Pitching can seem like a really scary thing to start doing. But I fully believe that anyone can pitch effectively, they just need to know how to! So today, I’m going to break down how to get started.
1. Get to Know Your Ideal Client
Before you do anything at all, you need to know how who you want to pitch to. In marketing, this is known as understanding your ideal client. I sometimes refer to an ideal client as a dream client, because it seems to make more sense to me. Simply put, who do you dream of working for? Who did you dream of shooting for when you first got started in photography?
Make a list of who you want to shoot for, and dream big! Write down anyone and everyone, no matter how far fetched they might seem. After all, if you don’t dream big, how will you ever be able to work towards your goals? Don’t worry, if you’ve written "Chanel" down, that doesn’t mean that you need to start pitching to Chanel tomorrow (but if you want to — go for it). All it means, is that it shows you what direction you want to go in.
Once you know who your dream client list is, begin to research them. Look them up, learn as much as you can about them. You’ll need to know them well further down the line.
2. Find Contact Details
The next step is simple, but often stops a lot of people in their tracks; you need to begin looking for the contact details of the people you want to work with! This can take some time, but there are loads of ways to find email addresses. LinkedIn is my personal favorite, because people list down what their positions are. You most likely want to look for anyone in a marketing team, or photography team. Spend some time doing some digging.
When it comes to working out what an email address is for a particular person, its quite easy. There’s a plug-in I discovered recently called “LeadLeaper” which works with Chrome. When you’re on someone’s LinkedIn profile, click the plug in and it will search for that person’s official email address! It doesn’t always work, but it does do a decent job most of the time.
If that hasn’t worked, head to the company’s website, and work out what the end of their “contact us” email address is (ie. firstname.lastname@example.org). The @thecompany.com bit is the part of the email address you want to make a note of, because that will be the ending of everyone’s email who works there. From there, its simply about trial and error using the person’s name! For example, it could be:
3. Write a Brilliant Email
Of course, this is probably the most important part of the whole process. It took me a while to get good at writing a good email, but here are a few quick tips:
- Keep it short. People are busy, and they really don’t have time to read long emails. Try to keep it to 3 short paragraphs.
- Hyperlink your website and social channels. This is so important, because you want to make it as easy as possible for them to see your work. People will not copy and paste into their browser, so don’t expect them to.
- Make them an offer. All too often people pitch to people, and lead with an “ask.” What I mean by that is that they go in with something like: “Would you be interesting in hiring me to shoot your next campaign?” The natural response that most people will have will be: “What’s in it for me?” Offer to give them something of value.
4. Follow Up Effectively
Did you know that every successful pitch I’ve ever done has ended up coming to fruition because I followed up? The reality is that the people you’re pitching too most likely receive hundreds of emails a week. If they see your email, and don’t reply the first time, it doesn’t mean anything. They might have been distracted, pulled into a meeting… you just don’t know.
So make sure that you follow up. Jog their memory, but more importantly, it shows them how much you really want it. It shows them how serious you are! Don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back after your first email — it’s normal.
If you'd like to learn more about pitching, then head www.oliviabossert.com/free-pitching-course where you can sign up to my free 5 part email course where I go into much more depth and detail.