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How Do I Move My Writing Career To The Next Level?

Question and Answers for Freelance WritersHi Anne,

I’m ready to take my freelance writing career to the next level.  I want to contact ad agencies with a letter and information packet in the hopes of generating some new clients, and then contacting those people with a follow-up call.

My question is this:

What should such a letter include?  Is there a format for such a form letter somewhere?  I do not want to break any conventions of the business or make a fool out of myself.


Love your blog and thank you much,

RCH

Hi RCH,

I’m delighted you’re ready to move up!

While I’m sure there are samples of the kind of letter you describe somewhere, I doubt if you need them. Since you’ll be writing to ad agencies, a bit of creativity is probably in order.

If I were you I’d start by asking yourself this question:

“What problem do ad agencies have that I can solve?”

Is it over-flow work? Some sort of specialized knowledge you have that many don’t? Are you one of those who can meet a short deadline over and over again with real creativity?

You bring your own unique set of skills and experience. You’ll get hired because your skills and experience solves a problem for them.


Make your letter more about them, about how you can bring solutions to them and you’ll have a great sales letter.

Sure, you need to talk about your skills, but use your ability to demonstrate, right in the letter, how your writing solves problems for them.

In terms of the form of the letter, any standard business letter, no more than a single page long, will work.

Make sure it’s addressed to a specific person – call to find out who hires freelancers and spell their name right!

And be extra sure your letter has your phone number, email address, and your website listed on it.

How would you write such a letter?

[askanne]

[sig]

Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • I’m curious why RCH wants to query ad agencies instead of clients directly.

    Working through an agency, you’ll almost always make less than if you had found your own clients and managed the project yourself. If there’s a business niche you specialize in, I’d recommend targeting those businesses and sending a package to them instead.

    In this economy, more and more businesses are forgoing the agency model and hiring their own freelancers, has been my experience, so it might be richer pickings that way in any case. Targeting a niche would allow you to create a more tailored pitch letter that would prove your expertise in their industry. Pitching an agency you don’t know what-all client types they might be working with, so you have to do something more generic.

    Finally, if you want to connect with agencies, why not in person at PRSA or other networking events? Great way to cut through the clutter and just make a connection. Then you could be showing them the best clips in your portfolio instead of a pitch letter that may or may not be attuned to their needs. Sort of more of a shot in the dark than if you can chat someone up.
    .-= Carol Tice´s last blog ..A Poll For New Writers — Take It, AND Take $50 Off My Mentoring Service! =-.

    • Anne

      Good questions and good suggestions Carol, thanks.

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