The Job Hunt

Two Punches Make a Knockout

Diego Segura
September 2020

I’ve been searching for freelance work for the past few months by reaching out to companies I admire. Cold email.

It’s relatively easy to make a splash in the first email:

  • Have a solid reason for reaching out.
  • Show how you can provide them value.
  • Do your research and make it clear that you care.

But there’s a second part nobody tells you:

Make a second splash. Two punches make a knockout.

Recently, I reached out to a founder I’ve been keeping up with for over a year now. The first email was good cold outreach, but equally important was the follow-up.

Once they expressed interest in me, I reassured them of my interest in their operation. I went and read two books about their business in a weekend, and sent them a follow-up about what I learned.

After the follow-up, they reconvened with me and went through a more formal process to get me hired. When you’re crashing into a company, remember that often they have never hired someone this way before—make it easy for them to hire, ask questions, and be clear about how you want to make an impact.

In this case, I work a full-time job already, so I outlined how many hours and what sort of work I could commit, and went back and forth with the person who was hiring me to write a concrete plan for her to sell into the company and help all parties succeed.

(Also remember: The person you pitch wants you to succeed. If you turn out to be a terrible employee, it’s on them. Help them look good.)

Everyone sends a resume.

Few reach out with a well-crafted, personalized message.

Even fewer spend twelve hours straight reading about their business to prove interest.

Pitching your way into a company is a process for you, and a decision for them. The one thing I’ve learned this time around: don’t just slide in their inbox. Make it an obvious decision.

This post is adapted from its original form on DiegoSegura.me.