They say they’re giving you gifts…but they’re really gift-wrapping some pretty bad advice. Here are just 2 examples from my inbox.
(1) I just downloaded a free ebook on how to pitch for a guest blog or guest podcast gig.
At first I was impressed. The business owner suggested a catchy subject line and a detailed proposal with marketing material and copy.
But then I looked closer. This would be a great pitch to send *after* the initial. contact.
I get pitches like that all the time for both my podcast and my blog. They’re all saying, “I’m a great person!”
As a podcast host, my story is, “I need to find guests who will support the brand and message of my podcast.” So my response to that pitch will be, “Now I have to work! I have to figure out how to take their experience and turn it into a topic that fits my podcast description: ‘storytelling to meet your goals for your business, career, and life.'”
Your first contact needs to show you understand the host’s backstory. Come right out and say, “Here are 2 or 3 topics that seem to fit your program. My topics fit with the interviews you’ve done with Guests A, B and/or C.”
Their backstory: “I don’t want more work.”
Your pitch: “I’ve done the work.”
If I were pitching, I might write:
“I see you interviewed [name] on storytelling to gain attention and interviewed [other name] on strategies for business growth. I would like to be interviewed about storytelling to build your business. I have a book on this topic, as well as a blog and podcast. I’m an experienced podcast guest, speaker and occasional standup comedian, so my contribution would be informative as well as engaging.
“If this topic fits your program, I’d be happy to share additional information and promotional materials. Let me know if I can answer additional questions.”
And that’s exactly what I want to see myself when someone pitches to me.
(2) An email from an “expert” read, “Don’t send a newsletter once a week or once a month. You must email every day.”
Really? I know lots of people who are doing very well with a weekly or even monthly email, thank you very much. I’m currently on a weekly schedule with one “re-send to unopens.”
Those who email daily will usually be Role Model archetypes, although others will email extra times when they’re launching or promoting something special. Educators almost always mail less frequently. Another email expert emails 3x/week. Others send a substantive, rather long email once a week. I don’t know if they re-send because I’m always eager to open the first time!
I wrote an article on this topic: How Frequently To Email: A Story-Based Answer.
The bottom line:
Look for advice that’s framed as, “It depends.” Rarely does a strategy or tactic apply universally across the board.
Look for advice that encourages you to think like a marketer and focus on the backstory of your target client or customer. When you’re pitching anything – a sale or a guest spot – you’re the marketer and they’re the customer.