You already know that pitching clients is the #1 way to affect and control your workload and your income.
But I know…the idea of reaching out to people seems scary. It seems soooo much easier to just watch those job-bidding sites and respond when you see something posted. (Which is a great strategy for frustration and poverty.)
What you’re not aware of is how very, very easy it is for your pitch to be a bright spot in someone’s inbox. It really doesn’t take much. (But more on that in a second.)
Let’s take a look at the kind of pitches that are flooding business’ email inboxes everyday. Prepare for a strong lesson in exactly how not to pitch.
Now, I’m going to completely take this apart. Please understand, I’m not doing this to be petty or to shame her—I’m sure she’d do better if she were taught how. But I want to make it really clear to you what constitutes a terrible pitch…and then how easy it is to be better.
Here’s what’s wrong with this:
- Mass email. If you can’t take the time to write an email to me, why should I take the time to read it? Especially when you want me to do you a favor?
- Gimmicky, annoying subject line. My assistant forwarded this to me from our general company inbox. If I’d gotten it in my own inbox, I would have immediately deleted it. Also, the “opportunity” that the subject line references is an opportunity for HER, not for me. So not only does the subject line not have a benefit to consumer, it actually focuses on the benefit to SENDER.
- Clearly did not research our business. This goes along with it being a mass email, but I’ve seen mass emails that have at least (badly) copied and pasted details about my company. Or at least my name. It’s obvious that the only “research” she managed to do was to find our email address.
- Doesn’t tell me anything about herself. Even if we did accept guest posts (we don’t anymore), she doesn’t give me any information about herself or what makes her especially able to write a great post for her audience.
- Doesn’t offer me any benefit for letting her post. This whole email is asking for a favor from me—allowing her to publicize herself by putting a guest post on our blog—but she doesn’t give me any reasons why that would benefit me, our company, or our readers. The whole email is basically an “offer” for me to do her a favor.
- Asks ME to do the work of offering topic suggestions! All of these elements are pretty egregious, but this might be the worst. (It’s arguable, though.) She wants me to let her guest post on our blog, but she also expects me to do the work of providing her with topics she could write about.
All in all, this is a pretty textbook example of what not to do. But, again, this is what most pitches in people’s inboxes look like! All of which means that when you send your well-crafted, well-researched pitch, you are a breath of fresh air.
We have a whole, in-depth training on it in the Comprehensive Copywriting Academy, so I can’t possibly give you all of the details you need to know to craft an effective pitch. But, for our purposes, on a high level, your pitch needs to contain:
- Enthusiasm. The best way to warm up a cold prospect is to convey your genuine enthusiasm for the company, what they do, what they sell, and/or what they stand for.
- Your personality. Your pitch is a way to give people a feel for who you are as a person, for your unique insights, and for your expertise as a copywriter.
- Value. Never, never send out an email to a prospect that isn’t chock full of value—that doesn’t give them a very compelling reason to be glad your email came along. The ideas you share and the resources you send along in follow-ups demonstrate your expertise, give them a reason to get in touch with you, and are beneficial, useful concepts that your prospect could use to improve their business.
Remember, too, when you’re sending good pitches, prospects WANT you to pitch them. They want to find a great solution to their problem with the least effort possible and you could be that great solution just by showing up in their inbox as friendly, enthusiastic, and full of value. That’s how you build relationships and land clients.
The email I received? That’s how you end up getting deleted.
Your turn! Have you been on the receiving end of one of these bad pitches? Or are you still feeling nervous about crafting your own pitches? Let me know in the comments below!