Pitchfest: Take Action [Vol. 2]
New to Pitchfest? Let me break it down.
Pitchfest is a collection of interviews and stories from real life pitch experts. These bad ass ladies have the confidence, the moxie and the know-how to whip this nervous nelly (that's me) into shape. The point, in short: make a real, thoughtful and (fingers crossed) successful pitch.
Following each interview (going live on Mondays), I'll be breaking down three key parts of their pitch advice and using those three bits to actually TAKE ACTION.
Missed Robin Reetz's excellent advice? Read this first. She's terrific.
1. Robin says to embrace brevity.
Using advice from Karla last week I came up with my own little pitch outline:
(A) I'm Laura. Iowan, Illustrator and a super fan of your brand.
(B) Here's why I'm a super fan.
(C) Here's a specific way we can work together.
(D) Looking forward to connecting, working together and continuing to follow your brand's success.
Taking this skeleton, I've applied Robin's advice to keep it short (and sweet). I've kept parts B and C to 2-4 direct sentences. "I love the way your site makes plant-keeping feel accessible, keeps the information relevant and fun, even for a novice like me. Thanks for providing such value." and "As a fan of yours and an illustrator I'd love to work with you on an illustration project like a coloring page featuring plant care, illustrations for a plant care blog post or even a custom desktop background to offer your loyal readers."
In these two sentences I've kept it personal and, by keeping my request short and specific, respected the time of my dream client.
2. Follow up. Follow up. [But don't overdo it.]
I'm as guilty as anyone- emails get lost, people get busy, Southeastern Minnesota sometimes has terrible cell service. Other times I'm avoiding emails (you do it too, don't judge). As Robin so thoughtfully states: "Follow-up regularly, but don't be pushy." Finding that balance between a "oh hey it's me again, again" and the silently crossing your fingers waiting for someone to notice my email from 4 weeks ago... that's what matters.
I have a newly created table in Evernote that reminds me to follow up (just twice) and leaves me a place to document dates and notes. Tracking it key. Especially for this easily distracted [ooh glitter] art nerd.
3. It's not you, it's me.
"Be polite, and prepare yourself for rejection."
As a former fundraiser, rejection is something I understand, have experienced and was trained to not take personally, but sometimes it's tough to be rejected when it's a product (even that lil greeting card) you created with your own two hands and head full of ideas. Rejection is part of the process. The truth is: if you don't ask, you'll never know. So just give it a shot. The worst they can say is no.