Unlock this Playbook
You will gain full access to this playbook - as well as weekly insights to help you learn the material!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Chapter
2

Establish credibility with your expertise and existing work

Now that you’ve identified your prospect’s pain points, you’ll want to demonstrate the ways in which you can solve them. Using samples of previous work is a great way to build credibility, particularly with a new client. 

In this step, we’ll gather all of your previous work into a tracker and select one that aligns with this project.

Don’t dismiss previous work experience or personal projects

If you’re new to freelancing, you might not have examples from previous clients. It’s completely okay to use samples from previous full-time jobs or from personal projects. When you back up a pitch with expertise or knowledge gained from self-led projects, you show that you have the discipline and motivation to manage yourself successfully. 

Put together a library of examples so you always have them on hand.

One of the most useful things to have on hand when pitching is a reference library of all the work you’ve ever done. It’ll make managing your business overall easier, including updating your portfolio, sharing work on social media, as well as simply having a reference of all the work you’ve completed.

If you don’t already have a library of examples, use the tracker in your workbook to create one. Here, list every piece of work you’ve done that you can share publicly as well as with prospective clients. 

It will look like this document:

Don’t forget to note down the work that:

  • Was ghostwritten.

  • Is protected by a non-disclosure agreement.

  • Had copyright transferred to the client.

Be sure to include this information so you don’t share anything that cannot be shared. 

Showcase your most relevant, not your most favorite work

As you’re building your library, identify 2-3 examples that match your prospect’s pain points.

By showing the prospect that you’ve come across their problem before and solved it, maybe multiple times, you’ll build a strong foundation of credibility. 

By sending relevant examples of your work, it shows your prospect that:

  • You’ve successfully done this before.

  • You’ve put in the effort to tailor the pitch to them and their business.

  • You’ve done your homework.

It can be difficult to let go of work that you’re proud of, but avoid using examples that have little relevance to who you’re pitching to. 

Through Mo’s personal travel blog, he’s written guest posts for other online travel magazines on the topic of using points to travel abroad. So when Mo is writing his pitch for Abroad in Asia, he incorporates both his personal blog and two commissioned guest articles about traveling on points into his pitch. He decides against sending one guest-written article he wrote more generally about traveling. Even though it’s his favorite piece of work, it’s not relevant or specific enough for his pitch to Abroad in Asia.

If you’re missing relevant examples, create your own

If you’re missing relevant examples you can share in your pitch, don’t worry—it’s not the end of the road. The great thing about being a writer is that you can literally create something out of nothing, so create an example you can use.

Let’s find out how Mo does this. He recently traveled from the US to Japan. He bought his business class ticket and hotel room using credit card points, but he hasn’t published anything about this trip yet. Before this pitch, he wrote a blog post for his website and includes this as an example of his previous work in his initial pitch email to Abroad in Asia.

The benefit of creating your own example is that you can tailor it to fit your needs at the time. Think about what you can create that gives credibility to your pitch. 

Next, think of somewhere to publish your work where it’s publicly available. Most prospects prefer published work over private examples as this can emphasize your credibility, but also because it usually means they can see how your work performs in reality whether that’s through shares on social media or the number of reads.

Here are several ideas:

  • A blog

  • A newsletter

  • Your website

  • Social media (for example using a Twitter thread to start a discussion)

  • A guest blog post or newsletter

Once it’s published, incorporate your new example of work into your pitch.

Recap

  • Listed your relevant experience and existing work.

  • Built out your library of examples.

  • Created your own example to show off your skills.

Private network of peers to learn and build with
Education and resources made for independents
The best guidance to move forward
Exclusive data, insights, and deals
Quality programming and events
Seasoned experts to support you
A community of peers building alongisde you
A community of peers building alongisde you
A community of peers building alongisde you
A community of peers building alongisde you
A community of peers building alongisde you
A community of peers building alongisde you
The premier
entrepreneurial
ecosystem
for
independents