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Monday, June 16, 2014

Have an LOI in your Freelance Arsenal

Blogathon, day 16. More than halfway there, and averaging 200+ hits/day!  

I've talked a little about queries during the blogathon, but let's not overlook the LOI, or letter of introduction. Here's an actual LOI that led to work, with my comments in brackets in blue, that I sent to a post on craigslist seeking a writer or ghostwriter for a proposal for a nutrition book:  

Dear Sir or Madam:       

I'm replying to your post on seeking a writer for a book proposal, and am writing to express my interest in the project. I write, ghost, and collaborate on book projects for traditional publishers, experts, and book packagers. [I start with the fact that I do the kind of work she needs a writer for.] 

A little about me: I’ve been a full-time freelancer for the last decade. I started out writing for magazines, and since then, more than 700 of my articles have appeared in 50 national magazines including Redbook, Self, Health, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Continental, Fitness, and Shape. I segued into book writing about five years ago and am the coauthor of Small Changes, Big Results: A 12-Week Action Plan to a Better Life (with Ellie Krieger, R.D./Random House, 2005), a nutrition/fitness/wellness book; I'm also the author of five other books in print including Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer's Guide to Making More Money[Short statement of my relevant background.] 

In addition to writing my own books and collaborating with several co-authors, I've also ghosted several books. One was a book-length health care guide for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Associations; another was a book on sales coaching for a nationally-known sales expert. I've worked with hundreds of health, fitness, nutrition, and business experts over the years on projects including articles, marketing pieces, book proposals, and books. While I always consider the "voice" of my expert, I aim for a conversational, easy-to-understand style, which has made me popular with editors and clients. [More about my background.]

In addition to writing, I also own BodyWise Consulting, and speak and consult about subjects ranging from staying motivated to getting fit (I'm a certified personal trainer) to freelancing. I enjoy helping people make positive changes in their lives through my work as an author, journalist, and speaker. [This may not be relevant for some projects, but fitness and nutrition are related, so I included this.]

Finally, I'm dependable, efficient, and never miss deadlines—all important attributes for successful collaborating and ghosting. I've dropped a brief resume below, and will be happy to send your writing samples if you like. [I want to give the impression that I'm easy to work with, which I am.]

I'd appreciate it if you'd keep me in mind for this project, and would love to tell you more about my credentials if you're interested. Thank you so much for your time, and have a great week! [Typical closing language for me.] 

All best,
Kelly James-Enger

Your assignment: Write a template LOI if you don't have one already, highlighting your strongest qualifications. 

**Want to see more LOIs that worked? I include real-life samples in both Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer's Guide to Making More Money, Second Editiona freelancing classic that helps both new and experienced writers boost their bottom line, and my latest book,Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: Make Money Ghostwriting Books, Articles, Blogs and More, Second Edition, which shows how to break into the ghostwriting/content marketing field. 

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