Writing a great pitch is often a skill that is curated over time. The more pitches you send, the more effective you will become at recognizing what makes a successful pitch. Here at Willa we have written (and received) countless pitches! To help you, we distilled everything we have learned so you can send a 🔥 pitch.
1.) Set yourself apart
As the field continues to grow, setting yourself apart when reaching out to brands is important. Here are a few ways you can set yourself apart as a creator!
Is there something or someone that has the attention of your dream clients? Maybe an up and coming brand or a particular event has them captivated. Knowing this will help you get their attention and better understand what they are looking for.
While our founders were starting Relatable, they worked with Uber (for free 😱 ) on a campaign. Harnessing the power of advertising around the Super Bowl, they crafted a successful campaign and used it as a case study to land future clients. Why the Super Bowl? Because it might as well be the Super Bowl of advertising. They knew it would get the attention of their dream clients! Interested in hearing more about how they did it? Hear it from Aron here!
(I think adding the portion Aron talks about this would be great here)Video runs from 28:50 to 33:15)
Do you have prior work you could use to show something similar? We suggest leveraging a prior successful partnership (paid or unpaid) and offering to share key metrics.
“I recently worked with Brand X to help them with Goal Y. I’d love to share some insights from the campaign and see if the same strategies might work for you. Are you the right person? Can you forward to the right team?"
Other options include surveying your audience to see what brands they would want to see you collaborate with, asking about specific problems they may have, or leveraging the success of specific content types.
“Hey Joe—I recently polled my followers (screenshot attached) and 70% say they have sleep problems. Made me think… are you in charge of creator partnerships at Calm?”
Still not sure? Try popping in to introduce yourself. Ask to schedule a call to hear more about what the brand is currently working on. Learning more about their marketing goals and connecting with the right individuals could help you land partnerships later on.
2.) Be sure to reach out to the right people
💡Willa Tip: Mindset is everything! If you think you can help… it’s your responsibility to reach out and follow up.
Reaching out to generic emails often proves uneventful. Finding the appropriate contact gives you a better chance of getting a response, rather than your pitch being lost. Remember to focus on finding contact information for individuals with marketing and advertising in the title, not PR.
Hunter.io: You can use hunter to input a brand's domain and it will return the most common pattern for emails at their domain.
LinkedIn: You can use LinkedIn to search for people in a specific company you want to work with. With LinkedIn you can see their name, company and title. LinkedIn is particularly helpful as most people keep their profile up to date with their latest position.
RocketReach: Similar to Hunter, RocketReach can be used to find individuals' information. RocketReach does have some additional capabilities to search added characteristics, including name, job title, and company. RocketReach can be used as a browser extension as well to save emails from LinkedIn profiles.
💡 Willa Tip: Create a spreadsheet with individuals' company, name, title, and email for following up and tracking your pitches.
3.) Make your email is easy to read
When writing great emails, it helps to remember that most people don’t read their emails, they scan them. This means that first impressions are everything when it comes to email. The first things someone reading your email will see are:
- Your name
- Email address
- Subject line
- First sentence
💡 Willa Tip: Make sure your name is clear, you have a professional image that speaks to who you are, and your email is connected to a professional email domain.
From our research, 7 in 10 creators are not using a professional email domain. This is one easy way to set yourself apart and look more professional.
Most of us are on autopilot while scanning our email inbox for what is important. This is where interrupting what someone expects from your email can come in helpful.
When someone says they are reaching out, they are often looking to sell someone on something. When scanning an email inbox, we quickly identify this as sales, and stop reading.
For more successful emails, interrupt this pattern with something like “pop in” instead.
Creating a connection as an individual is fundamental. Have you listened to their podcast? Heard great things about them from a friend? Met them previously? These are all great opportunities to build a more personal connection. What better way to get someone interested in your email than to make it about their favorite subject? Themselves!
Video is a very eye-catching way to get people more interested in your email. Adding a personalized video shows the time and effort you put into your outreach. It also has great results, with the example below getting a response rate of 60 percent.
Professional does not have to mean boring! Of course, if humor isn’t your thing, no need to force it. However, if you have a talent for making people laugh, why not use it to your advantage?
Including a call to action makes it easy to move the conversation forward. It is important to make sure this makes things easier, rather than adding something to their to-do list.Check out this example from Arielle, who is now our Senior Community Manager here at Willa!
Here are a few CTA's you can try out in your pitches moving forward!
“Are you the right person? Would love to send you X.”
“Do you work with influencers to drive sales or create content? I’d love to tell you a campaign idea and see if…”
Our primary goal is making sure your pitch lands with the right person, both of these options emphasize getting in the right inbox.
Below is another great CTA to consider for your email. We recommend saving this one for when you know you are speaking with the right person.
“Could we set up a call sometime in the next few weeks to chat?”
4.) Tools to help you write better emails
When it comes to email, most of us are skimming. To write better emails, we want to improve readability. Improve your writing by removing big words, eliminating passive voice, and writing short sentences.
HemingwayUse their desktop or web app to automatically scan your writing and get suggestions to reduce passive voice, create simpler phrases, and make your sentences easier to read!
ReadableSimilar to Hemingway, their service uses a variety of different readability algorithms to assess how easy your writing is to read. In addition, Readable can scan your website, files, and emails for email marketing on their paid plan.
GrammarlyUse Grammarly to ensure your emails have proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation with their free google chrome extension.
Your Action Plan 💃
Test your Knowledge
Your action plan
You made it! This is us, cheering you on for these action steps!
Willa Tip: Do the first step of writing out 10 companies you want to work with right away!
- Make a list of 10 companies you want to work with
- Use LinkedIn, Hunter.io, and RocketReach to find contacts at each company and save them in a copy of this google spreadsheet
- Pick one method from the “what sets you apart” section to use
- Make sure your email is from a professional domain and includes your name and photo
- Draft your pitch including: ✔️ A subject line that isn’t salesy ✔️ What you have and what it will do for them✔️ A call to action ✔️ A pattern interrupt
- Run your pitch through Hemingway, Readable, and/or Grammarly
- Start sending out pitches! 👏