8 Mistakes I’ve Made Pitching Brands as a Blogger

Wowee, time flies. I mean, I think we all know that fun fact right about now, seeing as somehow Thanksgiving is next week, Christmas is a month away, and 2018 is SO SOON. Oy vey. Not ready. I’m sitting here as I’ve done for well over 4 years now, blogging up a storm, but I feel old and I have three cats. So cool, E, so cool.

We’ve talked a bit before about how + when I took CUR full time; a lot of that had to do with the fact that for the most part, I cut out blog networks (folks that organize campaigns with brands, accept applications, + orchestrate collaborations). Once I started pitching brands myself…the game changed. Most significantly, my income skyrocketed, simply because I was able to figure out + charge a fair rate that didn’t include the cut that goes out anytime a middleman (like a blog network) is involved. But that’s a story for another day. Or for BossPitch. 😉

Speaking of BossPitch…BossPitch is BACK. It’s currently in it’s *last* live launch ~evahhh~. With this launch comes a bunch of #boss updates that I’m SO stoked about; I believed it before, but I believe even more now that BossPitch is the #1 tool out there to kick your game up 10000%. If you want to know your worth, build relationships with your favorite brands, + get paid (your fair rate) to do what you lovelovelove every single day with your blog, BossPitch is for you. I’ve seen it literally change students’ lives, so I can’t wait to see how it’ll change yours, too.

BUT.

Today, I wanted to share a few mistakes (8, to be exact) I’ve made pitching brands in the past. (Before I was implementing what I do + teach in BossPitch).

8 Mistakes I've Made Pitching Brands as a Blogger by popular Philadelphia style blogger Coming Up Roses

PITCHING BRANDS: 8 MISTAKES TO AVOID

  • Pitching the wrong person – A big mistake that soooo many peeps make (and understandably so, if you’ve never been taught who to actually pitch!). Pitching “pr@companyname.com” can sometimes work. Sometimes. Most often, tho, that email is going into a black hole of an inbox, never to see the light of day. One of the biggest/best/most helpful things to be able to do is find a singular point of contact to send an email. Not only does it make your outreach more personal (+ automatically more professional), but it significantly ups your chance of receiving a response, too.

  • Lacking structure – A pitch email is pretty formulaic. It’s like when you were in grade school (1st grade? 3rd grade? When do the kids learn this nowadays? #grandmastatus) learning about how to tell a story. You needed a beginning, a middle, + an end to start. And when you advanced in storytelling prowess, you went on to have character development and a climax. Similarly, pitches to brands need structure! An elementary pitch might start with a quick intro, have a quick pitch for something…and that’s it. But once that “story” develops and you add in a few key elements to your structure, it really improves your chances of hearing back – and hearing back with a yes (cos that’s important).
  • Not telling enough of a story – Let your creativity peep through! Pitching brands is an art AND science. A good pitch is just creative enough to really push the fact that this is a good, smart, relevant, strategic partnership with mutual benefits. The best partnerships are usually ones that have a really compelling background. Meaning, the blogger has an authentic, extensive past with the company, product, and/or with the problem that that company/product solves. If your pitch sounds the same as your pitch to the company’s competitor, it’s not specific enough, and risks sounding like you’re just fishing for cash (no bueno).

  • Assuming knowledge and/or understanding – I was so guilty of this for too long. Sometimes, I’d forget that a brand didn’t actually know me and likely had NO idea who the heck I was, or what the heck my blog was before reaching out. Don’t assume that the other person has any idea at all why you’re reaching out. Maybe this sounds like a silly mistake, but you’d be surprised how simple shifts in language make all the difference!
  • Too many details – An initial outreach to a brand isn’t the time or place for your life story. They probably don’t care about where you went to college and what you majored in, unless you’ve done your research and know they went to the same school, etc cos #relatability. Think of it like a first date; if you showed up to a first date and the guy took you back to his kindergarten days, through grade school soccer, middle school braces, all the way through high school soccer stories…fours hours lately (if you even make it that long), you’d likely be 100% certain there’d be no second date. It’s just too much sometimes! While you want to be detailed enough, there is such a thing as TMI – especially in business.
  • Being too vague – That balance is #clutch. Just like you don’t want to overwhelm someone with a million and one unnecessary pieces of information, you also need to give them something to sink their teeth into. Simply saying “I’d love to collaborate!” isn’t going to illicit a big fat yes (or a big fat paycheck), because it makes the other person do way too much work. Our job is to make their job easier! If someone is left with more Q’s than A’s from your email…it wasn’t a good email. Unfortunately, you probably just won’t hear back from them at all to KNOW that, but take it from my past mistakes – that’s what it is. Oops! 😉

  • Being too specific – Too specific in your pitch! If you approach a brand saying “I’d like to do XYZ with X product at Y time to achieve Z, it might actually be too pinpointed; if it doesn’t perfectly align with the brand’s current or upcoming marketing initiatives, it might write you off simply because it was TOO specific and isn’t a current fit. You probably think you’re being thorough + on top of it (at least, I did!), but it can actually come across as being not research enough if it’s a clear non-fit for what’s currently happening. OR, it can seem like you were only interested in that one idea, and there’s no real incentive for the brand to try and bring you into something different if they are completely unfamiliar with you + your blog, anyways.
  • Not necessitating action – I made this mistake all. the time. Especially when I was just beginning to pitch brands. Because I was scared! Oftentimes, we don’t have a REAL call to action. Or, we don’t have a strong one! Even something as simple as “Let me know your thoughts either way” versus “Hope to hear from you soon” can make a big difference in eliciting a response. PR folks are SO BUSY. If your email doesn’t seem like it really necessitates action of any sort…you might just not get a response, ever. So keep your call to action really clear + compelling!

[Tweet “If your email doesn’t seem like it necessitates action of any sort…you might just not get a response, ever.” #BossPitchIsBack]

  • Not following up correctly – This one’s THE TEA, YO. In talking to BossPitch students before they took the course, many said they maybe followed up once or twice tops with a brand…some didn’t follow up at all. It’s one of the things I stress the hardest in the course, because it can really be *the* gamechanger in whether or not you land collaborations once you start really pitching for your own success. Just like having a stronger call to action…I was scared to follow up. Rather, I was scared to follow up as many times as I truly needed to, afraid of being annoying or spammy. BUT. There’s a legit *formula* to the follow-up.  And it doesn’t actually have to be hard or time-intensive at ALL – you just need the right tools + system in place from the get go to make life oh so much easier. You want to be tracking emails correctly (makes life SO SIMPLE OMG), + also following up formulaically to really increase your chances of having that conversation.

SO. 7 mistakes. I made ’em – I learned from ’em so you hopefully don’t have to make ’em yo’self. 🙂

ALSO…BossPitch is back, and it’s open for enrollment for this week only! #WOO

To brag on some BossPitches real quick…

  • Cara saw results as soon as she started pitching using the BossPitch system.
  • Nicole started earning $900 more PER sponsored post, and tripled her rates.
  • Kirsten saw results immediately and went on to makeover $8,000 (!!!), doubling her rates AND making more from using the BossPitch system than she made in her grad school internship.
  • Taylor 4x’ed her sponsored rate and made more via blogging than in her dayjob, tripling her monthly income…and then quitting her job to blog full time.

 

If you’re at all wanting to work with brands more, get paid more, and/or just do MORE with your blog as a biz to end 2017 + kickoff 2018 *right*…highly highly highly recommend checking out BP before doors shut at the end of this week. This is the last live launch of BossPitch, so if you’re on the fence – time to get over to the other side.

And pleasepleaseplease don’t take it from me – take it from the 65+ students who have taken BossPitch already. You can learn more about their successes right here, with both written stories + videos from them; get to know ’em + see how BossPitch changed their game, and see if it might be the gamechanger for you, too.

OK ENOUGH O’ THAT.

It’s Monday. It’s cold. It’s raining. But it’s FULL OF POTENTIAL. Hope y’all have a totally boss week!

 

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