When searching for potential clients from B2B companies, who should you talk to?
You’re ready to cold pitch companies you want to work with, but not sure who exactly to reach out to? You’re in the right place.
The person you’re pitching will likely be your regular point of contact if you end up working together. Meaning: they’ll assign you work, review your drafts, and forward your invoices.
Even if the person you’re pitching isn’t the person you’ll work with, they should be familiar enough with what a freelance writer can do for the company. Because if they’re not, your email won’t land well or be forwarded to the right person.
This guide helps you understand the role—the job title—you need to target when cold pitching potential clients.
Why knowing the role you’re pitching matters
The obvious advantage of pitching the right person instead of anyone in a company is saving time and directing your effort.
But there’s more to it:
- When there’s a company you want to work with, you know exactly who to look for in that company
- When you’re not targeting a specific company, you can create a list of companies to pitch based on the job title you’re targeting
Basically: knowing who to pitch equals knowing who needs your services because you’ll make their everyday job easier and remove workload and stress from their plate.
A personal example of targeting the right roles in cold outreach
Want a real-life example of this? Here’s mine.
When I was actively doing cold pitching to grow my freelance writing business, I knew I needed to do so efficiently and had no time to waste (who does?).
With some client experiences under my belt, I noticed the best results came from those that had a dedicated marketing or content lead; someone whose job was to produce and promote great content for the company. It’s also what made me feel the best in my work.
On the flip side, projects with smaller startups that didn’t have a marketing team, and often even a marketing person, often stretched out for too long, brought inefficient edits and feedback, and were draining for everyone involved.
Side note: This isn’t to say that working with new and/or small companies won’t work for you—the point is that my process and style better serve an established marketing/content team. Freelance writers who offer support around strategy and content planning are a much stronger fit for these new/small companies.
This experience showed me I’ll get the best result by focusing on roles like:
- Content manager
- Content lead
- Head of inbound marketing
- Head of content
- Chief marketing officer (CMO)
When a company has these job titles, it implies there’s a content process in place, they’ve seen success from content, and are looking to scale and streamline their efforts.
The more I targeted these roles and shaped my Work with me page to speak to these people, the more people with these job titles reached out to me organically.
In my intake form, there’s a question that reads: “What is your biggest struggle with content right now?” Here are some responses to this question I’ve received:
- “Finding writers to help create content that drives meaningful action. We've done a lot of short-form blog posts on sharing advice/tips for small business owners but they get very few clicks and don't rank high in search. Of course, this responsibility isn't only on you, it's a collaborative experience, but we're looking for someone to put in the effort of making this the best it could be.”
- “My biggest struggle right now is finding freelancers who 1) get digital marketing on a deep level, 2) understand B2B SaaS, and 3) can adopt our actionable, concrete writing style.”
- “We have a strong internal content team of three writers, but I'm having real difficulty finding equally good freelancers to help us scale.”
- “We have a fairly steady content engine of whitepapers, blogs, eBooks, datasheets, case studies, etc., and need to begin to outsource these projects as we grow.”
- “My biggest challenge is time and finding a good writer. It's really difficult to write readable, useful, insightful content like you do that also fulfils a marketing agenda.”
It’s easy to see these answers would be dramatically different if people reaching out were small business owners, early-stage startup owners, or non-marketing roles.
⚡ Pro tip: Use a tool like Authory to build a portfolio that's entirely tailored to the type of potential client you're pitching.
For example, you can build a collection of articles on a specific category and only share that with a prospective client instead of a full portfolio, or create different tabs on your profile for different topics you write about and want to highlight.
You can see my collection of articles about creator economy here, and my portfolio with tabs I customized here. Use this link to get an extended, 30-day free trial of Authory.
More examples of different roles you could target as a freelance writer
Every freelance writer is different, as are their goals, process, and style of work. That’s why my approach won’t necessarily apply to you.
Here are more examples of potential roles a writer could pitch:
- A writer that serves small businesses will want to reach the business owner or the person running sales
- A writer that writes social ads copy will pitch the PPC manager or the marketing lead, depending on the size of the business (and may actually end up working with the company’s paid ads agency)
- A writer that wants to help a small tech company with their blog about engineering may need to reach both the marketing lead and the engineering lead
Which one resonates with you? What role do you see yourself taking? Looking at your past client experiences, what has been enjoyable, and what drained you? Use your answers to find roles that align with how you want to serve clients.
Questions about your ideal client you can use as guidance
The key is to understand the type of work you want to do and how involved you want to be in strategy, planning, and advising. This also includes the depth of the writing you want to do, the size of companies you want to help, and the roles this includes.
Remember: clients are not faceless, emotionless blobs on the other end of the internet line. They’re living, breathing human beings that you get to help on their career journey.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about the person you want to work with so you can figure out their job title:
- What does their day-to-day work look like? How do they spend their time?
- What are their main pain points? What do they struggle with, spend too much time on, lack knowledge/skill about?
- Having worked with you, what changes for them? How does it make them better at their job?
- What results do they need in order to progress in their role?
- Are they the ones making spending decisions?
- How will you and your work fit into their workday?
Related read: Following up with leads: when, how often, and how to do it
Don’t postpone your cold pitching success
Get specific about the people you want to work with, and your task of finding them on LinkedIn and Twitter will get infinitely simpler.
And as your portfolio grows with the right type of clients, more of those clients will be able to find you and want to work with you. It’s a win in your cold outreach process and your organic growth as a freelance writer.
⚡ Stay organized in your process of winning new clients with resources like: