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How to write a letter of introduction for your freelance business

By Leanna Lee · April 12, 2024
Hero image of a person at a desk writing

A letter of introduction (LOI) is one of the best-kept secrets of the freelance world. This simple, yet effective message can be a powerful marketing strategy for any freelancer looking for clients. I've been using them for years in my own business, and here, I'll share how I write a letter of introduction and how you can too.

What is a letter of introduction?

An LOI, or letter of introduction, is a common outbound marketing tactic for creative freelancers and small businesses. Similar to a resume, it introduces you and your work to potential new clients. 

Often, a letter of introduction can be used to refer or introduce someone else as a professional contact, reference, or potential candidate. But for freelancers, we get to be the ones introducing ourselves.

Letter of introduction vs. pitch: What's the difference?

A pitch is generally meant to propose a single project or deliverable. With an LOI, you're simply introducing yourself and your work without pitching anything. Once you connect with a potential client, they may invite project pitches from you or assign work to you directly.

Pitches are also usually tailored to a single publication or client and are often quite time-consuming. LOIs can be more agnostic: I tend to use the same LOI (with a few personalized tweaks) for most companies in the same industry.

Finally, pitches tend to be time-sensitive. An article I pitch may have limitations around how long my idea is relevant, when I'm available to complete the piece, or the people I want to interview. But as long as I update the info in my LOIs every now and then, my template will always be relevant.

Is a letter of introduction just for writers?

A lot of freelancers have never heard of LOIs, and it's true that they're most commonly used by freelance writers. But I recommend it to pretty much every freelancer I know.

A web designer, for example, could easily send an LOI to web design agencies to build their network. Virtual assistants who work with small businesses could introduce their services. This method works the same way for accountants, developers, and anyone else offering a freelance service.

Even small businesses selling software-as-a-service (SaaS) or other similar offerings could use a similar template to reach out to prospects on LinkedIn or via email.

How to write a letter of introduction

A letter of introduction typically has five parts: an opening, an introduction, a description of services, samples, and a call-to-action (CTA). Each part can be tweaked to fit your industry, service, ideal client, and offerings.


This may seem obvious, but how you open your LOI can really make a difference. I've heard—and used—many different openings over my decade as a freelancer.

My favorite way is to personalize the opening. I do this by referencing a social connection or contact, mentioning a callout if they're already looking for writers, or sharing a project of theirs or an article about them that I appreciate.


Hi [NAME], I really enjoyed your recent piece on disability rights in the workplace [LINK] and wanted to reach out about working together.


Here's your chance to shine. This is where you'll want to condense your professional bio into a few meaningful sentences that highlight your industry, niche(s), and the type of work you do.


I'm a future of work and HR content writer who specializes in remote work tools, productivity, mental health, and diversity and inclusion.

Now this works well for a more general LOI. But if I want to be more specific, or I know the company I'm reaching out to has unique needs, I could narrow it down further. 

For example, I bring lived experience as a disabled writer to my work in DEI and mental health, which could be relevant for anyone looking for that perspective. I could also mention my blog, podcast, or the fact that I'm the co-chair of my professional association's DEAI Task Force to illustrate my expertise.


What services do you offer? This part of the LOI contains a brief summary of your main offerings.


I create long-form editorial content and marketing resources for SaaS, finance, healthcare, insurance, and worktech/HRtech brands. 

I could expand on "editorial content and marketing resources" by detailing the content types I'm most interested in or have great samples of, such as blog articles, thought leadership, eBooks, and case studies. I might also trim my niches down even further if I want to address a company directly. For a recruitment software company, for example, I might just mention working with SaaS and worktech/HRtech brands instead of the whole list.


This is a great place to do some (subtle) bragging by naming a few clients and sharing samples of your work.

The clients I choose to showcase can also depend on the target client's niche. But if I'm keeping it more high-level, I'll try to pick four or five clients from different industries and include one or two big names or publications, if I have them.

For samples, I try not to overwhelm potential clients, so I tend to limit myself to just three projects that show off my marketing and editorial work.


Some of my recent clients in this space include [Publication], [Company Industry #1], [Company Industry #2], [Company Industry #3], and [Big Name]. Here are a few samples of my work: X, X, and X.

Call to action (CTA)

Finally, the real reason you're getting in touch: to generate interest and hopefully land a new client.

The CTA you use will likely differ for the type of client, how well you know them, and how you prefer to work. You could request an introductory call, see if they'll add you to their list of freelancers (in the case of many agencies), or ask them to respond with any needs they might have, so you can determine next steps.

Here are some more call-to-action ideas for your LOI from Make a Living Writing.

Letter of introduction template

With all that, let's bring it together with a sample letter of introduction (based vaguely on my experiences).


Hi [NAME],

I really enjoyed your recent piece on disability rights in the workplace [LINK] and wanted to reach out about working together.

I'm a future of work and HR content writer who specializes in remote work tools, productivity, mental health, and diversity and inclusion. I create long-form editorial content and marketing resources for SaaS, finance, healthcare, insurance, and worktech/HRtech brands. 

Some of my clients in this space include X, X, X, X, and X

Here are a few recent samples of my work:

  • Sample #1

  • Sample #2

  • Sample #3

If my work seems like a good fit, I'd love to schedule a call next week.

Letter of introduction example

Want to see an LOI that's worked for me? In March 2021, I sent an LOI to Zapier, and Deb, their managing editor, answered.

An example of a letter of introduction

After about a year of back and forth and some mental health stuff on my end, we completed our first assignment together: How to add to the mental health conversation through your content marketing

Over two years later, we're still going strong.

Tips for writing a great letter of introduction

There are a thousand ways to customize your letters of introduction and no one right way to write one. But I've picked up a few tips over the years that have worked well for me.

Keep it short and sweet

One of my favorite fellow content marketing writers, Jennifer Goforth Gregory, tries to limit her LOIs to around five sentences and offers a free template that I use all the time. 

Now, it's ok to go a little longer than that. Boiling down important information into just a few sentences is hard, but you also don't want to overwhelm your reader. Stick to the facts and keep things as concise as possible—two or three paragraphs max.

According to Jennifer, one way to get to the point quickly is to open by asking if your target company works with freelancers. This lets you know upfront if they're a good lead for your business.

Create separate letters of introduction for each industry you work in

Back in the days when I had about five different niches, I'd have separate LOI templates for each one and tweak them for each company. Now that I've got a more narrow focus, I keep a primary template with a list of relevant clients and samples for different industries in my niche.

If you're, say, a web designer for healthcare, insurance, and finance companies, consider writing similar versions of the same LOI for each industry. You can even get more specific with types of insurance companies and banks vs. investment firms.

Letters of introduction are a numbers game, but it's also important to make sure you're giving good value, not just sending out as many emails as possible. I like to keep my copy and samples fresh by updating them every few months, so potential clients always see my latest projects, best service offerings, and biggest clients.

Choose your samples carefully

When I share work with a potential client, I try to show that I have range and experience in their field. That means tailoring the samples I share to the content they're most likely looking for and their target audience—or as close as I can get.

I try to share at least one bylined project, one "standard" marketing-focused article, and something a bit extra or fun, like interactive content or a really big project I'm psyched about. Depending on your field, this could mean showcasing work from different-sized companies, a range of projects, topics, clients, or formats. Just make sure it aligns with the client's needs and audience.

Use a letter of introduction—if it works for you

Not all marketing methods work well for everyone, so it's ok if this isn't your thing. Letters of introduction can be a great way to get your name out there, practice your elevator pitch, and work on lead gen, no matter what industry you're in. And they're just one of hundreds of potential ways to find new clients.

What other marketing methods do you like to use?

Related reading:

  • The best apps for freelancers

  • How to make more money as a freelancer

  • The best self-employed accounting software

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