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Chapter
8

Different ways to find prospects

You might ask why you need to hunt for prospects. While it’s nice to be found like this:

You can’t wait around to be found. You must reach out by sending a cold email. 

You’re never too big or too cool to pitch. It’s your life-long pursuit as a freelance writer.

Open up the pitch you’re working on and use the following process to identify five prospects you want to reach out to. Fill in the names of those prospects in the workbook. They can be editors, marketing managers, brand managers, or whoever is most appropriate at that organization.

Finding editors at publications

In the freelance writing world, a prospect is typically an editor at a publication or a marketing manager at a business.

Finding editors and calls for pitches can be daunting, but with the proper research and resources, you can send tens of pitches to different prospects every week.

When reaching out to publications, the title of your prospect is typically an "Editor," a "Managing Editor," or an "Assignment Editor.” Try to avoid contacting editors-in-chief as they’re usually swamped and not the ones that deal with freelancers. 

Editors have specialties, so make sure to contact the right editor; for example, if you want to pitch a culture pitch, contact the Culture Editor at the publication you want to pitch to, or if you want to pitch a Saas story, contact the Tech Editor.

Here's a comprehensive list of sources you can tap into to find prospects at publications.

  • Subscribe to newsletters by freelance writers like Sonia Weiser and Kat Boogaard, where they post calls for pitches and other opportunities for freelance writers. 

  • Several editors post calls for submissions on Twitter and other social media outlets. Make sure to follow them and reach out directly to them if needed. Kaitlyn Arford regularly posts calls for submissions and opportunities for freelancers on her Twitter page. Follow relevant hashtags, such as #freelancewriters or #amwriting.

  • Look for the publications’ mastheads. Many publications publish their mastheads online and include the contact info of several of their editors, including the assignment editor, whom you can reach out to directly.

  • Join niche Facebook groups. These are private industry-specific groups, and you must apply to be accepted. Many editors are in this group and regularly post calls for pitches. One example is a group of female freelance writers called "Binder Full of Editors Seeking their Freelance Writers and Vice Versa."

  • Join Private freelancing communities on Slack, Circle, and Discord, like the "Freelance to Fortune" Slack community

  • Join professional organizations or associations related to your field. These organizations often have directories or lists of member publications and may also offer opportunities to connect with editors and other writers.

Using the power of LinkedIn search to find editors and business contacts

Finding editors

Once you've identified some possible publications, reach out directly to the editor or outlet and give them an idea of what you're writing about. An excellent place for that is LinkedIn. Look up the title "editor" in the search field on LinkedIn, narrow the search using LinkedIn filters (location, industry, etc.), and then reach out using the "connect" option. Watch this Loom video that details the process.

Finding business contacts 

Business prospects are typically marketing managers, brand managers, or social media managers. The process for pitching them is the same as pitching to editors. Almost every business needs a writer, so keep reminding yourself that you’re needed and that your services are valuable and sought after.

The best way to reach out to marketing managers at businesses is through LinkedIn. Just like how you reach editors, you can start by searching for a title such as marketing manager or brand manager, then narrow the search using filters and reach out using the "connect" option.

Watch this Loom video that’ll show you the process in detail. 

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