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The Freelance Manifesto Email Templates

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Example email drafts for freelancers.

The Freelance Manifesto contained many example e-mails to help you learn how to craft the perfect opener to engage a new client. We've collected them here to make it easy to reference these e-mails and to copy, paste, and modify them for your own use.


Subject Lines Tips & Examples for Freelancers

Always remember that the subject line of your email has a totally separate job from the body of the e-mail. Your subject line is designed to get your e-mail opened and read, so craft it to be an eye-catching line that will stand out in a crowded inbox.


  • Keep them short. You should be able to read the entire subject line quickly.
  • Get to the point. Subject lines to clients don't need anything fancy like, "Hey there! Nice to meet you!"
  • Use trigger words. Common locations, interests, or contacts will jump out at your client if you include them in the subject.

SUBJECT LINE EXAMPLES (Tweak wording to fit your profile):

  • Freelance Animator Available: Joe Motion   (Simple, hits one trigger)
  • Cleveland-based Freelance Animator: Joe Motion   (Better, hits two triggers)
  • Howdy, Cleveland-based Freelance Animator Here...    (Best, hits 3 triggers)
  • Pig squeals and gutturals...  (Used for effect to get to a VIP)
  • Blame Ed Cheetham... Sarasota-based Designer / Animator here... (A sure thing... referrals work!)
  • Sarasota Motion Designer: Fall 2018 Reel    (Follow up e-mail to show off new work)

You can mix and match tactics to create custom subject lines for your situation. Just keep in mind that the subject line is the missile... the actual body copy is the payload.

E-mail Body Copy Examples for Freelancers

Use these templates as a starting point for your own e-mails. It's not a great idea to just copy and paste these e-mails because a client who gets the exact same e-mail from you and from another freelancer will never hire either one of you. Follow the principles laid out in the book, and these templates should be a great start.

Cold e-mail, local company.

Hey Dan,

While looking at references for a project I’m working on, I came across your awesome studio on Vimeo. Your work is fantastic.

I’m a freelance Motion Designer / Dad living in Sarasota and I want to introduce myself. Animation is my specialty (After Effects and Cinema 4D), and if you’re so inclined, you can see my most recent reel and portfolio here.

Joe Motion Summer 2018 Reel

I love meeting and collaborating with talented folks. I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know I’m out here. Please don’t hesitate to ask me anything about my work or my experience.

Thanks so much. I can’t wait to see what you and the team come up with next,


Common Acquaintance E-mail

Subject: Blame Ed Cheetmam... Sarasota-based Designer / Animator here

Hey Dan,

Ed is a good friend of mine. He knows everyone, doesn’t he? We were chatting about the great work that’s been coming out of this area. He mentioned you guys turning me into a big fan in the process.

I’m a freelance Motion Designer living in Sarasota. Animation is my specialty, After Effects and Cinema 4D and if you’re so inclined, you can see my most recent reel and portfolio here.

Joe Motion – Summer 2018 Reel

I love meeting and collaborating with talented folks. I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know I’m out here. Please don’t hesitate to ask me anything about my work or my experience.

Thanks. I hope we can connect in the near future. If so I’ll owe Ed a beer.

-Joe Motion

Direct-to-client e-mail

Subject: Boston-based Motion Designer here…


First of all, as a father three, my Bose noise canceling headphones may be one thing that keeps me alive on plane flights. How do they work so well?

My name is Joe Motion. I’m a freelance Motion Designer living in Boston. I’ve been animating (2-D and 3-D) professionally for five years. You can see my most recent show reel and portfolio here.

Joe Motion – Summer 2017 Reel

I love meeting and collaborating with talented folks at awesome companies and I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know I’m out here if you ever find yourself in need of a freelance Motion Designer. Please don’t hesitate to ask me anything about my work or my experience.

Thanks for your time, a grateful Bose customer,


Follow up to cold response.

Hey Dan,

Thanks so much. I hope I have a chance to meet you soon. Just FYI, my availability opens up a week from tomorrow.

-Joe Motion

Follow up to warm response.

Hey Dan,

Thanks for the kind words. I actually prefer to work with designers. My favorite projects (the HBO spot on my reel for example) have all been done as part of an animation/design double team. I also like that the process is much quicker and more efficient this way.

My rate is $500 per day for an eight hour day and I’m available starting Monday.

Thanks again, and have a great weekend…

We’re bringing the kids to Disney World, wish me luck.

-Joe Motion

In-person meeting attempt.


I’m going to be in downtown Sarasota today dropping off some drives for a client.

Are you guys slammed? I’d love to stop by to say hello and meet you in person.

No biggie if it’s not a good day.

Hope you’re well.

-Joe Motion

Follow up with new work.


I hope you and the team are having a great summer. Just reaching out to let you know I’ve got a new reel and a bunch of new work on my portfolio. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to work on some tough projects with some talented people. I think it shows in this new reel.

Joe Motion Fall 2018 Reel

Thanks again for your time and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions about the work.


Joe Motion

Requesting a referral from a friend.

Subject line: Hey, Ed. I’m about to owe you a beer.


I just updated my reel. I want to shoot it over to the fine folks at Newfangled. I know you’ve worked with them before. Macaela’s the EP, right? Would you mind doing a quick email intro?

Thank you so much. All the beers will be yours.

Joe Motion

Example referral to include in above e-mail.

Subject line: Macaela, meet Joe (Freelancer / Animator / Bud)


I'd like to introduce Joe Motion, a local freelancer who’s worked with me in the trenches many times. His Animation skills are top notch and with all the growth Newfangled has seen lately, I thought it might be a great time to put you two in touch.


Macaela runs Newfangled, one of the best studios in town and I’m not just saying that because they book me and let me use their coffee machine. Ha, ha, ha. Great people, great work. I hope you two hit it off.


Follow-up to referral.

Hi Macaela,

Great to meet you and for the record, I agree with Ed. Newfangled’s work is fantastic. Ed put it very eloquently so I’ll just leave this link to my reel and portfolio here:

JoeM Reel

I hope we can connect soon, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have about my work or experience.

Thanks for your time.

- Joe Motion

[email protected]

"Praise Remind" e-mail

Subject line: High Five - Love it!


Woke up this morning, checked my Vimeo feed and saw that amazing spot you guys just dropped. Bravo! Bravo!

Hope you and the team are having a great summer.

Joe Motion

"Availability Check-in" e-mail

Subject line: Freelance availability - Open 11/12 through 11/26


Wow! Tom Brady (or insert the name of any local sports legend) is completely unstoppable!

Also, I wanted to let you know that, just in case, I’m wrapping up a huge project next week and after that I’m available through December.

Hope you guys are busy. No reply necessary.


Joe Motion


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The freelancer’s guide to finding, booking, and keeping clients.

Drive your freelance motion design career to the next level with a repeatable method of finding, contacting, and landing clients. You’ll learn new ways of identifying prospects and nurturing leads, plus how to develop a freelance philosophy that keeps you thriving through chaos. See this system in action so you can implement it yourself!

Not sure where to start?

If you’re a beginner, here are some great courses to help you get started:

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Master the basics of Photoshop and Illustrator and gain invaluable insights in this introductory level course.


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An introduction to the design principles behind all great work.


More Advanced?

If you’re a more advanced student looking to up your game, here are some great options:

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