Podcast #15: How to Craft a Pitch

This week’s podcast is about how to craft a pitch! No, not for sports or for singing – for LIFE. When you think about it, anytime you are asking for something, you are essentially “pitching” an idea. I feel like I’ve spent my whole life offering pitches.

Like when I had to:

Convince my mom to let me wear makeup in seventh grade. After much back and forth, I walked away with a Bonne Bell tinted lip gloss!

Coordinate a chore schedule for the kids (grade school) without any name calling or crying.

Prove to a features editor I had the skills for a job in the newsroom even though I didn’t have a college degree.

Sell my product line as an end cap to a national retail chain, multiple times!

There’s more, but you get the idea. Big and small, it’s all the same energy involved.

My husband calls it “The Crafty Chica Hard Sell.”

It’s when I am mega passionate with all my heart and soul for an idea to come to fruition. I break it down piece by piece so the other party can visualize it as well.

Putting myself out there sets me up for rejection, it can be really frightening. I’ve had people literally shake their head and flatly reply, “NO.” BUT – there are the times when people love my ideas and give me two big thumbs up. And those times make up for the rest.

Sometimes I’m asked to rework my pitch and come back. Sometimes the “no” person changes their mind.

Bottom line? I never stop coming up with ideas. My dad taught me at an early age complaining is useless. If I really wanted a different situation, I’d have to come up with ideas to make the changes. Whenever I had problems during my high school years, he’d sit me down at the kitchen table and summarize it in a sentence, make me explain why it was important to me, and then have me come up with at least three ways I could make the situation better.

Who knew I’d carry that mindset with me all through my adult life?

Here is the podcast where I cover the basics of pitching ideas (link). I’m going to do a Part Two, because there is just too much information to cover, and I left a lot out!

Here are some basics of how to craft a pitch:

There are various categories when it comes to pitching. Here are a few of mine:

  • Press
  • Brands
  • Buyers of merchandise
  • Speaking engagements
  • Workshop and conference coordinators

Craft a pitch that sells your results, not just your service. Rather than say, “I’m a finance expert.” You can say, “I show people how to save $20-50 a week by changing their habits.” Of course, you would tailor the results you mention to the client you are pitching.

Drill down your research to find a point person, if possible. If you can’t find the point person, get as close as you can. For example, a DM on Instagram or FB. Or a tweet, etc.

Know what you want to get out of your pitch. If it is to a magazine, do you want an article about your business, do you want to write for them, do you want them to feature your latest product? Have laser beam focus on what you are asking for!

Be specific. Rather than say, “You guys should work with me because I’m awesome!” Offer a one-sentence summary of what you do, who you are and how it relates to them.

Create a win-win end goal for your pitch. The BEST ideas are ones where everyone benefits.

Make sure all your online branding efforts are on point!

Do your research on their brand and come up with a couple of examples of what you can do. Please don’t paste in a general list of your services, especially if you want to receive decent pay! Put some time into it to make the person on the other end say, “Wow! I love this! I really want to work with her!” You want to show you understand their brand, what they do and prove you can create ideas to enhance their work.

A great example of this is a recent business transaction. I reached out to an artist I saw on Instagram and let him know I was interested in his work. He wrote me back. He had checked out my site, sent me his rate sheet, and we went back and forth on a list of logo concepts. I hadn’t even hired him yet! He invested his time in learning about what I do and convinced me he was the guy to hire.

And now I have a new fabulous logo! He even made it in two different colors with a variety of background colors. By the way, here is his web site: www.thedanram.com 

How about an example of a BAD pitch? I receive these all the time. People who want to write a guest post for my site and send me a list of article ideas that have nothing to do with my content. I can tell they didn’t even really look at the type of posts I share.

If you are pitching to a brand (or a pr firm that represents them) and have a point person, put together a customized one-sheet that covers what you want from them, what’s in it for them, a statement of work you can do, and a timeline. Again customized! Do your research, show them you are in it to win it!

LASTLY! Follow up with a thank you! Nothing turns me off more than when I decline someone’s pitch and I never hear from them again. It makes me feel like I was just a number to them, and I likely won’t consider working with them in the future. I always, always, always follow up when I pitch to someone to tell them to thank them for their time. I want them to say, “It didn’t work this time, but let’s see what we can do in the future!” And many times, they really do come around. Once I pitched a book idea and it was declined. But I showed my gratitude, offered myself for anything they might need. They called back with an offer with another book idea they thought I’d be perfect for. So you just never know!

Alrighty, the rest you can hear on the podcast. And stay tuned for Part Two where I’ll go into how to approach someone, what to prepare, etc.

Speaking on my podcast – what topics would you like me to cover? AND if you like it, please give it a rating and review on iTunes! I will be forever grateful! 🙂

RELATED: Crafty Chica Podcast!

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