I am getting more and more emails from people I’ve never met who seem to think that my mission in life to to promote projects and companies that I have never heard of, for no compensation.
I reject 99% of what I pitched to me. In fact I can count on my hands the number of companies that I have worked with simply because so few have ever presented me with anything worth responding to.
For those few who will read this, here is how to pitch me:
1) Contact me personally.
Form letters will get instantly deleted. Making a single reference to a blog post that happens to be on the front page of my site and following the rest with a form letter will get deleted. Providing generic compliments about how you like my “content” will your email deleted.
Anything which smacks of an email that was sent to multiple people is something I’m probably not going to want to be a part of. You can’t separate yourself from the crowd if you are part of the heard.
Write me a personal email. It isn’t hard to tell if it is a cut and paste job. Show that you’ve actually sat down and have gone through my site, you didn’t just get my name off of some list with a number on it.
Even better, make an effort to meet with me in person. I know that isn’t always possible, but it goes a long way. (I’ve had in face meetings with every company I’ve worked with just to give you an idea of how well it works).
2) What is in it for me?
That sounds selfish, but it is far less selfish than a for profit company begging for free publicity. I didn’t get started blogging so I could promote companies for free. I know damn well what you want. You need to give some consideration to what I’d want.
Most pitches I get provide no reason whatsoever as to why someone would ever want to accept it. I recently got one that pitched an ambassador program. Ok, fine. Why would I want to be an ambassador for your company? There was nothing in the email to indicate there would be any upside to me whatsoever. They just wanted “ambassadors”.
If there is at least something in your initial pitch which would at least indicate there is a benefit to me in partnering with you, there is no point in sending it.
3) You almost certainly cannot provide me any exposure
Unless you happen to be a major media company, you can’t provide me exposure. No one is going to visit your company blog. If they were, you wouldn’t need me. Your link is meaningless. I’m not a freelancer. Go to oDesk and hire someone to write $5 articles for you if that is all you want.
If you are a start up, you especially are in no position to provide “exposure”.
Unlike some writers, I’ll happy provide free content, but only if you are a major media outlet that actually can provide exposure.
4) If all you care about is SEO, move along
If your title has anything to do with “search” or “SEO”, I know all you care about is a link and I’m not going to work with you in any fashion. Period.
5) Do something for my readers
Me promoting you isn’t doing something for my readers. What would really be nice is if you provide some sort of deal/coupon/download/contest which was only available through my site to my readers.
6) There needs to be more than an affiliate link.
Affiliate programs are very lopsided. I promote you for free and then only get credit for sales from my website. I get zero credit for any other sales which might come through different channels. The only sort of affiliate program I’d enter is for products that I’d be linking to anyhow, usually for companies that sell a wide range of products (aka Amazon).
In summary, if the only thing you can tell me is how you will benefit from a deal, it is a deal at all. Presenting a real win/win is the only way to do business.
I’m shocked that most people don’t know that.