A Small Blogger's Guide To Pitching Outside Of Your Niche
It's 2017 and I am back with a master plan. I ended the year a little more reserved, but I was for sure plotting and scheming about what I was going to do in the near future. We're only the first week in, but trust me when I say there is so much I plan to attain this year and many of these things require some good ol' pitching.
In my recent post on Pitching As A Small Blogger, I touched on how to get your pitches to be taken seriously and eventually accepted. After that I even went into an entire Pitching 101 course where if you followed along the entire way you should've left with a rough skeleton of how to pitch with perfection. But I'm here with some more nuggets of information to help you unlock the gold mine that is "pitching".
For those of you who are new here, pitching is a MAJOR key in blog world. It is the art (yes it is an art form) of telling a story to a company that details why you are valuable, why they should work with you and ultimately what that work looks like. So asking a hotel to provide a complimentary stay in exchange for you posting about it on your glamorous blog is what we deem "pitching".
This world of asking brands for complimentary products can be scary for some, especially for those who aren't all that confident in their numbers just yet, but I'm here to tell you this...
"If you're not out there pitching, you're missing out on some major opportunities."
Although some brands reach out, if you sit at home waiting for people to slide into your inbox with opportunities all the time, you're missing out honey. All those thoughts in your head of not having the following needed to get this or not being able to do that because you're only this, they all need to leave your head. It's 2017. You are worthy. You can do this. So let's get to it. (If you haven't already read my previous post on pitching, I suggest reading that first).
A Small Blogger's Guide To Pitching Outside Of Your Niche
Are you a fashion blogger wanting to work with a DIY craft company? What about a beauty blogger looking to work with a restaurant? It may sound crazy, but just because these blogger's niches are different than the company they want to pitch does NOT mean that they can't do it. Anything is possible so long as you follow several steps to crafting the perfect pitch letter.
So what do you need first? Well you need a kick ass story that creates a correlation between you and the brand. Just like any story you've ever read there was something within that tied everything together so it made sense. You need to do the same when reaching out to a company, otherwise you're just that person asking for free stuff. Curate a well thought out story for them to read and you're golden on grabbing their attention.
Remember that fashion blogger? Her story may be that she wants to work with a DIY craft company for an upcoming avant garde fashion show she's hosting. The beauty blogger? She's reaching out to a vegan cafe to work on content centered around eating healthier minimizing the amount of skin care products you need to use. You can be in your niche and still align your brand with whatever you choose, but it all depends on that story. Take your time, really think it through and then begin crafting.
So once you have a story you're going to also need to do your due diligence and RESEARCH the hell out of the company. You want to work with a company but have no idea what's happening on their social media, their latest promotions or even the amenities offered? No, boo, that's not going to work. Wanting to work with a company and figuring out how you can work together are two separate things, so don't confuse them.
There are various reasons why you need to research a company, but the primary reason is to understand what they NEED. Yes, you have a bomb story that's unique and has captured their attention, but if you're trying to give them something they've already received elsewhere, you're shooting a blank. Find out what a company may be in need of and incorporate it into your pitch.
I'll give you an example...
When I first decided I wanted to pitch for my birthday weekend I went to a hotel I'd stayed at before and knew I'd love. I went through their website, found their "mission statement" if you will and all that jazz. But you know what else I did? I went onto their social media platforms. With that I found they weren't as engaged on Twitter or Instagram in comparison to their Facebook page. I'm WAY more active on Twitter and Instagram as well as have WAY more following on those two platforms than my Facebook fan page. So what did I do? Upsell the promotion on those two platforms because given they weren't crazy active there they could always use a bit more promo. That, my friend, is how you research, find the company's need and then execute.
So you have the story, you found their need and you're ready to seal that deal, right? To lock everything in you need to give them receipts. Mattieologie first taught this and it is imperative that you bring any and all relevant receipts to this pitch letter. I know you're going to say your media kit talks about the companies you've worked with and yada, yada, but linking specific blog posts or social media shares that highlight your strengths will seal the deal.
Well what if I've never worked with a company in that market before?
You use the receipts that you've got. Don't ever downplay the work that you have done. Don't focus on what you don't have and worry about showing what you do have. Are you food inquiring about hosting a giveaway with a jewelry company? Link them to your last giveaway post and bold how many entries you were able to receive. Wanting to review a restaurant but never spoke about one on your blog? Share an Instagram post where you did a bomb flatlay and everyone was in your comments asking where it was you went to eat. All these things are receipts ladies and gentlemen, so use them to your advantage. There is not a single pitch that goes out where I do not link a blog post and social media shares to let the company know what I've done. Those links in addition to my media kit show a company I am worthy of receiving their product/service complimentary and their is a return on investment for them.
With these three things you should be on your way to pitching perfection. If you need a little extra assistance I actually craft pitch letters for small bloggers. You can visit my services page for more information on that.