Being a freelancer is not as easy as the world makes it seem. You shouldn’t get disillusioned by the beach side pictures and hammocks making work look like an absolute vacation.
In reality, you will have a lot of hustle to do. Along with completing the assigned projects on time, you have to constantly work towards getting new clients.
The latter is not easy, it involves a lot of research, to and fros, and endless negotiations. But, there is a much less painful way to do this – reach out to influencers and get them to promote or spread the word about your services.
It may be a little indirect but if you get it right, it can deliver exponential results. Soon you will see clients coming to you rather you going to them.
Firstly, let’s understand who influencers are?
Influencers are individuals who have the ability to influence the opinions or buying decisions of your target audience, largely thanks to their social media following. ~ Jack Simpson
Influencer could be journalists, academicians, industry analysts, professional advisors, celebrities, and individual brand advocates.
They may or may not be a target client, but the real intention of approaching them is to cash in on the influence they have over your target clients.
The first step is to identify the right influencers. You should identify and evaluate them based on factors like their relevance, reach, authenticity, and engagement.
Next question is how do we approach them?
Though there are other channels available, email is the most effective way of connecting with your influencers – it’s direct, intimate and personal.
Here are a few tips to help freelancers write better influencer outreach emails:
Tips To Help Freelancers Write Better Influencer Outreach Emails
1. Get on Their Radar First
Most influencers get hundreds of pitches every day. There is no guarantee that you will get a reply. If you want to improve your chances of getting one, your email would have to standout.
There best way to ensure they read your email is – build an acquaintance with them.
The aim to is to make them familiar with your name and what you do. This prevents them deleting your email without even bothering to read it.
You need to adopt a step-by-step approach in order to get on their radar beforehand. Here’s one such plan of action that you can follow:
- Start following the influencers you have identified on social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media websites where they are active.
- Share, like, and comment on their posts regularly, both on social media and on their website. You could also share with them any resources that you think they might find helpful.
- Strike up conversations about shared interests. It could be anything from sports, movies, books, politics or music.
- Subscribe to their email list, listen to their podcasts on iTunes, and review their ebooks on Amazon.
- Once they engage in a conversation with you, send them an email.
A few points that you should keep in mind while doing this:
- Ensure your comments are informed and genuine.
- The conversation you had with them on social media should be used as a reference. This will make it easier for them to recall who you are and understand the context.
- Always aim to build a relationship with them rather than trying to sell your services out-of-the blue.
2. Create a Good First Impression
Most influencers are busy people. They are not going to spend more than 10 seconds to decide what to do with an email. You have to make an impression within the 10-second attention span. If you don’t, your email will get marked as spam or deleted.
Here are a few tips to help create a good first impression:
- Keep your emails as short as possible. After writing, make sure to review it once to cut down unnecessary info.
- Get to the point quickly and let them know what you are hoping from this exercise as early as possible.
- Add only one or two links in the body.
- Don’t send attachments, it arouses suspicion.
- Ensure the subject line, the preview text, and the content is personalized.
- Make the subject line rhyme, makes them sound trustworthy and impactful.
- One email should have only one central theme, everything from the subject line to the attachment should be aligned accordingly.
- Your email signature should be clear and concise – don’t add too many logos and CTAs.
- Leverage recency effect by making sure the P.S line reinforces the key message of the email.
- Make sure the tone is warm and friendly.
3. Test, Analyze, and Optimize
If you are not testing and analyzing the results of your outreach campaign, you will never know the mistakes you have been making.
The worst part is – every mistake ends up costing you an influencer, and with that, the opportunity to get more clients.
Here are few ways freelancers with their limited budget can test and optimize their outreach campaigns:
- Studies have found the best days to send emails are Tuesday, Thursday, and Wednesday (in that order). But, keep testing your timings and find out the optimal sending times.
- Keep A/B testing your subject line elements like its length, levels of personalization, ambiguous vs. blunt, etc. You can use a tool like subjectline.com to optimize your subject line.
- You can use mail-tester.com to find out the spamminess score of your email.
- Keep A/B testing to find the optimum number of links and attachments that you can add to your emails.
- Make that you set up a shared inbox, it will make it easier to manage conversations and also, collaborate with these influencers.
There are a lot more free tools available in the market to help you optimize your emails in terms of deliverability and attractiveness.
4. Get your Portfolio Right
As a freelancer, your portfolio is one of the best ways to build and showcase your brand. It shows your experience, skills, and objective. It should convince the reader of your skills, expertise, experience, and how serious you are about your projects. With more people joining the freelancing business, if you are to get more business, your portfolio must stand out.
Influencers are normally experts in their niche, their opinions and recommendations are trusted by many. No matter how good your email is, they are certain to go through your portfolio before recommending your services. So, it is crucial that you get your portfolio right.
Here are a few tips to make sure your portfolio stands out in the influencer’s inbox.
- Ensure it is easily accessible.
- It should contain only those work samples that pertain to the influencer’s niche. If you are a freelance writer reaching out to a tech influencer, it doesn’t make sense to include articles you wrote for a healthcare firm.
- Make sure you include one or two samples in the body too. It could be the project that received the most engagement, or a project that you worked on for a high profile client.
- Include your major achievements and the testimonials you have received.
- Explain the key decisions you had to take, the reason behind them, and how it contributed or made a difference to the bigger picture.
- Make sure the portfolio reflects your personality and interests.
- Make sure the tone followed in your portfolio is same as that of the email.
- Identify the values that the influencer believes in, and make sure to highlight samples that align with their values. For example, if the influencer is a strong advocate of privacy, make sure to include articles that you have written in favor of privacy.
- Add a few user/customer testimonials to convey the usefulness of your product/services.
When it comes to influencer outreach email, it’s the first email that makes all the difference. You need to make sure it stands out and captures their attention. It should also let the reader know that you are capable, trustworthy, and helpful. Keep these points in mind, it will make it easier for you to get started.
Make sure to avoid a hit-and-miss approach. Instead, plan, review, and optimize the outreach process regularly.