Generally we were getting a lot of questions about pitching. There's definitely an episode, you can go to the search engine or Tim will find the episode and look for it. We've talked a lot about pitching and negotiation and the whole sales process. I'll answer the second part of the question first, when should you pitch something.
I would give brands, at least, I'd reach out two months before I wanted something to happen probably, not much longer than that. Brands don't have as much visibility into what's going on three, six, nine months from now as you think that they would, so I would generally pitch two months before. If it was something like Coachella or Holiday or something that was going to be really busy and you think the brand is going to be planning a little further in advance, I would reach out a little earlier than that, but also remember that a part of the process of winning a pitch and getting someone's business is building a relationship with them. That takes time.
You think about the initial emails and then maybe you;re going to get in a call. Maybe that's going to take a week between that, and then you're going to send them a proposal, and they're gong to want to look at that for a week or two. Then you're going to go back and forth. This process does take at least a month probably, to even get to a place where there could be a decision. It's never to early to reach out and trying to build a relationship. That is 100%, the first thing you should be doing. Again brands increasingly are not wanting to work with influencers that are not organically fans of the brand already, so your first step if you want to work with a brand, you should be able to show them that you are a fan.
We have our content search feature. If you haven't used it in a while, it's on your profile, click on content. You can do a search for anything, you can pull up every time you've mentioned a brand, so if I have my new Leica that I just bought, I can go to my content search I can type in Leica, it will show every post that I've done with them, so if I was talking to Leica's head of digital and I wanted to say, "Hey I just got this camera, I'd love to work with you guys.", I would be able to show them that I actually am a fan. Very easy step ones I would say is be able to prove that you have an affinity for the brand and work to build a relationship.
One other thing that I think I haven't mentioned yet on the show about pitching is how to get ahead of potential problems. A lot of times the issue is when you email someone a pitch, they can look at it and make a decision on whether they want to work with you or not before they ever talk to you. Sometimes it's amazing. We pitched this company for their business and sent this full proposal through. We were really happy with it, very confident we were going to get the job. We didn't end up winning it. After they told us that they went with another company, we asked why and they said that they loved the proposal, it felt too elevated and they thought that they wanted to work with influencers who are less elevated and editorial.
We were like, "We obviously also have influencers that are not elevated an editorial." Because we didn't have a great, a strong relationship with them, they saw a proposal, full of editorial imagery and said, "This company only does editorial stuff, so they're not right for this campaign." We lost the business because of something that the client assumed about us that was not true. This happens all the time. You want to take a look at one, your pitch, two, your profile. Try and think, what are the things that could potentially, that brands could potentially think, or that could potentially disqualify me?
A lot of times, what people want to do, is when they get shown something new, they think about how can I discount this and move on? A lot of times, when you meet someone new, you're not thinking, "Oh, my gosh. I am looking for reasons to really like this person." A lot of times, you're thinking, "I want a reason to say I don't like this person, so I can just get out of this conversation and move on." That is just how our brains naturally work. It'a a chemical thing. It's not a choice that you're making. People will look for holes in you, in your feed, in your presentation that they can just say, "Not right for us. Move on."
If there is something that you feel like a brand might assume, that will disqualify you from something, I like to do, we say this in our pitches sometimes, we're like, think about it like the last rap in 8 Mile with Eminem. In that last rap battle, he says everything that the person's going to say shitty about him. He gets ahead of all those things, and then makes it so that that person can't say any of those things about Eminem. First of all, great moment in movie, music history. Also, it makes sense for you as an influencer.
If your following is only 20,000, and you're pitching a brand, and you know, they're probably wanting to work with someone bigger, talk about that in the email. Say, "I know I only have 20,000 followers. I know you may think that is not big enough for you to work with. Let me tell you why that's not the case." If your audience, if you've just moved from Italy, and 70% of your audience is in Italy, but 30% is in the US, you want to say, "Hey, look. I know you look at my account, you some of it's in Italian. You see that I've just moved here. Yes, 70% of my audience is in Italy. I understand that your marketing budgets are for the US only, so I'm happy to come down on my rates, because I really want to build a relationship and start to work with you."
Get ahead of any of the potential problems. A lot of times, when we go to pitch brands, we're the smallest company in the running to try and win the business. We don't try and hide that, we talk about it. We say, "Yes, we are smaller than every other company that is pitching you. Yes, that means that we have less resources, but it also means we care a lot more. You're going to be a bigger part of our business than the other people who are pitching. We're going to care a lot more. You're going to get the best of the best resources that we have, not just whoever isn't working on something."
We try and take that potential negative and turn it into a positive, because if you don't do that, they will take the potential negative and just make it an actual negative. They will disqualify you, and you'll never be able to start the relationship. A good activity, I think, for those who are out there actively pitching, is look at your account. Think about all of the shitty things that someone might assume about you, or all of the reasons that someone who doesn't know you might say that you're not a fit for their brand. Write them out. Write out what your response to that would be. Then, think about which one of those you should put in the email. I think it's an effective strategy. Let me know if it works.
- Pitching 101, Finding Inspiration, Filler Content