As an artist, maker or creator of any sort, it can be really difficult to put ourselves out there.
Emailing a blog or magazine and ask them to look at what you do? It cripples many of us creatives into knee-knocking fear, or a spiral of questions like, "What am I supposed to say about myself that won't sound desperate or smarmy or full of myself?" "What do I say that's going to stand out from the hundreds of other emails they receive?" "If I email them and just ask for a feature isn't that, like, bugging them?"
Many of us stop there, paralyzed in endless self-questioning to the point that we never send the pitch at all. We don't reach out. We stay where we are, where no one can judge us. We find plenty of excuses as to why we're "not ready" to put ourselves out there yet.
So enough's enough, I say. It's time to stop the spiral of talking ourselves out of what we know will help us grow, and instead get CONFIDENT about putting ourselves out there!
To do that, all you have to do is think about a pitch from the editor's perspective.
How to pitch with the editor in mind
#1: Talk to an editor like a real person
Because they're real people, and this is real life.
For some reason, a lot of folks pitching to webistes seem to forget common courtesy. If you address them by name, introduce yourself, find some common ground to start a conversation, you'll impress and engage them off the bat because it's something so few people take the time to do.
#2: Don't worry about how to talk about yourself without sounding jerky — make it about them
What is everyone's favorite subject to talk about? Themselves!
Most pitches that editors receive tend to sound like "me, me, me, look at me", and reading one after the other starts to feel very draining. Instead, approach the editors showing interest in them & the blog/site itself, show that you know who you're talking to, what they're generally looking for and that you genuinely consider yourself a good potential match, you'll stand out.
Focus on them and what you make might interest or benefit them — it's not really about you — approach it from that direction and it'll feel much easier to write and way less sales-y!
#3: Keep it short and get them to click
Your main objective in a pitch is not to give an editor a totally clear idea of all that you are and all that you have to offer. It's to get them to click. That's goal #1.
You want to intrigue them so that they get interested enough to learn more and click the link to your site. Once they're there, your about page, copy, and photos will do the talking for you.
The shorter you make the pitch email, the easier it will be for the editor to read and respond to it.
To help illustrate these points, let's take a look at a couple example pitches to see what seems more effective to you:
Dear editor, I just wanted to quickly let you know about my latest jewelry collection. It's made from stainless steel, which is very eco-friendly being made from 100% recycled elements, and each piece has been hand-cut into designs that echo my upbringing in a small mountain town, where I grew up endlessly inspired by the nature surrounding me.
I've been making jewelry for over 15 years and studied metal design in school, but up til now I wasn't using those skills in my designs and I finally decided to put those two talents together to create this new collection I'm sharing with you here! (link)
I have a lookbook and some photos attached and would love you to take a look and maybe feature me on your site?
Good things about this pitch: it's short and sweet, points out particular things that the editor may find interesting. It seems decent enough on the surface, but it's a pitch that actually might be a turn off to an editor and get ignored. Why? Because it doesn't take the editor, or the media outlet, into consideration at all! It sounds like the same pitch that could have been mailed to every other everybody out there and it's all about me, me, me.
Let's try it a different way:
Hi Meighan, My name is Jena and I noticed that you've been featuring more eco-friendly accessories on the blog lately, so I thought you might like my new line of jewelry that's made entirely out of recycled stainless steel: (link to collection)
Each piece was hand-cut in shapes reflective of the mountains I grew up by, which I thought you'd appreciate as I know you're inspired by nature too with all those great photos you post from your walks.
It's a brand new line and I wanted to share it with you first. Do you think a piece from it might work for an upcoming Wednesday Outfitted feature?
I'd love to hear what you think. Thanks for your consideration!
If you were the editor of this fashion/accessories blog and received each pitch, which would appeal to you more? Which feels more cold or salesy? Which feels more like it'd be a mutually beneficial relationship, off the bat?
You can find even more examples of actual pitches that worked and received write-ups, and ones that didn't, in my Pitch Kit! My pitch has many more tips for getting into an editor's head as well as practical advice on all the how-tos of pitching, from building a targeted media list to what kind of subject line to use and what days are best to send emails on. It has all you need to know to do your own PR with more confidence, and success!
Have a pitching question? Or hesitation? I'd love to hear what's holding you back from gettin' out there and see if I can help!