AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, Amy Porterfield here. Welcome to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Today we are talking about the art of the pitch.
Let me set the scene. You’re reading a recent article on one of your very favorite website. It’s industry related so you know the audience they’re going after is the same audience that you are going after with your programs, products, services, and all that good stuff.
You are reading an article and you are devouring it yet again. It’s a website you go back to again and again. As you’re reading this article you have a flash of genius and think you should write a guest article for the website. You would be fantastic because you have “this” to share and “that” to share.
You could really add value. You know who the audience is and you know what they want. You’ve got something of value to add to the conversation.
In that moment you think you are going to pitch yourself. You then think, “Wait a second, how am I going to stand out from all of the other email pitches they probably get on a daily basis?”
That is what today’s episode is all about. I’m going to show you how to master the art of the pitch. I mean master, no half efforts here. If you want to land big opportunities online and get yourself in front of new audiences you need to know the right ingredients for a pitch that gets results.
When I talk about getting results I mean to actually get noticed by the journalist or writer that you really want to get in front of. Beyond that, when you guest blog post or when you get interviewed on someone’s podcast or interviewed on someone’s Facebook Live show (those are becoming incredibly popular now) it’s a great opportunity for you to start growing your list at a faster pace.
It’s a great opportunity to establish your expertise and get some credibility behind your name and it’s a great opportunity to drive demand for your online training programs or the services you offer.
You don’t have to start out big. There are a lot of smaller publications where you could just ease into it. If you master the art of the pitch and even if you want to start out small you can then move into the bigger publications and your chances of getting noticed and getting chosen are going to be way higher if you’ve done this a few times before. Just know this is something you can ease into.
I am not the expert in this area. However, I have found an expert that I think you are absolutely going to love. Her name is Jennifer Berson. To help you capitalize on these big opportunities that are waiting for you right now I wanted to bring Jennifer in on the conversation.
She is a PR consultant and just happens to be a student inside Courses That Convert and Webinars That Convert. But that’s not why I asked her to be on the show. She is the president and founder of Jeneration PR, a public relations and social media marketing firm, specializing in promoting beauty, baby, and lifestyle brands.
Prior to founding Jeneration PR in 2005 Jennifer was a lawyer. She practice civil litigation at a prestigious law firm. The, as she says it, she saw the light and left to start her own business and pursue more creative endeavors. She has never looked back and I absolutely love that.
She has so much to share around crafting the perfect pitch and that is exactly what we’re going to get into today. I also have a pretty amazing freebie for you related to pitching yourself to media outlets. It’s going to make it so much easier.
Before I tell you about that, here are a few quick words about our sponsor. Let’s talk about Fresh Books. I agreed to sing their praises, not because they are the #1 cloud-accounting software for freelancers, but more so because they just rebuilt their entire platform and they help freelancers get paid faster.
Now you can create and send branded invoices in just seconds. You can set yourself up to get paid in just two clicks and you can see when someone actually views your invoice. No more guessing. To get your free, unrestricted trial all you need to do is go to www.freshbooks.com/amy. In that section where it says, “Where did you hear about us?” Just type Online Marketing Made Easy. Enjoy!
Before we bring Jen back in, as I promised, we have an incredible freebie. It’s a fill-in-the-blank template for you to use the next time you pitch yourself to a producer, journalist, editor, or writer. It’s going to make it so much easier.
I’ve also asked Jen to include a sample pitch from the subject line all the way down through the body and into the closing. I want you to see it in action. Jen has added that to our freebie today. I’m also going to give you some tips around the formula to follow when you email anybody with a new idea. To get your hands on this freebie, it is oh so good, go to http:// www.amyporterfield.com/169download.
By the way, if you’re feeling you’re not ready to pitch any major publications or podcasts just yet, just know you are always pitching yourself whether it be to potential customers, current customers, your blog readers, your podcast listeners, the lessons you’re going to learn today will help you in so many different areas of your business.
There are key lessons I really want you to hear. I won’t make you wait any longer, let’s dive in. Amy: Jen, thank you so very much for coming on the show. I’m so happy to have you here. Jen: Hi Amy, thank you so much for having me.
Amy: We have so many good tips and tricks for my listeners today so I can’t even wait to jump into it. Now that I spent some time in the intro telling people who you are and what you’re about are you ready to just dive in?
Jen: Oh yeah, let’s do it.
Amy: Okay. My first question is: Why is it so important that we know the right way to pitch?
Jen: As you can imagine, it’s incredibly competitive to land media coverage. Just to give you an idea, I have a friend who’s a writer at the Huffington Post. She told me she receives between 75 and 100 emails and pitches every single day.
Amy: Oh my gosh, that’s a lot for one person.
Jen: And that’s weekends and she’s digging herself out every day. It’s really hard to stand out. You’re competing with brands, publicists, paid advertisers, an you’re also dealing with editors and writers and freelancers that are really burnt out and expected to produce tons and tons of content.
The good news is that there are a lot of opportunities. Now more than ever they need really good source and really good people to interview. They are expected to produce all of this ongoing content and they tend to like having good people providing good ideas right in their inbox.
With the right approach there are opportunities. But I’ve talked to journalists and they tell me they really hate being pitched by people that they don’t know and who don’t care about them or their readership or who are in it just for themselves.
When they get pitches from these types of people it’s really obvious and your pitch gets deleted. So the key is to treat these journalists and podcasters and writers like real people. There is a real person on the other end of your pitch and they really want their work to be appreciated.
They are sharing things they are deeply passionate about and are working really hard to put good content out there. They want to continue to create really good work and tell good stories. So, when you’re pitching it your job to make it super easy for them to want to feature you.
You are trying to create win-win relationships and you always want to think about what’s in it for them and their audience. It’s not about you.
Amy: This is good because at first when you were talking about this I was thinking, “Holy cow, these people don’t want to be pitched about someone they don’t know.” They are inundated with way too many emails and it’s almost like we’re screwed to ever even get noticed.
You kind of scared me at first but then you took it back and said their job is to get some really great content out there. So, if you’ve got it and you package it in a way that they can really see the value right away you’ve got good chance.
Jen: Absolutely. And really before you even start to reach out and send a pitch I want you to really try making personal connections by engaging with their content. Targeting who you want to reach out to and sharing their articles on your social media, maybe link to it in your newsletter and T it up and say what you like about it, or if you really think you have a somebody that could be a personal connection that would benefit this person make a useful introduction.
Find ways you can be helpful to them and really invest in these relationships before you ever even reach out and ask for anything. Believe me, they will notice.
Amy: I think sometimes my students don’t even know where to start. I love that you’re saying they will notice it but even how to get started stops them in their tracks.
Jen: I know, I hear that a lot on my end too. But first and foremost, it’s really about getting into that PR mindset. It’s the idea you really have something to teach and something to share. You deliver value with your expertise.
That may seem really simple but for a lot of people it’s kind of a big step just having that knowledge and mindset that they add value and they have something to tell.
Amy: I completely agree and think that sometimes my students and those that are listening to my podcast…I hear it all the time. They want to know how they can be an expert when no one is buying from them yet, they don’t have a really big following or they have 100 people on their email list. How can they show up as an expert if they don’t have a mass audience yet?
Jen: First of all, nobody knows how many people are on your email list.
Amy: Right, that’s a great thing. Great point.
Jen: It’s about your mindset. You need to have that confidence that you do have that expertise. It starts with knowing the value you add for these shows or blogs you’re targeting. The media are open to hearing it. You just have to package it in the right way.
First, if you’re positioning yourself as an expert I want you to start blogging and writing or doing Facebook Live with consistency. I know you talk about that a lot on your podcast, Amy, right?
Jen: It’s about showing up and providing value and doing it consistently. You can try posting once a month or once every other week and really do some deep-dive content around the topic you want to be known for. You’re helping to establish your expertise by putting yourself out there and you get better at refining your message along the way.
Overall, when it comes time to pitch, your pitch angles and your positioning and how you’re presenting yourself and what you can talk about should be intentional. It’s important to lead from a place of service and giving the most value.
Take your story or expertise and make it really specific to that publication and that audience. When you pitch for a guest post or an interview you want to think about helping to solve a problem or answer a specific question.
Some approaches to do this are to think about what you can uniquely speak about that will help someone. Or, using the hurdles that you’ve overcome in your own business, your life, your experiences to inspire that audience so that they can see that they can do it too.
You can teach the lessons you learned and how you did it. I know you’re really big on that, the process of learning from experience, so they can have a roadmap to achieve the same results that you did.
Amy: I like that we’re talking about this. You may not be an expert in the sense that you have a huge following and people are hanging on every word you have to say but that doesn’t mean you don’t have something incredibly valuable to say.
This just reminded me of something that’s totally off topic but it came to my mind while you were saying all of this. I have a friend, Nisha. She is a brand new mom. She has her own audience around her own topic in her industry but she’s a brand new mom.
She has been talking about this experience of having a tiny little baby. She has a way of approaching her baby. I’m not going to get into the whole topic but she asks her baby if she can pick him up before she does so.
She does that around the idea of the rape culture and allowing her baby to own his own body and teaching him from an infant that his body is his and somebody else’s body is their body.
No matter if you agree with this or not this is her experience. She believes in this. There are tons of mom who are behind her in this and some of you might think this is the weirdest thing I have ever talked about. However, this is her reality.
She’s passionate about this and she has something to say about it. It was picked up by so many media outlets lately. It’s because she was putting it out there. She was talking about it. Just like you are saying here, she is not an expert in being a mom. She is a brand new mom but she had something to say.
I love that her little story became a big media outlet fit into this idea of being specific in solving a problem that she was facing and that is a cultural problem right now. She’s helping other moms and inspiring and all of this stuff that you were saying.
Jen: Her approach was timely and relevant. It was a unique perspective that was kind of headline grabbing and attention grabbing. It kind of checks a lot of boxes even though she’s not a parenting expert, like you were saying, there’s a lot to grab onto there from the media’s perspective.
Amy: Definitely. You just never know. Again, you do not have to have a huge following behind you to have something really important and passionate to you that you want to share. I just wanted to put that out there.
Let’s talk about the pitch formula, how you should structure any email or message you send out. I want to talk about exactly how this should look since your friend’s getting 75 to 100 emails a day. But, before we get there I want to ask you something I wasn’t really sure about.
At the very beginning we were talking about your friend at Huffington Post getting all of these emails. If someone were to pitch Huffington Post are you suggesting they find one of their writers to pitch versus going to general Huffington Post and trying to submit something?
Jen: I think it depends on what you’re looking to have covered. For example, the writer I mentioned covers women in business. We established a relationship because I was pitching a lot of my clients that were women business owners.
This woman at Huffington Post covers the column that interviews female entrepreneurs. She told my story and shared several of my clients’ stories. If I was looking to get an interview covered on a specific topic I would target a specific writer.
If I was looking to lend my voice as an expert to have a platform, Huffington Post has so many different channels of content, you can really position yourself as an expert. It’s actually a lot easier to get picked up as an expert blogger on Huffington Post. It’s a lot easier than you would think because they have so much content going out.
If you pitch a story idea they will literally give you a login if they select you as a writer. They will give you a login and give you the opportunity to submit your own content and have that as a platform for yourself.
The answer is that it really depends on what you’re looking to accomplish through that pitch. If you want to have yourself profiled on Women in Business or have your business profiled it’s probably going to be through somebody else who is already established with a platform on Huffington Post.
Amy: You are just a little wealth of information. I love it. This is fantastic. Let’s talk about the pitch formula. How should you structure any email or message you send out? Walk us through it.
Jen: First we want to get people to open that email. The first thing you have to do is create an irresistible headline. The point of the subject line should not be about summarizing the entire email. Nobody cares.
You just want them to open it and read more. You want to grab their attention by doing that. This formula works in a lot of different applications. You can say, “Now you can get that bikini body without counting calories.” Or you can say, “Now you can land media coverage without a huge budget,” or “Now, you can earn passive income without expensive tech.”
You can see that you have this enticing subject that just gets people to open it. They want to learn the difference between before and after so that they can get these results without an undesired challenge.
You can also think about coming from a place of sharing your personal experience of what not to do. This would make me open an email if it said, “What we learned when this failed miserably.”
Amy: That’s a good one.
Jen: Don’t you want to know what failed miserably? I would totally click that email. You can also play off a personal relationship if you have one. This is something I want a lot of people to think about, the relationships they have in their lives and how they can tap their network for results connecting with the media.
It helps to use a name and have a mutual connection. You can say, “Mary Smith recommended that I get in touch.” I would click to open that email and see why Mary Smith is recommending this person.
You can also make it about them and their work. It really shows you are doing your research when you say something like, “Thoughts about your recent blog post on parenting,” or something along those lines. It shows you are really dialed in to what they are up to and you are kind of putting it back on them and making it about them and their work.
This one is fun because it applies to every type of business. It’s the promise of the one thing you need to earn whatever results. It’s the one thing you need to earn more money or the one thing you need to find the love of your life or sleep eight hours or get more energy.
If you feel you can have that major of a transformation by just sharing that one thing then that person is going to click through to read what that one thing is.
Amy: Basically, this is fantastic because what I’m learning here is that the subject of your email, to whoever it is you are pitching your idea to, should be similar to a really great subject line of an email you would send to your email list or to a blog post. You want it really juicy and enticing.
You want that person to open up. So, instead of saying, “I’ve got a great idea I want to run by you,” you want them to go the extra mile like they were writing a blog post.
Jen: Absolutely. It’s really about just enticing them to click through and read more.
Amy: Fantastic. Great. So tell me about the body of the email. Now that we’ve got that subject line dialed in I know the body of the email has got to be crucial, especially those first few sentences.
Jen: Absolutely. You want to grab their attention right away. In the body is where you show how your story, your expertise, and your product fits into their platform for their show or podcast or whatever. You always want to make sure you are immediately starting with a personal introduction.
You want to be specific and mention the outlet and person by name to make it clear this is not a mass pitch. Start with a personal introduction and then briefly give some information about yourself and why you would be an interesting guest.
Here I want you to really leverage your uniqueness. Pull in information about who you are, your interests. Hone in on your expertise and be able to share some results you’ve achieved for yourself or for your clients or customers or your students.
You can also think about any kind of inspirational transitional story. For example, with my own story, going from law to PR, I was an attorney and made a total career 180 when I started my own PR firm from scratch. I pitched that story on Business Insider and Yahoo and Huffington Post.
I was able to secure those opportunities because they were sharing with their readers how I was able to do that. There was some meat to my transitional story. You also really want to build rapport in your email. You want to relate to the content and really show you understand their audience. Make it really clear this is not some sort of mass pitch and that you really know this information you are sharing will benefit them and their audience.
You can specifically mention that you listened to their interview about launching and that you have the same approach and implemented it in your business and had amazing results. Really connect it back to them and how it’s really relevant for them and their listenership.
You also want to explain very briefly, again all of this is really brief, it sounds like a lot but very succinctly give them some info and bullets on what you would like to write about or what you would cover in an interview.
You don’t have to write out the entire meat of the content but just give bullets to give enough enticing information so they will want more. Think about sharing great advice or strategies and helping their audience solve a challenge they are currently having. That’s always going to get some attention.
Then wrap it up. I know this is long what I just described but try to get all of this in there in the briefest way possible.
Amy: Jen just walked you through the body of the email. I am sure you are thinking you would love to see an example. Jen is the person you should get the example from because she knows this stuff even better than I do.
As you all know, because in the intro I mentioned that I have a freebie with some really cool PR examples based on this interview. But Jen has agreed to give us an example email she has crafted that you can look at and really see her walking through the steps she just talked about.
If you go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/169download you will get to see Jen’s exact example as she just walked you through how to do it. Now you will get to see it in real life. Make sure to grab the download. And Jen, thanks so much for adding that to the download.
Amy: It’s very cool. We talked about the subject line, we talked about the body. But this is where personalizing the message comes into play. When we’re talking about making that personal connection where does that fit in?
Jen: Honestly, it’s at every stage of the process of engaging with the outlets you are trying to connect with. It’s really crucial to make that personal connection to start to engage and stand out before you even reach out. Like I said before, share their work with your audience.
You want to give before you get. Always start with the mindset of seeking to add value. Your pitches should always come from a place of the mindset that your expertise would really help their audience in “these” ways.
It’s not about you. So how can you add value? Your angles and approaches you’re taking should be timely and relevant. You want to fit your story in with their mold. Get really familiar with what they cover, who their readership is, and what features they typically have.
We know a lot of these outlets, blogs, podcasts, and TV shows have typical content and segments they are repeating over and over again. If you notice that and have the feeling that you could fit in “here” you want to take your content and package it together in a way that fits their mold.
This is exactly what my student, Jen, did to land a national guest expert segment on the Today Show. She is an online party-planning expert and she pitched the Today Show some party ideas for hosting a Kentucky Derby party because NBC was airing the Kentucky Derby.
They selected her for that segment. Who knows if they were thinking about featuring Derby party ideas. We don’t know. But she pitched it. It was timely and relevant and they picked up that segment. Her life’s work isn’t throwing Derby parties but she knew it would fit with the content they were working on and it helped her secure a national TV segment sharing her expertise.
When she was on she did a really amazing job. She really brought it. She controlled the pace of the segment. She was invited back for another on-air segment.
Amy: That’s huge. That’s really amazing. I’m going to admit that I have a secret crush on Matt Lauer since I was a little girl watching the Today Show. This one kind of has me extra interested. But, the part where you said, that her whole life’s mission isn’t throwing Derby parties. However, she knew it would fit in.
I think that’s what we all need to take away from Jen’s teaching here. Whatever you’re pitching doesn’t have to be “the” thing for your entire business. I don’t necessarily have to pitch how to do webinars. I can go beyond that specific thing I talk about all the time if it’s going to fit into their segment and would shine a good light on the work I’m doing as well.
I feel that’s a huge teaching moment here.
Jen: I haven’t seen any coverage for your story other than hearing it in your own content on your webinars and through your podcast. But I feel when you first started out you would have gotten so much traction on a story about what you learned when you worked for Tony Robbins. You have this access.
I don’t know what you could or couldn’t share but just the strategies that you learned from such a major organization and how you could teach that in a way that other people could benefit from. They are getting this access behind the curtain and that’s so unique to you. To me, at the beginning of your journey, that would have made such an incredible pitch.
Amy: Great, I just really missed a huge opportunity.
Amy: But you are right, that would have been a really cool angle. We have to pull from our own experiences and how we get where we are today and the roadblocks that got in the way. All of that plays a part in what our story could look like. That could be really interesting to a media outlet. I love that you brought that up.
Amy: I know you have another pitching strategy and I love this next one too. So share it with us.
Jen: We’re focusing on making it personal. Another strategy is to really match the tone and style of the writing for each outlet you’re pitching. You can imagine the tone of a pitch that you would send to Ink.com or Business Insider would likely have a much different tone than what you would use for pitching Jill Stanton of Screw The 9 To 5.
Amy: Those of you who don’t know Jill, I love this. Jen is such a good little student and knows all of this stuff. If you don’t know Jill, she is a tell-it-how-it-is kind of loves to use choice words and that’s kind of why I love her. She’s just her own person and it’s so fun. You’re right, you’d probably use a different tone with Jill.
It’s funny, even when I text Jill I’m way different than if I would ever talk to someone professionally trying to get a gig with them or something. You’re exactly right, you’ve got to look at the tone.
Jen: It matters and it really shows that you’re paying attention. That’s a great one. Also, focusing on keeping it really personal and making that connection is to reference their work you’ve read and enjoyed. Be really specific about what resonated with you.
You can highlight how their story or content or something they shared had an impact on you. If you’ve put something into practice they’ve shared and it had a positive impact on your business or life tell them that. That is really going to stand out.
These people are putting tons of content out into the ether and they wonder if anyone is listening and if it’s helping anybody. If you can pinpoint that something they shared really helped you that is going to get their attention.
This one is so obvious but you would be surprised how many people overlook this. You want to specifically mention the publication and the writer’s name in that pitch. Even the pros overlook this really simple detail when they are trying to send a lot of pitches. It’s obvious they’re sending mass pitches that are not personalized.
Amy: I love these tips. It’s awesome.
Jen: Just go for it. Focus your efforts and go for quality over quantity.
Amy: It’s so obvious when someone’s going for quantity. It’s just so very obvious so I love that. Go for quality when you’re pitching over quantity. So good. Speaking of some of the mistakes even the pros make, what do you think are some of the biggest mistakes you see with people pitching?
Jen: This is something that comes up over and over again with my students and audience. They don’t think they can. If you’re stuck and not moving forward you are missing this huge opportunity. Again, get in the mindset that you have value to share.
Know you have an interesting perspective and your story will resonate with the right audience and the right forum. That’s the first mistake, just feeling stuck. Some more specific ones, we see people pitching with jargon and marketing language and they use these empty words like “innovative” and “unique.”
If your product or service or approach is truly innovative and unique do you really have to say that? Doesn’t it speak for itself that it is?
The biggest one is missing opportunities because you’re not making it easy for the editor. You want to be ready to go. You want to have your assets and your bio. You want a long bio and a short, quick two-sentence byline and a headshot ready.
When the editor writes back to you and they want to work with you it’s a no brainer for them to connect and you make it super easy. When your team reached out to me I jumped within two seconds.
Amy: You are such a great example of “on it”. It made me want to work with you even more.
Jen: I was like, “What do you need? What can I get you?” You want to make it super easy and they are never going to miss a deadline because of you and you’re just going to meet every need they have.
Another one, we’ve touched on it, but mass pitching by thinking you’re saving time with generic pitches that are clearly a copy and paste job where every outlet gets the same pitch will literally result in zero placements for you. And it will probably turn a lot of contacts off from working with you.
You also want to avoid ever generically addressing the recipient with “Dear Blogger,” or “Hi there.” It takes two seconds to put somebody’s name in the subject and make them know your pitch is targeted specifically to them.
Amy: That’s so good. You have so many good tips here. Keep going.
Jen: You also want to have a really clear call to action in place. It sounds simple but make it really clear. What do you want that editor to do next? You could start by providing bullet points and it gives an idea what you would cover. Then your call to action could be offering to write up the full feature for them.
That’s exactly what I did. I was really lucky to land a really cool feature on Forbes.com and kind of the whole way this worked was that I read the author’s work and I had that ah-ha moment where I really thought I could add value. I felt I could share my tips and help their readers.
Once I had that thought I started to engage with that writer’s content on social media. I shared their content and engaged with them really genuinely in a way I felt added value. After a little while, about a week or so, I sent that editor a pitch with bullet points about how I could specifically help that writer’s audience.
My call to action was that I offered to write the full story. The editor got back to me and agreed and she asked me to send my story with the ideas completely flushed out. I did and literally a day later my entire pitch with all of my tips and strategies was copied and pasted on Forbes with links to my website. It was amazing.
Jen: Then I did a little happy dance.
Amy: Good for you.
Jen: It was so awesome. It works. You have to follow up with a clear call to action. So, truly seize these opportunities and be prepared and have a really clear call to action at the end of your pitches.
Amy: Oh my gosh. There are so many good tips here. I absolutely love it. What I love when you teach, Jen, you always have really great examples, real life examples of what happened. I am an example kind of girl. I can’t really see what you’re teaching me until you show it to me.
This whole idea of Forbes and what you did and the call to action being that you will write it up for them and flush it out and Forbes asked you to please do it. Who wouldn’t want it if it’s good stuff? That example is so great.
I’m glad you brought up being prepared. On the flip side of this, if you land something life Forbes I’m guessing you want your main hub and platform to be ready for it as well. There is a whole other conversation we could have but when people come to your website you want to make sure you are prepared for that Forbes traffic to find you.
It’s not like you’re always going to have a flood of traffic after every piece you might be able to publish. When people find you, you want to have that opt in somewhere on your home page so that you can start growing your email list.
You want some of your best content to be available. I remember when I used to pitch more often I if I had something on Forbes, the day it was going out I would make sure I had a really good blog post that just went live as well.
You kind of want to make sure your home is ready for the guest. Would you agree?
Jen: Absolutely, yes. You want to seize that moment and leverage those opportunities. I actually had a student that ran through a series of leveraging tactics. This is somebody who had no social media following, no blog, no email list whatsoever.
She worked through some leveraging strategies we shared with her about pushing traffic through various tactics back over to the amazing national platform she was writing for. She got so much traffic sent back to them that she was able to secure a regular contributor opportunity.
It kind of goes both ways but you definitely want to have your website buttoned up once people land on it and capitalize and capture those new eyeballs on your page and hopefully turn them into customers and clients.
Amy: Awesome. Another thing I was thinking about, let’s say you did one of these pitches to get on somebody’s podcast. My podcast is a little bit different because I have freebies with every podcast. Typically when someone’s a guest on my show they don’t typically have some kind of freebie to offer because I’ve already done that and they’ve engaged with me on it.
However, let’s say you got invited to somebody’s podcast and they weren’t giving away a freebie. That’s a great opportunity for you to think about what you could offer of great value that, again, could lead to list building.
If you are on somebody’s podcast and they ask you to tell them about “this” or “that” you could tell them about it and then say, “I actually have a freebie if you got to XYZ. You can grab it and I will give you a bunch more examples.”
You never, ever want to do that without running it by the podcast host first but they will usually welcome you giving even more value with something like that. It comes back to what Jen said. You’ve got to be prepared for those things so that if, in natural conversation, you get an opportunity to plug a great freebie you created you will be ready to do so.
That was just a side note. I wanted to bring all of that up. I now want to ask you, before we wrap up, we started the conversation talking about pitching yourself. I just assumed my audience knew where they wanted to pitch. They had their eye on some different media publication and they were going to go for it.
Some people listening are thinking they aren’t really sure where they should be pitching and they need a few resources. I just knew you would be full of resources for those listeners. Am I right?
Jen: Yeah. There are a ton of places to look for ideas and opportunities to pitch yourself. The first thing I feel leads you in the right direction is that ah-ha moment where you’re listening to something or reading a favorite blog and you are hit with the feeling that you should be on “this”.
You know that what you know how to do and what you teach would really benefit their audience. Those are your media targets so start thinking about those places and keep a running list of them so that you can start thinking about the places you should be reaching out to.
As far as resources, your listeners may know about this resource called Help A Reporter Out (HARO). It’s free and when you sign up for it you gain access to three daily emails from journalists that are seeking interviewees to source in their articles.
It’s a good way to see what opportunities are out there. HARO is very competitive. I think there are over 100,000 people on the list so if you see an opportunity you feel you could provide a quote or give some information for pitch quickly and only focus on exactly what the reporter is asking for.
You can also read HARO with a mindset that you can get an insider look at what the reporters are vying to know and read it to discover what topics are trending and get ideas for other ways you can pitch yourself outside of HARO leads.
Amy: That’s a good one. That’s a good way to use it.
Jen: You use it to get other ideas if you’re kind of stuck. You read it and then see they are asking for experts in “this” topic and you could probably pitch yourself elsewhere and give that same information.
Amy: Good stuff.
Jen: Also, reporters move all the time. You want to kind of stay up to date. We tend to stalk editors on social. Don’t be a weirdo or anything but follow the editors and the outlets you are looking to target. You can follow them on the obvious social channels like Twitter and Instagram but also on LinkedIn for any changes to their profile so that you can see if they are moving around.
There is also a really great Twitter account from Cision called Media Moves. They make announcements all the time about journalists and where they are going and where they landed. It gives you their Twitter handle so it’s kind of interesting to see. As you watch the feed you can get some insight into where people are.
Amy: That’s so good.
Jen: As you are pitching you get out of office replies. Don’t ignore or delete them. A lot of times they will include contact information for a substitute editor who you can start pitching and that person may become your new go-to at that outlet. These are just some little pro tips we use.
Amy: That is stuff I didn’t even know about. This is fantastic. I love the idea of staying up to date with the reporters because it goes back to getting more personal and really paying attention to who they are and where they’re going. That’s fantastic.
I have literally sucked you dry of really great tips all about pitching yourself. I really do want to end this interview with some final words of wisdom. I’m sure you’ve got them.
Jen: I do. I’ve got lots more of whatever you want to talk about. No worries, this has been such an awesome chat. But, I hear a lot from my students and they always tell me they feel overwhelmed. I know this feeling of pitching the media and a vast world of opportunity feels really overwhelming. We try to combat that overwhelm by laser focusing on just a few key outlets and targeting your efforts.
Don’t feel like you have to pitch everyone. You just have to do a really deep invested job with just a few key places. You want to start with the end result in mind. Where do you want to be featured? For example, my client that landed on the Today Show, that was not her first TV appearance. She had to start locally and build her confidence on camera.
She put a reel together and ultimately she was able to pitch in a national forum. But think about where you want to start and work toward those results. Start building your relationships that could lead to that result.
Thinking about every publication being unique. Your message needs to be really uniquely created for that audience. Always send targeted, tailored pitches. Aim to provide value and try to build real relationships.
In general, the PR in anything you do when you’re running your business has to be persistent and patient and always follow up. Keep in mind it may not happen overnight but it will happen.
Amy: Good stuff. I’m sure people are wondering where they find out more about you. This is good stuff and they will want more. Where can my listeners learn more about you?
Jen: They can go to JenerationAcademy.com. It is spelled with a “J” for Jen, Hi! Also, all over social media @JenerationPR.
Amy: Perfect. I’ll put this in the show notes so you guys can link to it. But Jen is also the creator of her brand new course, Press Success. It’s a PR master class for entrepreneurs to learn the step-by-step framework for executing a PR strategy that converts into massive media placements for their businesses.
This was just the tip of the iceberg but you definitely should check out Press Success. They can get there by going to JenerationAcademy.com. Is that right, Jen?
Jen: Yeah, absolutely, they can find the course there.
Amy: Perfect. I’ll make sure to link to it in the show notes. Thank you so very much. This has been a fantastic, fantastic mini training. I really appreciate it.
Jen: Thank you so much, Amy. It’s been a pleasure.
Amy: There you have it. I hope you found this interview valuable. I know I loved every minute of it. Don’t forget to go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/169 to get links to all of the resources Jen mentioned in the interview including her Press Success program, which is pretty exciting, and we also have a really fantastic freebie for you.
We’re going to give you a fill-in-the-blank template so you can write your own pitch. We’re also going to give you an example pitch so you can really see the formula played out step by step and I will review the formula in the freebie as well so that you know exactly every point you need to hit.
Go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/169 to get all the links and that freebie that is a definite must download.
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Thanks so much for joining me. I cannot wait to talk to you again next week. Bye for now.