I had the privilege of speaking at the Type A Parent Conference in Atlanta in 2015. I co-presented "Attention-Grabbing Brand Pitches", sharing my experiences and advice from over 15 years of experience as an advertising and media planning professional. The group of bloggers who sat in on the session were smart, inquisitive, and attentive.
Even better than the session? The post-session conversations. I hope my speaking partner and I were able to assist at least a few on their path towards getting noticed and respected by some of the pros on the ad side.
The biggest head-nodding moment of the session was probably when the room quieted and (I hope) contemplated this thought: "It is NOT ABOUT YOU."
Repeat after me...
It's. Not. About. Me.
Many totally get it. Others may not. Think about this...
Stop pitching about all that you know, why YOU love the product. How YOU use the product. Do not approach a pitch thinking just of what you can get. Do not attend a conference just to stuff a tote bag full of "swag". Sponsors are not at an event solely to give you stuff. They are there to make valuable and meaningful connections with people (you) who influence a desirable target audience (your readers).
Professional writers know that it is all about the audience. The most basic formula goes something like this:
(1) Provide content that your audience wants.
(2) Provide ways for the most engaged readers ("fans") to share that content.
(3) Connect with marketers who want to reach that audience.
If you are pitching a potential advertiser, keep the conversation about their target audience. How will your proposal help that brand reach that audience? How can you prove that your audience is the right fit? What leads you to believe that your blog/social media offering can achieve the client's goals?
It doesn't matter if you love their product.. although that would be nice. What matters is that your readers would like, BUY, and use their product. It matters that your words and images can convince the right people to consider a purchase.
Don't sell a cat product to a dog brand. Sell what fits. Sell what will benefit the client. Answer their "what's in it for me?" before they have to ask you.
Thanks so much to Type A Parent (on Twitter: @typeaparent) for the invitation to speak! Once again, bravo for an inspiring and smart conference weekend.