What is a Pitch?
Think of your pitch as an introduction. As with any introduction, there’s no need for your pitch to be lengthy, or go into great depth. Get the basics out there. And do it succinctly.
Don’t confuse the pitch with the close. When you are pitching a brand or business, you are generating interest in working together. The close comes later. Save details and salesmanship for your follow-on conversations.
No matter how succinct you are, however, remember to also be personal (and personable). You don’t need to reinvent the pitch every time, but you do need to make it clear that you have deliberately chosen to approach a specific brand or company.
If your pitch looks like a form letter that went out in a shotgun blast to the Internet, it will be ignored. Add some custom touches to each pitch; it is worth any extra time you spend.
Below, you’ll find some generalized tips for writing pitch letters.
1. Keep it short.
- You’re establishing contact & (hopefully) generating interest.
- The follow-up is when you pull out all the stops: media kits, work samples, your first born.
- Keep it around 5-6 paragraphs. The shorter the better.
2. So what’s in those paragraphs?
- Introduce yourself and your blog
- Remind the company how you know them or let them know why you’re seeking them out (see below for:Â Personalize, personalize, personalize.)
- Explain yourself: tell them what you’re offering.
- Giveaway, review?
- Give a little background on your blog (what is it about?) and your reach (Twitter, FB, Klout, etc.).
- You don’t have to be clinical here. Just give an overview. Save the nitty-gritty for after they’ve expressed interest in talking to you.
- Provide a quote from a past partnership, if applicable.
- Next steps:
- Tell them what the next action step is if they’re interested.
- Your contact information – tell them how/when to reach you.
- Offer to provide more information or tell them where to find it (your media kit or work samples).
- SayÂ Thank you for reading.
3. Personalize, personalize, personalize.
- Make sure thatÂ theyÂ know thatÂ youÂ know who you’re pitching. If you’ve met or talked before, be sure to reference it. If you know you share a common interest, work it in. Live in the same town? Mention it. Go to the same college? Mention it.
- Take the time to do some research and figure out how to connect.
- Make that connection in the first paragraph. Examples:
- I enjoyed talking with you at X Conference and it was especially nice to meet a fellow University of Awesome graduate.
- Your product caught my eye because it is manufactured in my hometown of Anytown. I have not been back for a visit in a while, but I used to love (eating, visiting, getting coffee…) at The Diner on State Street.
4. Selling it.
- Don’t belabor the point, but definitely be specific when you tell a company what you’re going to do for them.
- If they offer you a product for review and/or give away, will they actually make any sales from it? Why?
- How are you going to promote this? (This is also where you launch into your readership numbers, etc.)
- And then do it again. Typos and bad grammar are unacceptable.
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Eli | Rose Social Media offers pitch letter templates and letter review as one of our many services. Pitch letter review – along with the content of this post – is completed by our partner, Missy Stevens, a woman well-versed in all things marketing communications. For more information on Missy and her other professional writing and editing services, please continue reading (her bio is below).
To receive your free pitch letter templates, which were crafted by Missy, please send us an email at [email protected]
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Missy Stevens is a writing, communications and social media professional. She has worked in corporate community relations for a Fortune 500 company, and public relations/communications for small businesses and non-profit organizations. Nearly a decade ago, Missy hung up her briefcase, leaving the corporate world behind to work as a freelance writer-for-hire. She has since helped organizations of all sizes craft messages as unique and varied as her clients themselves. Missy’s background in project management and corporate advocacy, coupled with her experience as a freelance writer and blogger, lends itself to understanding social media promotion, guest blogging, networking and marketing strategies.