How to Pitch Your Writing to the BIG Companies – by Len Cristobal

How to Pitch Your Writing to the BIG Companies – by Len Cristobal

Think of 10 big-name companies in your country. Imagine asking them to hire you as a freelance writer. Sealing a deal with one of them means guaranteed income, an incredible boost to your portfolio, a new network, and opportunities to grow as a writer.

It sounds ambitious and intimidating – maybe even senseless. Why would they hire someone from outside when they have a marketing team and hundreds of employees? What else can you offer? And, even if you have something in mind, how will you approach them?

The same questions buzzed in my ears when I started as a freelancer. While reading the business section of the newspaper, I came across a clip about a new chain of schools, which is managed by the country’s oldest and largest conglomerate. I looked them up online. Their website had the basics–the About page and some texts on other pages–but not a blog or a News section. I sent an email to them, asking if they needed a writer to tell their story, and create reports about their progress and activities. They met with me the following week, agreed to work with me, and asked me to sign a contract.

Here is one fact that freelance writers should not overlook: Big-name companies are always expanding. Check out their corporate profiles. Read the business section of your newspaper. Get updates on their new subsidiaries, mergers, products and services, new teams, new branches, and other diversification programs. They may have different names but they operate under one mother company.

What types of writing assignments are available? Well, that depends on the nature of the business. For the school, I wrote media releases and news articles. My favorite part was covering the events of the different schools, and writing features about them.

Here are some steps you can take to market yourself to big companies:

1. Get your confidence from your “what if?”

What if the company doesn’t have an opportunity for you? What if they do? I reached out to a publishing firm owned by a major broadcasting company years ago. I knew they already had writers but I wrote to them anyway. I was contacted by the head of the publishing firm and it turned out they were building a research team for the company president. They needed more people. I was asked to become a part of that project. I was eventually asked to pitch and write articles for their magazines. You will not know if there is an opportunity for you if you do not ask, look for it or, in other situations, create it yourself.

Offer them the time they don’t have. When I emailed the editor of the website of a top media organization about a conference I wanted to cover, I was aware that they had staff writers. But, what if they did not have enough writers to cover all the events in the area? My “what if” turned out to be wrong at first. The editor said there was already a writer assigned to the conference.

However, she followed it with “there’s another event you might be interested in…” She also asked which subjects I like writing about. After a few email exchanges, she asked me to sign a contract, and sent me my first assignment.

Big organizations are busy organizations. There have been many times that editors sent me to events and interviews because there simply are not enough people to do all the things that land on their desks every day.

But, only offer to write the topics you genuinely care about. If you were the CEO or head of a department, what would make you feel excited about hiring a freelance writer when your marketing team has copywriters or your editorial board has correspondents? That freelance writer should be knowledgeable and passionate about the topic.

When I pitched the conference above, I did not just summarize its program to the editor. I shared my thoughts about it. Because I am a fan of one of the speakers, I was able to describe her and her work to the editor. This leads us to the next tip.

2. Be specific.

This is the characteristic that is common in all my pitches. Being specific with what you can write for them will make the impression that you know what you are talking about. Help them visualize your process and output. If necessary, create an outline, bullet lists, or screenshots of initial research. Remember that, as a freelancer, you are not just convincing them to invest in your services. You are asking them to trust, take a risk, and hire a freelancer, even if it is not something they normally do.

3. Politely ask for a Skype or Face-to-Face Meeting.

Give your email address, Skype ID, and phone number. Let them know you are willing to discuss your proposal further in person or via Skype. Today, too may people just want to text and email. By asking for an in-person meeting, you can show that you are serious about working with a particular company.

Like any other journey, captivating big-name companies is not an overnight endeavor. Some of them may ignore you. But, if one of them notices you, the long days and nights of cold emailing will all be worth it.

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Len Cristobal (@len_cristobal <https://twitter.com/len_cristobal>) is a freelance writer from the Philippines.

 





 

 



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One Response to "How to Pitch Your Writing to the BIG Companies – by Len Cristobal"

  1. Linda Gray  July 10, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Corporate Curricula: I can verify that the market for writers in this area is huge. I began my career as a technical writer in the early 1990’s, and was lucky to land some very long term contracts — 9 years at NYNEX, for example. An early mentor steered me to instructional design contracts, and the amount of work that came my way was astounding. I developed a niche market in “transition training,” working with companies that needed to train their employees on new proprietary software systems. I would be required to learn both the old and new software systems, and then design a course that focused on the differences. (For example, “you used to do this, but now you’ll do it this way.”) By utilizing employee’s current knowledge and relating it to the new information, my courses significantly reduced training time and had a higher level of retention and success. I had a lucrative career for over 20 years providing this service. Instructional design, however, is not cut and dry. In addition to imparting the required information, you need to create learning modules, reviews, activities, and creative methods for testing knowledge. You may be writing an instructor guide, a student guide, a self-paced online learning course, a quick reference handbook, or all of the above for any particular topic. However, the need for corporate instructional materials is a constant source of lucrative income. There are “contract houses” that specialize in providing these services, and aligning yourself as one of their staff writers is your best option for getting in the door.

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