Way back when I shared my reader survey (around the New Year) I got lots of great feedback from readers who responded. One thing a good percentage of respondents wanted more of is social media posts. Since I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea I decided to share social media posts on Saturdays. Social Media Saturday was born.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of speaking to a local group of social media savvy women at the Philly Social Media Moms workshop. I’ve been an active group member for two years, and in that time the group has grown exponentially, and Jo-Lynne has started a series of workshops to help members (and non-members alike) to learn more about blogging.
Julie and I spoke at BlogHer last year alongside Leticia and Andrea on a panel we called ‘How to Create a Kick-A$$ Proposal.’ Our room was packed (people sat on the floor!), and the feedback we had was overwhelmingly positive.
Julie and I decided to adapt some of that presentation for the PSMM Workshop. Taking questions from the group beforehand our focus shifted slightly to focus on pitches, proposals, and sponsorships. We talked about representing your brand across platforms, about.me, LinkedIn, and so much more.
The attendees are people we chat with online frequently, so while we were presenting we had lots of questions peppered in. I love that kind of interaction while I’m presenting. It makes it much more fun and really gets everyone’s questions answered.
While I can’t possibly cover all the material we covered, I can share a few tips I’ve learned along the way.
5 Tips to Successful Pitches and Proposals
1. Know your Core Message: What’s your story? Why did you start blogging? What does your about me page say? If you have trouble answering these questions take time to write down your answers. Practice sharing a concise answer to what your blog is about in under a minute. (That’s your elevator pitch.)
2. Build your Network: Whether it’s attending events, reaching out on LinkedIn or twitter, or attending conferences; building your network is the key to success. Consider joining a blogging group (like PSMM) or a blogger to brand group (like Clever Girls Collective).
3. Know your Goals: What are your goals in working with brands? Do you want to share info on the latest trends in toys? Do you want to be a brand spokesperson? If you blindly pitch and propose ideas without an idea of what your goals are you won’t be successful. It’s ok if those goals change, just be sure you know what they are.
4. Know the Brand’s Needs: A quick phone call will help you understand what a brand’s upcoming focus is, and how you can align with their goals. If it’s not a good fit, don’t give up hope. If you maintain that relationship they will come back to you when it is good timing, and a good fit. If you know you have a great way to market a brand (like a baby shower event would be a great fit for a diaper brand) they will find a way to make it work in their budget if it’s a great fit and you can share how you can help.
5. Be Professional: If you get a ‘no’, don’t get discouraged. Just because it’s not a good fit right now doesn’t mean it’s always going to be ‘no.’ If something is a great opportunity but not a good fit for you or your blog recommend someone in your network who would be a great fit for the brand. Be polite and professional in your emails, own your mistakes, and vent in private. Being professional also means having a professional looking site design (hire someone if you need to), a professional photo, and a great bio.