Question - What's the Perfect Pitch?
Answer - The one that gets accepted.
Isn't it crazy to think that we can be pitching the same concept, but depending on how we deliver it we can get two completely different answers?
So let's focus on how to get the answer we want "yes".
It starts a month in the past.
That's right, the pitch today started a month ago, at least. It started when you began building a relationship with the person; warming them up, so to speak.
You can start by doing the following:
- Follow them on social media
- Share their stuff
- Comment on their posts
Whatever you do, make sure to let them know about it (in a not so obnoxious way)
For example, if you follow them on Facebook, comment on some off their posts on Facebook (where you will likely stand out).
Or send them a message.
Hit them a few times a week in different platforms and you WILL get on their radar.
Eventually, you transition to the email. This is your one shot. Maybe you're asking to be featured or for them to share something you wrote.
Either way, I like to break it down into a simple 5-step formula.
- Introduce yourself
- Define the relationship
- State your intent
- Explain your idea
- Convey the value
Let's look at each part individually and then we will show it executed in one pitch.
It's time to milk the fact that you've been building a relationship with this person for at least the last month.
You have to present the case as to why you are worth the person's time, that you are a credible resource.
A lot of people go overboard here.
You don't need to pull out your entire resume for this one, just explain that you are not a stalker.
Define The Relationship
When you introduce yourself you don't want to just talk about who you are, but who you are in relation to the person.
For example, from weakest to strongest:
You read their blog regularly, but never interact with them.
You follow them on social media.
You comment on their posts.
You subscribe to their newsletter.
You talk with them regularly via email or Skype.
You have weekly luncheons with their mother and discuss when they're going to finally settle down and marry a nice boy or girl.
The higher you are on the list, the more likely the person is to consider you request. It's quite easy to move up the ladder, actually, it just requires you to take some action.
State Your Intent
Alright, you're here for a reason.
What is it?
Again, you don't want to beat around the bush here. The person knows that you are emailing for a reason and the longer you delay the more time you are just wasting.
This is why people advise you to keep your emails short and to the point (but of course remember to hit all the spots in this 5 step formula).
One single sentence is enough here.
Explain Your Idea
I like to keep these separate. There is the intent, and then there is the idea.
For example, my intent might be to guest post. My idea is what I want to guest post about.
Separate these two steps and don't let them get bunched together, otherwise your message might get muddled.
Convey The Value
This is the final step and it's the one that 90% of people forget.
Why should this person care?
Introducing yourself and defining your relationship is not enough to catch a big fish unless you are an even bigger fish.
But that's rarely the case.
You have to explain to the person what is in it for them, because, without that, they have no reason to follow through.
Don't make the assumption that the value is clear. State it.
What's clear to you may be completely confusing to someone else - we know what kind of attention (or lack there of) people give to emails.
Putting It Together - Perfect Pitch (A Case Study)
So here's what it looks like when you put it altogether - this was a recent pitch I sent to Sean Ogle.
- First introduce myself and go right into defining the relationship by letting him know I'm a long time subscriber (6 months). Additionally I made it clear that we had been in contact before and I comment on his blog frequently.
- Next I let him know I would like to guest post on his site. I call this out clearly in a separate line so he will catch it right away.
- Then I lead with my research, stating the exact articles I know his audience likes and the respective social shares. I'm building my case for my idea, which is an article relating to entrepreneurship - perfect for his audience
- Lastly, I explain the value to his audience. In fact, I segmented his audience into different groups and explained the value to each of them, individually, showing that I REALLY did my research.
You might also have noticed that I added in a bit of a bold subject title "The Best Guest Post You'll Get All Week".
I did this to get noticed, but I was also confident that I could deliver on that claim.
The end result of my Perfect Pitch?