Proactively reach out to ideal clients by sharing a few valuable ideas upfront

You can view more templates for this approach here. Here's an example if you are a developer.

Subject: A few membership ideas for Art of Say
Hey {First name},
Good job on making your email templates editable.1
Here are a few other ways you can provide value and increase paid upgrades:2
Add a free membership tier that lets users save their edited email templates and bookmark their favorite ones.
This gives users a reason to come back more often and discover new templates.
Offering a free membership tier also means these users would already have an account and don't have to create one to upgrade.
Enable comments on each template
This lets members ask questions about the templates and help each other. A supportive community creates engaging content on their own and keeps users coming back.
A little background about me: I'm a PHP developer who has helped companies like Verve and Compass build and improve features their customers love. I recently helped Groove (a skincare subscription company) build an interactive onboarding survey with a 20%+ higher completion rate and it recovers a lot more people who stopped the survey mid-way.3
Let me know if you're open to a 15-min brainstorm call to bounce around a few ideas?4
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1.   Make a comment about an aspect of their business to show them you've done your homework about what they do.

2.   Share a few valuable ideas of what you can build for them that would help achieve an important business goal (more conversions, signups, paying customers, so on).

3.   Briefly describe what tech stack you specialize in and mention a recent project you built for a client and the metrics it helped them achieve to get them excited about the potential of working with you.

4.   Ask for an initial call, framed as a brainstorm to pique their curiosity to learn more.

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Template: reach out and get hired for a remote job

You can apply for a remote position at a company for long-term work and stable income. You can personalize the email below to send to the hiring manager or the manager in charge of the role's department to bypass the initial screening process and stand out.

Subject: Content marketing manager - plan I would implement out of the gate
Hey {First name},
Saw that you're looking for a Content Marketing Manager.1
Based on my experience working with fintech companies, here are some engaging content ideas to keep Verve on of customers' mind and reach more people who need a multi-currency account and card:2
・Lightheartedly bring attention to the pain your product helps solve so a lot of people want to like, share and save it, while it explains and spreads awareness of the benefits of Verve
Story 1: Someone pacing around the room, nervously checking your card statement after a trip, zoom out to a shot of outside of the building and a screaming sound Caption: Nervously checking card statements after trips ðŸ˜…
Story 2: Picture of a hand holding the card
Caption: Now I still scream but for other reasons ðŸ˜„
Link sticker to Verve

・Personalized in-app stories based on how they use Verve
If they put a travel notice on their card, you can remind customers they can set up an alert for when a currency pair hits certain rates

・Really helpful beginner and advanced finance guides to position yourself as an go-to authority on the topic
What are High Interest Savings Account ETFs and how they compare with high-interest savings accounts and treasuries

Can we have a call so I can learn more about how I can help Verve?3
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1.   Reference the job listing you're reaching out to them about to set up the rest of your email.

2.   Share a few actionable ideas related to the role to show off your expertise and experience so they can see you're qualified right away and are excited to hire you to implement the plan for them.

3.   Ask for an initial call to get the ball rolling.

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Template: offer your clients and prospects a free brainstorm call to engage them

Subject: 1-on-1 brainstorm
Hey {First name},
I'm opening up a few spots for a free 1-on-1 brainstorm.1
What we can talk about:
・How to create lighthearted content that gets a lot of reach and likes, related to your product or service
・Quick review of your content marketing strategy
・Anything else top of mind for you and questions you may have
Book a free time with me here.3
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1.   Periodically offer free brainstorms to engage with your clients and prospects, reminding them about you and your services in a valuable way.

2.   List a few actionable topics you can go over with them to excite them about what they'd get out of it.

3.   Share an easy way for them to book a time with you.

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How to follow up during the sales process to keep the momentum going3 templates
Sponebob looking excited at an annoyed Squidward walking by, this is what happens when you follow up without giving them a new compelling reason to reply
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