We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. Our opinions are our own.

When setting goals, one of the first rules is to write it down. We are more likely to accomplish something that we put down on paper and look at frequently. But, writing it down is just the first step. Next, we need a plan. A goal without a plan is just a wish. In this post we are going to recap our recent Twitter chat about developing a pitch process. This process will be our blueprint for reaching out to brands and advertisers to secure paying gigs for our business.

Prospecting Brands & Advertisers

Before we even start contacting people, we need to have a list of people to contact. This shouldn’t be a off-the-cuff process, but rather put intention behind your workflow. Create a list of advertisers and brands you want to work with and store their contact information there. Keep track of how often you reach out to them.

Q1: How do you prospect brands and find contact info to pitch them?

A solution to the craziness might be to come up with some great content ideas, then send out a few canned emails where you could plug a brand into something you’re already creating! You could streamline this process by hiring a VA to tweak & send each pitch. Or perhaps you could start a media newsletter targeted toward advertisers that contains your content calendar and available advertising space. A newsletter could be a good start to the conversation, then follow up individually if it doesn’t garner any action.

Develop Your Pitch

Your pitch should include 3 pieces of information, who, what, and how.

  • Who – share information about your community, NOT about you. The advertiser ultimately wants you to connect them with the people in your tribe. Share information about them first, tell why they are a good a fit for the brand.
  • What – share information about the content you plan to create. Pitch the idea and be sure to include all the places the brand will receive visibility and attention online through your efforts.
  • How – share information about how all these things will benefit the brand. Your campaign needs to be a win/win/win situation. It needs to benefit your community, you, and the brand who sponsors your content.

Q2: How did you develop your pitch and what information did you include?

There are plenty of benefits to creating a rate; it shows your value, saves you time, and gives you a starting point for negotiations. Be sure to break out each outlet you use when creating and sharing content in an alacarte format, as well as provide some longer term ambassador type packages to choose from.

Go for the Long Term Commitment

Sponsored posts are great and they pay the bills. But, long-term relationships save you time and energy over the long haul and more importantly, repeat business adds value to your business.

Q3: How do you encourage long-term partnerships when you pitch to a brand?

Nothing Beats Meeting In Person

Never underestimate the power of meeting someone in person. Be sure to add networking with brands and advertisers at conferences to your strategy. Developing these in-person relationships will help you stand out in the sea of pitch emails or applications. Be sure to reference your meeting, or what impressed you about a sponsored event you attended.

Q4: What is your strategy for developing relationships with brands at conferences?

TIP: Begin drafting your follow-up message BEFORE you attend the conference. Trust me, you will find plenty of reasons NOT to send these emails – eliminate as many obstacles as possible prior to attending the conference.

Best Practices

There’s lots of advice floating around out there. Here’s a few best practices from influencers who are walking the walk every day.

Q5: What’s the best advice you’ve received about pitching?