Come November and everyone is busy buying holiday gifts, stuffing Turkey, planning their year-end vacation and sending emails to employers for getting some time off. It’s also the time of the year when people tend to slack. Freelance writers are especially bitten by the winter blues. After all, everyone’s on vacation, it’s cold outside, you’re always sleepy and you need to prepare your lip-smacking cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving.
Who has time to send pitches? You can slack away, right?
Well, my friend, I’m sorry to have to burst your bubble but this is not the time to procrastinate, make excuses or stop sending pitches. Popular content writing advice dictates that you should continue sending pitches and plan for the upcoming year.
In fact, the holidays are the perfect time to rope in new clients and ensure that existing clients remember you for future work once January begins. Here’s what you should do before gift-wrapping presents under the Christmas tree:
Say Thank You
The year-end is a fantastic time to send a quick thank you email to clients to show your appreciation for their continuing support and a steady influx of writing gigs.
Sending a letter of appreciation to your current and past clients ensures that you stay on the top of their minds during festivities. It also ensures that in case they need some last-minute holiday-themed content or one of their existing full-time writer drops out, you’re available to pick it up.
You can go a step further with this little nugget of content writing advice from expert freelancer Carol Tice: Send them a little useful memento in person! Nothing fancy, since a lot of clients might not be comfortable with lavish gifts. A small box of chocolates, a nifty pen or a small gift card should do the trick.
Pitch Holiday-Theme Topics
Holidays are not the time to get sloppy on your pitches. If anything, it’s a time when you can work with clients you’ve always wanted or get really creative.
Send innovate holiday-themed pitches such as gift guides, tips for surviving Thanksgiving, how to make easy conversation during Christmas dinner with your mother-in-law or how to select the perfect present for your wife.
Remember to do ample research on your clients’ target audience and pitch story ideas based on their problems and needs during the festive season. The more specific your pitches, the better.
Respond Quickly to Festive Call Outs
Magazines, companies, and editors usually send festive callouts – an appeal to freelancers for a unique story idea for the holidays – during this time.
Here’s a useful content writing advice: Respond to these callouts as quickly as possible because most journalists are busy during this time. They could be swamped with existing work or off to Madrid on a vacation. So responding quickly to a call out will be highly beneficial. The early bird indeed catches the worm.
Get Creative with your Story Ideas
Ok, so pitching gift guides and shopping advice is great but you do know that every other writer will be pitching those same ideas too, right? Instead of sending a generic pitch like ‘Gift ideas for your nephew’ put a little creative spin on it. Think ‘Gift ideas under $50 for your hyperactive nephew.’
Another great example: ‘5 Christmas desserts you can make without an oven in 10 minutes or less’ instead of just ‘5 Christmas Desserts.’ The more creative you are with your ideas, the better your chances are at landing the gig.
It’s never too late to start pitching seasonal content so start right now. Sending holiday-themed pitches early makes clients think that you’re a good planner. And that’s a good perception to have in your kitty.
go forth and use one or all of the aforementioned content writing advice to get more (and not less) gigs during festivities.
That being said, do take a break. Send pitches then go on a vacation for a couple of days. Return to your laptop refreshed, renewed and ready to conquer deadlines. Don’t work through the holidays — We all need to disconnect from work every once in a while.
Looking for another client to add to your portfolio? Iris Content is always on the lookout for technical, legal and creative writers to join their team.