Whether you’re an affiliate applying to join a network, a product owner hoping to get some publicity on a blog or website, or a consultant planning to solicit business from a new or existing client, a large proportion of your success depends on your ability to pitch your application/product/services effectively.
Hence “pitching” and the launch of the recent TV reality program, Pitchmen, featuring pitchman Billy Mays, will provide some inspiration for getting your application accepted, your product featured or a consulting contract inked.
First the bad (or possibly good news), most will do pretty terribly at promoting themselves.
The #1 rule is pitch club (besides not talking about pitch club) is to see how your product or service benefits the person you’re pitching to.
Here’s a typical pitch I might receive:
Our company, XYZ, has launched a new service ABC, which your readers will find interesting. Can you do a write up about it? Let me know if you have any questions.
Clueless in marketing
Here are a couple of tips:
- If you’re using a generic email and mass mailing it to 100 or more bloggers or webmasters via a social network or forum – make sure your history doesn’t show. Especially if you’re merely cutting and pasting the same message and sending it to a different recipient.
- Making the assumption that your product or service is the greatest thing since sliced bread is a fatal assumption (unless, of course, it IS the best thing since sliced bread). Evaluate the market place, conduct competitive analysis and see how you stack up. If it doesn’t, go back to the drawing board or hire a consultant to help you out.
- Kissing a blogger or marketer’s butt has been suggested as a strategy on some of the panels I’ve sat on. Unless you’re a n00b blogger, I don’t think this will work. Instead, if you go beyond just the superficial and instead look at creating a real connection (which takes time and effort) and show the person you’re talking to that you’ve invested in finding out about them and their background, they’re more likely to be positive and open about helping you out. If you can’t be bothered about this process, then don’t bother about contacting me.
- Do what you say: I’ve been approached by a PR consultant about talking to reps from the eBay Partner Network at Ad:Tech San Francisco. I mentioned that I wouldn’t be able to attend, but I would like to talk to their representatives. The consultant said sure, let me work on that. No answer. I sent them an email, still no answer. So if you can’t invest the 5-10 minutes it takes to drop EPN an email, then should I be interested if you’re going to pitch some other client to me in the future? It’s a major fail in my books.
Cardinal rule: Do unto others as you’re like them to treat you. If you pitch, promote and brand yourself with a genuine interest to forge a connection and establish a win-win relationship, you’re much more likely to succeed in the long haul.