Today, I am throwing myself under the bus. The bus of wow, did I really do that? All because, I once wrote a really, really, really bad pitch.
A little bit like a child who goes back into their journals from when they were little, and realizes where they started and how far they have come, I decided to use my inexperienced attempts to share some new learning.
After two years and four blogging conferences, I can admit, that up until a few months ago, I was a very unsavvy blogger when it came to writing a pitch. While I am nowhere near an expert, I believe that I am finally starting to “get it.”
This weekend, I attended the fantastic Blogalicious conference, where I learned and reflected on the art, the savvy, and the business of blogging and social media. The more that I talked with people that I highly admire as beacons of success in their field, I realized that I had in my possession, the BEST example of what not to do…written by me. And what better to show what I’ve learned than to share it as a non-example.
My Bad Pitch
“I would love to go to Type A this June! I am going to BlogHer as well, but hubby is on board with that. Adding in a new conference has him looking a little perplexed. So I would propose a $120 sponsorship (the cost of the ticket including the current 20% off discount). My plan would be to talk up _________s at each meal or “beverage” event and recruit at least five new members. It would be an easier pill to swallow for my dear husband if I only had to pay for the hotel.
I wonder—could we make little square ____________stickers, or add the logo to our bloggy business cards? That way we could plug, plug,plug every time we give out cards. I would be happy to “pilot” such an endeavor. (I am a teacher….we love stickers!)
So….thank you for your consideration and support, as always, working with __________ is something that I feel lucky to be a part of!”
There are so MANY things wrong with this pitch.
- If I wanted to be treated as a professional, even amongst friends, I need to act like a professional. Using words like “hubby,” “bloggy” is decidedly not professional.
- A “beverage” event? Really? What is that?
- Type A? Type A what? I know that it is a conference, but the least I could do would be to call it by it’s formal name.
- Stickers? Really? As in, seriously?
One of the sessions that I attended was with Carol Schiller. Carol is a blogger and does social media for a brand…..she gets it. The examples that she gave during her session,”You’re a Rock Star, Now Act Like One! The Art of Writing a Pitch that Doesn’t Suck ,”were concrete and eye opening. She would probably tell me among other things, I omitted vital components like:
- Giving it context and explain how it will translate for the brand in the long term.
- Describing what will I deliver and how will it help the brand?
- Encapsulating what problem needs to be fixed and how will it look/feel when it is fixed.
- Providing testimonials of my work. (yes, you read correctly, testimonials. Anyone want to do one for me?)
Carol would go on to tell me that the brand DOES NOT care about how my “hubby” will react to my going to a conference. Also, she would likely tell me that what I really need to ask for is to be HIRED not sponsored.
Oddly enough, I do consider myself to be a highly professional person in my real life career as an educator and even in other areas of my life. I cannot even imagine how I let this pitch leave my email inbox last winter. To say that I did not know better does not seem like a good enough reason, even though it might be true. As embarrassed as I am by this pitch, I am proud that I now know better and look forward to trying my hand at more creative, more targeted, more professional pitches in the future.
What about you? What are your tips on making a great pitch? Or better yet, tell me I am not the only one that has blundered this badly!
Thank you to Carol for her insights and presentation. You can learn more from Carol at her blog.