5 Tiny Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Pitches to Potential Clients

Image by 愚木混株 Cdd20 from Pixabay

The importance of knowing what not to do

Five years ago, during the first year of my writing career, I sent out dozens of pitches only to discover that almost nobody was interested in them.

More than 70% of them were left unanswered, and the rest got a reply saying something like, “nice that you reached out but at this point, we dont need any writing service from you.”

I thought my writing career was over before it even began, but as someone who refuses to give up easily, I started digging deeper.

After some learning, crafting new pitches, sending them out, and analyzing the outcomes, I went from being a “pitching” failure to a 4-figure/month writer in less than a year.

And of course, if you want to earn money writing, you need to be a good writer in the first place — however, you need to be a good seller too.

Otherwise, how are you going to promote and sell your service?

So after analyzing my old pitches, these are the five overlooked mistakes that used to ruin my proposals.

The pitch starts with a story about you

If you begin the pitch with a summary of your achievements, the schools you attended, and the courses you’ve taken, the email recipient will most likely stop reading after the first sentence and move the mail to the trash.


When pitching, nobody cares as much about what you’ve achieved as they care about what you can do for them.

If you can’t prove you’re worth the client’s time in the first paragraph of your pitch, they might consider this communication useless.


Always start with what you can do for the brand, company, or client. If they like this, they continue reading.

You will introduce yourself and make an impression in the next part of your pitch.

You don’t have a place to send your client to

As an aspiring writer, you craft a pitch and send it to a company you’d love writing for.

Your pitch was perfect, both professional and friendly, and the client got back with, “I like this idea and at this point, we would benefit from new content on our website. Can you send me a link to your portfolio?”

After reading the first sentence, you jump high with your hands above your head, congratulating yourself on your first success.

After reading the second sentence, you freeze to death thinking, “But I dont have any…”

Seems like you lost your first client before getting them.


Before sending a pitch, make sure you have an online space where your potential client can navigate and decide whether they want to hire you.

(Every reputable brand wants to see what you can do before they decide to pay for your service.)

If you’re new to the writing game, write at least five quality pieces (yes, for free) and publish them on your Medium/LinkedIn profile. You’ll use this as your temporary portfolio until you create more posts.

Clients who aren’t interested in your portfolio are, from my experience, willing to pay only peanuts to random people who don’t have to be even real writers, and the websites/blogs they run are of low quality.

I’ve seen such clients on Fiverr or Upwork, platforms where quantity often wins over quality.

You neglected research

Reaching out to brands or clients that aren’t the right fit is a common mistake of beginning freelancers.

Half a decade when I was just beginning, I was sending emails literally to anyone I stumbled upon on LinkedIn — in the desperate need to send as many pitches as possible.

I didn’t care about the company’s niche, nor I knew whether they even ran a blog on their website.

Not surprisingly, (almost) nobody got back.


I know sending pitches in bulk can be tempting as it makes you feel you’re increasing your chances of landing a client, however, this is far from the truth.

Do your research before pitching a client. Check their blogs and see what content they publish.

Is it fact-based content for an advanced audience? Or informal posts infused with storytelling? Do they publish long or short-form posts? How many sources does a typical article contain?

Knowing this before reaching out helps you craft a compelling proposal and let the brand know you took your time to analyze it.

Plus, ensure you have at least a few relevant articles reflecting the brand’s niche and voice so you can prove you’re the right fit for them.

You forgot to mention your “why”

Using a “why” aspect in your pitches is often an overlooked but powerful technique to make people at least consider cooperation with you.

The most obvious reason for pitching a company is your desire to make money — a reason not worth mentioning.

But if you fail to introduce another reason that made you reach out and connect with the client, they might not appreciate your effort that much.


You don’t have to send a devoted essay on why you’d love to cooperate with the brand, but mentioning the reason for contacting them will increase your pitch potential.

For example, I often contact the brands whose digital products I’m using (I mostly write for marketing & business companies, so think of SEO tools, analyzers, various software, etc.), and the clients are often happy to hire me because they know my interest in writing for them is honest and justified.

You are a lazy copy-paster

Sending out generic emails is one of the most unprofessional things a freelancer can do.

It simply shows you weren’t diligent enough to produce a tailor-made offer, and you rather chose to spam everyone around.

After all, how could you expect a client to hire you when you showed your laziness and incompetence before they got a chance to get to know you?


You don’t have to start from scratch with every email you’re about to send — some pre-made templates can actually save you time.

However, make sure you always address the client/company directly. There’s nothing worse than starting with: Hi there!, or Dear sir/madam.

It’s a signal that you couldn’t even find a person in charge of the content management section or editorial team.

Also, include some findings from your research, for example, “I’ve seen you often post content about SEO” or “I know your brand because you cooperate with XY company/person,” so they can see you’re genuinely interested.


Here is the summary of the things to avoid in your pitch:

  1. Don’t start your pitch talking about what you know and did — focus on how you can help the client instead.
  2. Spend time creating at least some basic portfolio to let the client know you’re a serious writer.
  3. Research the brand before you reach out, and contact only the clients within your field.
  4. In your pitch, mention what made you reach out and why you think the cooperation between the client and you can be beneficial.
  5. Forget generic pitches, don’t copy-paste whole emails, and always address your pitch to a particular person/department.