The first rule of successful pitching is having complete clarity on the purpose of your pitch, which begins with knowing who you’re pitching and what it is that you’re pitching to them.
Today, I’m going to teach you how to write the best pitch for job applications and give you tips on how to grab your employer’s attention.
Whether you know it or not, it’s your pitch that will indeed introduce you to your employer, who, in most cases, maybe too busy to look through your application.
So really, your pitch is the only pathway you have of introducing yourself, so you must ace it.
I have a step by step guide I adhered to; I know it’ll help you too. So, let’s dive in:
Step 1: Find Your People
It’s simple, make a list of 5 -10 places, people, or companies you’d love to pitch to and get clear on what it is you’ll be pitching them.
I know most people seem to miss the mark when it comes to the question of where to look on for those people, places, and companies.
My advice always is to answer the following questions:
- Who is the person you’re pitching?
- What is the role of the person I’ll be pitching?
- How far down the line are they in their business or company?
These questions should help you to know who you should be pitching.
Step 2: Research
Nothing’s worse than receiving a pitch that is a copy and paste job, not only does it reflect poorly on you, but it also doesn’t work.
The key to a successful pitch is creating a well thought out and crafted pitch, and to do that, you’ve got to know who you’re pitching to and why they’d want what you’re pitching.
So, go to your list from step 1 and research them. Find out the following:
- What have they been up to recently?
- Have they won any awards recently?
- What have they recently published?
- What do they like to publish?
- What do they currently do?
- Where would you come in?
What you look for in research depends on who you’re pitching too and what you’re pitching.
Step 3: Bring It All In
You now know who you’re pitching and what you’re pitching, now it’s time to start writing your pitch.
A lot of mistakes happen at the stage, therefore, remember that the first pitch is about opening the door, you don’t have to overwhelm them with everything straight off, you need to open the door.
So, before we dive into writing the full pitch in the next step, kindly do the following:
Make sure you’re contacting the correct person. For example, there are different editors in magazines. Some may be more suitable for you to reach than others; do some digging on WHO is the best contact.
Find out what you’d like to happen after the first step pitch.
Would you like to have them reply, agree to a meeting, or say they’d like to feature you?
Step 4: Put It Together
Let’s write the actual pitch that you’re going to send to your contacts.
Using the research, follow this structure and start writing your pitch.
- Build rapport (What have your contact been up to recently, has he/she won something or done something that you can congratulate them about).
- Introduce yourself and why you’re contacting in just 2-3 sentences.
- What’s in it for them? Why would what you’re offering/suggesting be of use to them?
- Why are you the person to do it?
- What you’d like to happen as a result of this (meeting, call, send the full article, book interview)?
You’re almost there…
Step 5: Subject Line
Now that your pitch is perfect, let’s cover the subject line or headline. Of course, this won’t be relevant if you’re calling or filling in a form, but if you’re emailing, then subject lines are critical.
The thing to remember with subject lines is that everyone’s inboxes are busy, and you have to stand out OR at least not look like you’re going to be bothering them as such, depending on who you’re pitching.
If you’re pitching companies, I recommend you keep it simple.
Remember also that if the subject line sounds salesy, they won’t open it.
PS: I’ve had some good results in this area by only going for “Enquiry.”
If you’re pitching magazines to be featured, you want to stand out a little more, consider using a headline from your pitch and have that as the subject line.
Once you’ve put the subject line together, it’s time to hit the SEND button.
Step 6: Follow Up
Follow up is always a hot topic. 99% of people who pitch never follow up, and that’s where they go wrong!
Just because you haven’t heard back from your contact doesn’t mean it’s a no, so it’s vital that you follow up.
How do you do it?
I keep things simple: I follow up initially after a week has passed. I say something along the lines of:
Just a friendly follow up to see if you had the chance to look at my correspondence that I sent you on xyz.
If I get crickets, I’ll give it another and follow up again after a week.
If I still hear crickets, I’ll follow up again after another week.
If I don’t hear from them after three follow-ups, then I consider leaving it a while before going back in with a new pitch.
Step 7: Mindset
I left this step for last, but it really should have come at the very top. Writing a good pitch requires that you have the right mindset.
The truth is, if you expect the pitch to fail, it will. If you expect not to get a good result, you won’t get a good result.
So start by building confidence and belief in yourself, set an alarm to go off three times a day and when it goes off, repeat this affirmation to yourself three times:
- “I am enough”
- “I am confident”
- “I always get the answer I desire”
The above words, though simple, come down to what you want to feel on the inside, and because what you feel plays a role in the results you get, you’ve to work on you consistently.
You have to write pitches consistently as well. Good luck!