The art of the perfect pitch
If you would like to use publicity (for example, appearing on a podcast or in a publication) you need be able to nail a pitch!
In this episode, I share my tips for pitching in an effective way.
In this Episode:
- 05.23: The biggest tip, before you even start your pitch.
- 06.02: Why you need to think about the podcaster first.
- 10.08: The importance of building a relationship.
- 12.42: How to use your current resources and connections.
- 13.48: Why you need to be patient and don’t take it personally when you don’t get a response.
- 18.05: How to make it easy for the person you are pitching to.
- 18.55: The power of a thank you.
Do you want to be published or appear on a podcast? Well, you have to learn how to perfect the art of a pitch. Today I share my hacks for getting more eyes on your business through publicity.
You’re listening to the Clare Wood podcast, where we talk all things business, finance, marketing, and mindset for entrepreneurs, sharing practical tips, and actionable advice to help you take your business to the next level. Introducing your host: me! I’m Clare Wood, I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, and a reality tv addict, and I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life, because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two. Now let’s dive right in to today’s episode.
If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while and you’d like to learn a little more about how we can work together, make sure you stick around to the very end of the episode, as I am launching a new and exciting way that I can connect with and help more people. So if you want to learn how you can work with me to up-level your business, grow your results and make some epic changes in your business, make sure you listen right to the end.
Now before I get into today’s episode, on my solo episodes I always like to give something back to the community, which is you guys, that support me so much. So each week, I read out a few reviews, and today’s reviews are actually from outside of Australia. Which just lights me up so much, that people all around the world are listening to this podcast.
The first one is from Megan who is based in South Africa. Megan is a Pinterest expert and her business is called Haskin Creatives, and her review says “I’m so obsessed with Clare’s energy and her insight into the business world is phenomenal. She gives actionable advice and inspires you to take the next step to get your business moving and growing.” Thank you so much Megan.
And the next review is from New Zealand, and this is from Tanya, and Tanya runs a business called, the Book Playbox, and they sell subscription boxes which contains activities for 3 – 7 year old’s. And her review says “I’m really loving Clare’s insightful and inspiring business podcast, filled with useful tips and advice to help in your business. She’s interviewed some fantastic guests, and I cannot wait to see who she is going to interview next.” On that note, my guest for next week is EPIC! She regularly rubs shoulders with Richard Branson and that’s all I’m going to reveal at this stage, but you’ll really want to listen to that episode, it’s going to be super inspiring so make sure you hit subscribe, so you hear as soon as the episode lands. And if you want me to read out your business name on the podcast, please go to Apple podcasts, scroll down to review, write me a review and make sure you leave my business name as well.
Since starting this podcast, I am getting lots of requests from people asking if they can appear as a guest on the podcast. And when you bear in mind that this is just a small, Australian-based podcast, I can imagine that larger ones must get bombarded. Now the reason I wanted to do this episode is because, truthfully a lot of the requests I get are not very compelling, and it’s actually highlighted to me, how poorly I used to do this myself, so I’m not coming at this from a space of self-righteousness, but rather I want you guys to learn from the mistakes I used to make, and give you the perspective of a podcaster, so you can make sure you nail your pitch, if you want to appear on a podcast. In this episode I’m also going to go into how to get published in publications whether it’s an online blog or physical magazine, and give you some tips about how to nail that pitching process too. And the reason why I’ve lumped these two together, is because there are actually a lot of similarities across the two. So what I’m going to do first of all is talk about podcasts, and then move into publications.
So I want to give you a bit of background into a big mistake I made when pitching to a podcaster, way back when. I had had my first podcast appearance and I was feeling ten foot tall and bullet proof, so I messaged someone who has a very well-known podcast show in Australia, and I said ‘I would love to be on your show if you are open to it? I recently appeared on another podcast so let’s connect and see if there is a fit.’ Now she was very polite, and she wrote back saying she’d had a lot of pre-recorded episodes and she’s consider me in the future, but now that I’m a podcaster myself, I am cringing at that request, and the reason why is, I want to break it down a bit, and show you how I would now pitch that very differently.
Before we get into the actual process of pitching, the first thing you need to establish is what you are trying to achieve by asking to be on someone’s podcast. Are you wanting to access their audience, get your profile out there, whatever it is, that is fine, but just make sure that you know your ‘why’, and make sure that appearing on a podcast is actually the best use of your time and the best strategy to do so. And a good way to check this is to make sure they have the right audience for your product or service.
So the actual pitch, the first thing you need to think about is, the podcaster themselves. What are their motivations? What makes them tick? What topics are they passionate about? Why do they do the podcast? When you understand their why, this gives you a really big clue into how to get a yes from them. So to give you an example, there are two main reasons why I have a podcast, the number one reason is to grow my audience. The second reason is to provide interesting and relevant content to my audience. When I’m considering who I would like to appear as a guest on my podcast, these things come into play. Breaking it down, if I want a podcast to grow my audience, and I’m guessing many podcasters, especially in the business space would be doing the same thing right, then here are some things that might be interesting to them, and therefore relevant to include in the request or the pitch.
How many followers do you have? Will you be sharing this on social media? Where are your audience based? Who are your audience? How many people are on your list? Will you share it with your email list? Do you have a YouTube channel? Do you have a wider audience that you can share it with as well? Who is your target market? And, importantly, is it relevant to the person that you are pitching to? If you don’t have a big following, which is totally fine, let’s be honest, everyone had to start somewhere, so what do you have that can really stand you out from the crowd? Do you have a really unique topic to present on? Are you really funny? What’s your edge? Why would somebody want to get you on their podcast? The very first pitch that I did to appear on a podcast, I actually did this quite well, which was better than my second one that I mentioned earlier. But the first I did, was when I had a small following, and I approached the Mums with Hustle Podcast, which at the time was an up and coming podcast, she quite a good audience already, so what I did was have a really unique angle. At the time, I have recently interviewed Antonia Kidman, and for anyone who doesn’t know who she is, she is a well-known journalist, the sister of Nicole Kidman and here in Australia she is quite well-known, and I’d recently interviewed her for my business, so how I pitched how to appear on the podcast, would you like me to share with your audience, how to use big names or celebrities to grow your business. Now that’s a pretty interesting topic right, so even though I was unknown to her at the time, and I didn’t have a big following, she said yes, because she thought, wow, that is something really cool to share with my audience.
So think about yourself, what can you talk about that is really different, unique and edgy? Maybe it’s something that no one else in the market is really talking about. I saw recently that an Australian girl, her name is Claire Baker, and I saw that she was on the Jenna Kutcher podcast, and she doesn’t have a massive following, but she did have a really unique topic that she was talking about. Claire is actually a period coach and so she is teaching women how to live in sync with their menstrual cycle, so I can imagine when she pitched that to Jenna, Jenna was like wow, that’s a really interesting topic. So that’s how I imagine how she got her in. Think about your edge, your angle, think about something that will really connect with their audience.
The next tip I’ve got is before you even go to pitch, build a relationship.
So sometimes I get a request to appear as a guest on a podcast and it says, I love what you are doing and I’m a big fan of your podcast, and then I go and have a look and they aren’t even following me on Instagram, and I know that is such a simple thing but it makes me think that person didn’t really write that themselves and it came from a PR agency. I think it’s just such a simple gesture. Follow the person you want to appear on the podcast of, on Instagram. For me, I want someone who has listened to the podcast, understands me and what I’m about, but more importantly, about how I’m trying to help you guys, my community. And I want to make sure that they are here for the right reasons. Make sure you follow the person on social media and spend time building a relationship, comment and like their posts, subscribe and give their podcast a review, because most podcasters will see that. Make sure you are signed up for their newsletter and even share some of their posts on your social media. I personally think, in today’s day and age, it’s so easy to build a relationship and rapport and trust with someone online, so make that effort to do so. And what you’ll find is that someone already knows you are invested and understand their business before you come and try and pitch something to them.
This leads me to my next piece of advice, which again, embarrassingly, is a mistake that I’ve made, which is don’t pitch on mass. So you know the email I spoke to you about before, it was very generic, “I’m a bit fan of the podcast…” and when I went in I realised that it was something send to a large number of people, like I said, I’ve done it in the past myself. I think it is so much better to make a small number of really customised, value add pitches, rather than sending on mass emails. I understand people use agencies, but a smart PR agency should understand this and they should be investing time into making sure there is a relationship their before they just go and pitch call.
On this topic of building a relationship, if you’ve got resources, us them! Offer to help that person first. I’m quite often blown away when another podcaster asks me if they can be on my podcast, and they don’t offer me the same in return, to me I think that is such an easy win, and in fact, I recently had a podcaster reach out, and she said I’d love to have you on my podcast, but didn’t mention me doing it in return, but straight away my instinct was I’d love to have you on my podcast as well, so use the resources you have available to you. And offer to help them first. If you don’t have your own podcast, offer to do a blog on them, or an Insta live interview, think of something that you can do to help them grow their business. Again, this is a way of building a relationship and rapport and trust, before you go and make the pitch.
Now the next tip I’ve got for you is be patient, and don’t take it personal. As I mentioned earlier, I’m getting requests at the moment and some of them will be a good fit for me now, and some of them won’t. If someone has reached out, then I know they are on my radar and I know they are keen to be on my podcast, but if you do put out a pitch and someone says no thank you, don’t get upset, they are just making the best decision for their business and audience. Don’t take it personal. Just know that the right opportunity is out there for you. A good idea if someone does say no to you, is to ask for some feedback. Just say “no problems at all, I’d love to get some feedback about why I wasn’t successful this time.” The feedback might be that we don’t share the same audience, and in which case it just wasn’t a good fit. I had someone recently that I’d requested to come onto my podcast and she said “Not at this stage”, and when I asked for feedback she said, “When you have a larger audience I’d love to connect again.” Which is fantastic feedback for me because it is very specific, and now I know what her motivator is, so I can each out again in future, when I have a larger audience and ask again then. Just bear in mind that the person you are pitching to might be quite busy, if they take a while to get back to you, or they might not get back to you at all. They might be considering it and working through lots of different requests.
So now we’ve covered quite a bit of detail about how to get on a podcast, so I want to switch and chat about publications. Because I feel there are a lot of the same rules, but I want to expand some of my thoughts about how to best go about getting published.
I have been published quite a few times as have many clients of mine, so I want to share some of the how’s.
Definitely the last two points we spoke about, firstly is to build relationships first. This can be quite hard in the space of media, because it is quite a tight-nit community so this might be a good opportunity to invest working with a PR agency, because a lot of times they do have established relationships with publications, so consider investing with someone in PR. Again, if you pitch and don’t hear back, don’t take it personal, be patient and keep trying, try another angle or at a later stage, even if you don’t hear back from them, just try a different article at a different stage. Another thing that is similar is, as I mentioned about content, really understand the target market of who you are pitching to. What do you think their target market would want to know? What is the edge about the topic or article you are pitching to? Make sure you have a really interesting story that will be of interest to their market. Because think about their motivators, they want to sell more magazines, or they want more clicks to their articles or website, so make it something that is going to sell. Again, if you need help in this space, if you can’t quite find out how to get a newsworthy story or angle, I’d suggest investing with a great PR agency.
Moving into some specific tips around getting published, the first one is to respond to requests. I’m talking here about selling on a push basis, which is reaching out to publications and podcasters. On a pull basis, there are actually platforms where journalists have a topic or are requesting help to write an article. An example of this is, SourceBottle it’s an email that comes out and it’s where journalists say “hey, I’m looking for a person to speak about Instagram.” And it’s a great way to pitch directly on something they are already looking for
My tip there would be, respond to requests rather than going out and necessarily pitching.
And my next tip is make it easy for them. When you think about magazines, online blogs and newspapers, can you imagine how much stuff comes across their desk. So when you send your article, make sure you include your bio and images, so they don’t have to come back to you, make it as easy as possible, share everything they would need, upfront, even if you have a media kit that you can share straight away, it makes it easy for that person. On that note, I have found in the past that when I actually have a pre-written article that they just need to publish, that often people find that easier as well, because they don’t have to go off and do a lot of work, it’s all there ready for them.
My last tip, and again this is something embarrassingly I didn’t used to do, is in the thank you. So, a small gift is a lovely way to say thanks, or even just a really nice email thanking them for the opportunity, whether you appear on a podcast, whether you were published in a magazine or online, it’s just a really nice gesture, a way of saying thanks.
And last but not least, continue the relationship, once you’ve appeared on the podcast or published, don’t just never contact that person again, continue to engage with them on social media, and have that relationship, because you never know what something might bring in the future, so make sure you continue to support them, refer work their way, do a shout-out to their magazine or publication, continue the relationship over time.
So there you have it, all my tips for pitching whether it’s for a podcast or publication. Just to recap:
- Check your ‘why’ – is this actually something that is good for your business? Do they share the same target market?
- What makes the podcaster or publication tick? Are you appealing to their why, and offering something that they want?
- Build a relationship, engage, subscribe, show that you are invested and that you understand their business.
- Offer to help them first.
- Do less pitches, but a higher quality and customisation in your pitches.
- Be patient and don’t take it personal
- Make it easy for the person you are pitching to
- If you do get published, make sure you remember the thank you at the end and continue the relationship after the fact.
So I mentioned at the start that I would be sharing with you, some exciting news that I have. If you like the content that I share in the podcast, you will love the new program I have coming up soon. It’s filled with master classes delivered by me and industry leaders and experts. It includes calls with me every week, where you can ask questions, to help grow your business. If you want to know the details about this program when it does launch, make sure you are on my mailing list. I’ll include a link in the show notes, so make sure you check it out at clarewood.com.au/podcast/episode16. I would love the opportunity to work with you and to help you grow your service-based business with less stress.
Thank you so much for joining me today, and I hope you have an amazing week. See you soon!
Thank you so much for joining me today, if you enjoyed this episode, please make sure you subscribe to receive future episodes, and I’d be so grateful for a review on apple podcast! If you’d like a copy of the show notes or any of the links mentioned today, please jump over to clarewood.com.au/podcast and remember that Clare is spelled CLARE, have a wonderful week and look forward to chatting to you again soon!
About your host
Hi, I’m Clare Wood – I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, a reality tv addict, and a passionate business coach. I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life; because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two.