Whether you’re a confident pitching machine or you’re like “Seriously? I’m supposed to get in touch with a brand off my own back?!?!” there are some ground rules that everyone should keep in mind when learning how to write a pitch to a brand.
In fact, no matter how great of a blog you have or how many followers hang onto your every word, your pitch itself is going to be that first (and sometimes only) impression.
To save you from making the same mistakes I and thousands of other bloggers have made before you, check out these five things to avoid when writing a pitch to a brand.
1. Coming off as too confident
The point of a pitch is to say you’re awesome without sound like you think you’re too cool for school. Having self-esteem and faith in your blog is great. Making it out to be like you’re the next Zoella if you only have 15 followers is not. Be confident in what you have to offer (and let them know why you’d do a fantastic job representing them), but make sure you don’t sound arrogant or unwilling to listen to other people’s ideas.
2. Not researching their brand
Would you apply for a job without researching the company? Would you go to a college interview without researching the school?
Writing a pitch to a brand follows the same guidelines. Because you’re approaching them, you’re not going to necessarily have an easy-to-read brief that comes along with it to tell you everything the brand is about in 500 words or less. You’re going to want to do a little bit of digging, not just on the website but also on their social media.
When you write your pitch, you want the brand to understand that you know their ethos, you understand their audience, and you have knowledge of the products they do (and don’t offer). This isn’t to say that you need to know EVERYTHING about them or that you need to explicitly say “Hey, I did all this research!) (in fact, don’t), but you do need to tailor your pitch in a way that makes this clear.
And for the love of all that is good in the world, if you’re using a template, make sure to change the brand name in ALL instances, not just the address. Been there, done that, don’t want to think about it.
3. Being too meek
On the flip side from being too confident, you don’t want to ever sound like you’re apologizing for your blog, for getting in touch, or for how few followers you think you have. Don’t say things like “Sorry for getting in touch” (I’ve seen this before – NO!) or write things like “While I don’t have very many Twitter followers, I do have XYZ followers on Instagram.”
Some bloggers have a hard time with this, which is why I offer a pitch template service when I basically write your pitches for you (you would be surprised how much better a pitch can sound when a third party writes it to show off your skills).
Emphasize your great qualities, while leaving anything negative unspoken. Companies need to market themselves, and bloggers can do that for them – you offer a service they genuinely may need! You’re allowed to get in touch and show yourself off, just as much as they’re allowed to pass on your offer.
4. Addressing it to “To Whom it May Concern”
The address of your pitch is the first chance you get to show the brand that you’re paying attention. You should always address it to the PR or Media contact specifically.
If you can’t find the PR or Media contact and the brand has any social media account, DM the social media account to politely ask for the media contact.
If they then give you a generic e-mail address or no one answers you back, then you will have no choice but to send it to the generic “info@” e-mail address.
Even in that instance, address your pitch to the company, rather than “To Whom it May Concern.” “Hey, Disney!” or “Hi Harrods.”
A “To Whom it May Concern” greeting can be copy and pasted. A personalized one cannot. Brands know this, and appreciate it.
5. Being vague about what your question or pitch actually is
I get it. Pitching can be uncomfortable and awkward and it can be difficult to come across as confident but likeable, knowledable but willing to learn, trailblazing but flexible.
Sometimes, too wrapped up in all of the other stuff, people will forget to actually…pitch.
Either you don’t tell them what you want from them specifically, or you don’t even ask any questions of them at all.
If you know what you want (a discounted rate in exchange for a blog post, for example), make sure to say it! They don’t know what you want unless you ask!
Similarly, if you’re not quite sure what you want, but just want to know if they work with bloggers, ask the question somewhere in your pitch! Give them something to respond to!
If you haven’t made a request or asked a question in your pitch, you’re just sending them a glowing e-mail all about your blog. Save those kinds of e-mails for your mom, not a brand.