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Welcome to a new feature here at Dream of Travel Writing–the Monday Mailbag! We often get questions from readers, folks in our accountability group, or coaching program members that we think would apply to a lot of you.

Now, with permission, agony-aunt-style, we’ll be sharing a new one with you each Monday. If you have a question you’d like to see included, please send it to us at questions [at] and make sure to include a line saying we have permission to reprint your question.

On to the tricky travel writing questions!

The Background

We’ve been looking in depth at different travel content marketing gigs you can pursue for the past few weeks in our webinars and our in-person TravelContentCon retreat.

One of your freelance travel writer colleagues has taken this all to heart, formulated a plan, and started popping out those pitches en masse.

And she’s getting responses!

But with potential client communications come situations that you aren’t always sure how to successfully navigate, so I recently received this email:

I sent out 3 pitches yesterday and already got a response! And they’re asking the price question already.

‘Thank you for your email and your proposal sounds interesting but we are a very small kayak company. How much?’

Was thinking of something like this for a response…

‘I create custom packages for my clients based on their needs and budget. Let’s jump on a call together and discuss to see if I might be able to help you.’

Any thoughts?

This is an annoying rock-and-a-hard-place situation. If you don’t tell the potential client a number, which you don’t want to do because you don’t want to get on the line for a certain amount until you know the specifications of what they’re looking for, they might think you are being evasive or “salesy.”

But you really don’t want to give them a number.

My Advice

“Awesome! Both that you got them out and the quick response. That means you’ve got the click of the right prospects and right pitch!

To make it sound less giving-the-run-around over email, it’s great to give a little more derail so they understand. Here’s a blog example:

‘That’s a great question. (note: Validate/head nod rather than brush off) Every company has very different budgets available for their digital marketing and advertising (note: opening the door for where the money can come from).

I’m not available to give you a specific number without some more details because there are many variables we can tweak to make the pricing work for different budgets and blog needs, from the length of the posts to the amount of fresh independent research that goes into each one, and whether I’m providing photos and setting up the posts in your back end with SEO optimization information, or if there is also text for social media posts–or Facebook ads–involved to ensure eye balls quickly reach your new content.

I’m happy to walk you through (note: make it clear you’re not avoiding the question, just that it’s hard to answer on email) the options for the different levels of posts and how that and the peripheral options translate into price difference on the phone with a better understanding of your needs to limit the field options of what’s feasible for you.

Do you have fifteen or twenty minutes (note: clarify exactly what you’re asking for from them and make the phone call sound non-threatening) after the holiday we can chat?'”

It sounds long, but it’s that way for a reason. You’re using this question (i.e. implicit permission from them to email again with more information) to establish your expertise as a freelancer in terms of working with clients with different needs.

So what are you waiting for? Send out some pitches to travel content marketing clients!

Note: Through September 15, you can take 50% off of our five-webinar bundle on the step-by-step process or finding, triaging, pitching, and closing travel content marketing gigs with the code TCM50 in our webinar library.


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