There’s nothing like curling up with a good self-improvement book to give you a swift kick in the pants. I remember reading my very first one (which shall rename nameless). Needless to say, I couldn’t seem to keep in good condition, as it was thrown across the room more times than I’d like to admit.
However, despite my unwillingness to come to terms with reality, these books have been an invaluable asset to my relationships with people. I would not have been able to connect and develop quality relationships with people without first knowing which areas I needed to improve upon.
One of the best authors of self-improvement literature is Dale Carnegie. In his classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Carnegie discusses how to be an effective communicator and leader. He shows us how to improve in both our personal lives and in professional settings. If you can master the skills he outlines in How to Win Friends, you will be a master connector and networker.
So, how can the principles in this book help you develop a strong blogger network and create the perfect blogger outreach pitch? Let’s dig a little deeper into 12 key points outlined in the book…
1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
Before drafting your outreach pitch, you should first think like a blogger. Think of what would appeal to you as a blogger. Think of what would make you want to work with you. Then, read their blog, and become familiar with it. Read their about page, find out why they even started the blog, and what they want to accomplish with it.
Spend time reading and commenting on their blog before pitching to them. They will know that you have been interacting with their blog when you email them.
Do not pitch something to them that does not relate to their blog. Do a quick search of their blog to see if they have done something similar to what you are pitching to them. If you’re pitching a review of an app, check if they have written a review of an app before.
2. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
Personalize your pitch every time. Never start your email with “dear blogger.” Address them by first name if you want your email to get read. If you met them in person, would you greet them with, “Hi, blogger?”
3. Begin in a friendly way.
Inject emotion in your email—don’t sound like a robot. Use lighthearted adjectives like great, awesome, fun, and interesting to describe their blog or a specific blog post. Emoticons always give positive reinforcement : )
4. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
Compliment something specific about their blog in your pitch, such as the blog design or a post that really resonated with you. Just telling them “nice blog” won’t work. Stroke their ego a bit. Let them know you noticed that new feature they just added and tell them how much you enjoy it.
5. Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes.
In sales, closing a prospect becomes much easier if you can get them to agree with you in the very beginning of the conversation. The same applies with your blogger outreach pitch. Can you think of questions that will have them nodding their head while reading your email? Do you think you would be more successful with this approach, as opposed to asking open-ended questions?
6. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
Find common ground and include it in your pitch. Do you both like the same sports team? Do you follow New York Fashion Week each season? Let them know you identify with them on a personal level. However, be careful that you are honest and sincere with this connection.
Reference a recent post on their blog that relates to your pitch. Connect this to your campaign so they are more likely to want to work with you.
7. Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely.
Let the blogger know you are only reaching out to high quality bloggers, or a specific number of bloggers. Give them exclusivity.
Show them appreciation by thanking them once they have accepted your pitch and followed through with working with you. Reciprocate the love through social media by tweeting their posts, commenting on their blog, and sending them occasional emails to see how they are doing.
Another cool way to give them exposure is to add them to a relevant Twitter list you have created. Since your followers can see your lists, this is a great way to expose them to more followers and referrals. It will also potentially connect them with other bloggers in their niche.
8. Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers.
This goes hand-in-hand with making the blogger feel important and like they are the first to know. Also, if you are working on a campaign, reach out to them and let them know you need help with fleshing out a really big campaign and need their expertise. Ask them what they would like to see or read in their niche. You will already have your foot in their door before you even pitch an idea to them.
9. Appeal to the nobler motives.
Include a heart-warming touch to your pitch that will resonate with them. If a charity or cause is involved in your campaign, include that. Let them know how their involvement will help another person or group of people. Bloggers love to give more than they receive. They are giving their time and expertise every time they publish a post.
10. Dramatize your ideas.
Show the blogger why it is worth their while to work with you. Give the blogger a beneficial reason why they should accept your pitch, and they may even refer their blogger friends to you for future engagements.
At the same time, do not include too much fluff in your email. Let the blogger know exactly why you are contacting them. Stick to the point.
11. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
When pitching your campaign to the blogger, ask them if they would be interested in covering it. Also, let them know you are running the campaign for a certain period of time and ask them if they would be able to meet that deadline. Don’t tell them they must respond by a certain time or else.
This also applies to following up. Ask them if they were still interested in working with you. Also, don’t demand they give you a positive review – expect an honest review.
12. Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.
Offer the blogger an incentive for working with you. Give them something to look forward to for covering your campaign. Sweeten the deal with something you know they would like and can’t wait to tell their friends and readers about!
What are some techniques you have found success with your blogger outreach pitches?