Whether you joined the All Eyes On You Challenge last week or not, I've heard from enough of you to know that getting featured is something you very much want to make happen this year. I also know that you realize you need to learn how to pitch if you're going to make that goal a reality.
I'd like to help you with that. So let's start by talking about the most common mistakes people make with pitching - and what you should do instead.
Mistake #1: They don’t do their research.
It’s a huge mistake to write and send a pitch without ever researching the place or publication you want to get featured in because it decreases your likelihood of getting a yes. Skipping the research step might save you time up front but this approach won’t give you great results – if it gets you anywhere at all.
What to do instead: After you decide who you’re pitching, take the time to research the platform. You don’t need to go overboard though; if you’re pitching a podcast, listen to a few episodes to make sure it’s a good fit and get a sense for the host’s style. If you’re pitching a magazine, read a few issues and learn what kind of content they publish, and don’t. Knowing these kinds of details ahead of time will help you send better pitches and make a great first impression with the people on the receiving end of your pitch.
Mistake #2: They don’t sing their own praises.
Look, I get it. It’s uncomfortable to talk about yourself – especially when it feels like you’re bragging about your accomplishments. But if you want the people you’re pitching to understand why you or your products or services are worth featuring, you have to highlight what sets you apart. If you leave that piece out of your pitch, you’ll just blend in with everyone else.
What to do instead: Before you hit send on a pitch, pause to read it and ask yourself: have I taken the time to share what makes me valuable here? If not, add in a line or two to highlight your accomplishments so people know exactly why you’re someone worth featuring.
Mistake #3: They don’t factor their business goals into their pitching plans.
It’s easy to convince yourself that you want to get featured in the same places everyone else does, which are likely the biggest, brightest opportunities around. Those places might be a match for you too but you’ll never know that for sure if you don’t take the time to ask yourself if they’re a good fit for you and your current business goals.
What to do instead: Before you jump on the bandwagon and start pitching the places everyone else is pitching, think about the results you want to achieve in your business right now. Then ask yourself if getting featured in the publications you’re thinking of pitching would actually help you achieve those goals. If it would, pitch away. If not, it’s time to think of alternative places to pitch so you can get visible in a way that supports your goals.
Mistake #4: They wait too long to pitch.
This last mistake isn’t actually one you make when you pitch – it happens when you decide to skip pitching all together because you don’t think you’re ready or professional enough or a big enough deal to get featured. The truth is that there are opportunities for people in all stages of business to get featured. If you take yourself out of the game, you’ll miss out on every one.
What to do instead: The first step is to get your messaging, website, and social media profiles ready. (Don't worry: it's not as complicated as it sounds.) After that, give yourself permission to just start – and you don’t have to start at the top either. You can start by pitching smaller publications or by appearing on friends' podcasts or by writing for lesser known blogs. But whatever you do, stop waiting. It's time to take action now.