• Peter Havers reached out to the CEO of a personal-branding startup on Twitter about its open roles.
  • The company offered the 22-year-old a job despite not planning to fill the role for months.
  • Insider spoke to the CEO, Joe Binder, and Havers about what made the message so compelling.  

Joe Binder, the CEO of personal-branding startup WOAW, began advertising for an account executive role in early August 2021. He soon received a Twitter DM from Peter Havers.

The young freelance copywriter, who had applied for the open role, wanted to cover his bases, as he knew his skill set wasn’t an exact fit. He messaged Binder to introduce himself and outline his experience, and suggested a potential call. 

Impressed, Binder set up a call, and by the end of the week, he had hired Havers — not for the account executive role he had applied for but as a full-time writer.

“We weren’t looking for another writer for three months,” Binder told Insider. 

Binder had vlogged while completing his undergraduate degree at Cambridge University, from 2014 to 2017.  Havers had followed these videos on YouTube but told Insider, “I never thought at that point I would work with him one day,” adding that the CEO seemed like a “very warm, very driven” guy. 

Havers had noticed Binder posting about his startup on LinkedIn: “I really thought, ‘That’s a business I can work for. It seems like great energy.'” He reached out to Binder on August 17. 

Having freelanced his way through the pandemic, Havers said he was tired of sitting in his room “writing by myself day in, day out.” 

Havers spent around half an hour crafting a Twitter DM that led to him being offered a content writing job at WOAW within the week. Here is the full text of that cold reach out: 

Hi Joe, 

I hope you’re well. 

I saw your tweet yesterday re: roles opening up at WOAW. 

I’m a freelance copywriter, working predominantly with early-stage startups. I’m currently working on personal branding for the former CEO of a national charity. 

I’m very interested in the work you’re doing at WOAW (and was also a big fan of your Cambridge vlogs, back in the day…) 

I applied to your Account Executive position yesterday (which I believe I’d be a great fit for) but would be equally keen to learn about other upcoming roles. 

I’ve attached my CV to this message. If it’s of interest, perhaps we could arrange a quick call sometime? I’d love to talk you through my experience and see if there’s any way my skills could be of use to the business. 

Have a lovely evening! 

All the best, 

Peter

Speaking to Insider, Binder broke down the key reasons he found this Twitter DM compelling. 

  • Binder said framing the context of why he was messaging “straightaway” was key. 
  • Havers branding himself as a startup copywriter was the “number one” thing that jumped out, Binder said. This personal branding as a startup copywriter was also reflected in his Twitter bio and blog. 
  • The message was personalized and referenced a connection to Binder’s history and past work. “This was not a big outreach email blast.” 
  • There were no expectations or urgency to the message. Binder said “there was no potential guilt” if he didn’t respond to the message, and the offer was open-ended so could be picked up at any time. 
  • Binder said the actual copy of the message was “very articulate,” “well-written,” and “concise,” which boded well for a company that focuses on marketing and branding.

Havers said he tried to be thoughtful of Binder’s time, because he knew the busy CEO “would have probably a few seconds to make a judgment on this message.”

He attached his résumé so it was available and suggested organizing a call himself so all Binder had to say was “Yes.” 

Havers sent the message thinking: “If Joe doesn’t respond to this message he will still know that when he’s hiring next time around, there’ll be someone that he might want to speak to.” 

Binder said anyone considering cold reach outs should follow Havers’ model of clearly and consistently displaying a personal brand on social media – Havers’ Twitter, LinkedIn, and personal copywriting blog all branded him as a startup copywriter. 

Binder said, “If you’ve got something to show before an interview,” whether it’s a food TikTok or a book blog that displays your interests and commitment, “We would have already looked at that. We’re excited for that interview.”

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