4 Agencies Share Tips on How to Pitch in 2021
Whether you're a creator, a marketer, or somewhere in between, you may be able to get some use out of this post. Here's the deal. I asked 4 agencies for their tips on what a good pitch is in 2021. This is straight from the mouths of 4 founders of their own agencies, and let me tell you, things have changed majorly since I jumped into the content creation game back in 2012. There's less time, attention spans are shorter, our attention is requested in multiple directions so you have to be brief, impactful and straight to the point while also maintaining decency and respect for whoever you're emailing. Let's jump in.
Catchy subject - you want to tailor this depending on the brand you're reaching out to. I also like positioning things as "opportunities" or "exclusive opportunities" instead of putting a request in a subject. Some ideas are-
"My TikTok featuring [BRAND] went viral with 1M views"
"Sharing [BRAND] with my community of 500K skincare lovers?"
"My community is asking about [BRAND]!"
"Sharing my posts featuring [BRAND]!"
"My audience loved my [XYZ CONTENT] featuring [BRAND]"
1-2 sentence intro: Your name, your cross-platform total following (i.e. "I have 3M followers across IG, TikTok, and YouTube) and mention any other unique platforms that you have (i.e podcast).
1 sentence examples of when you've organically mentioned the brand (i.e. "I've been a fan of [BRAND] since it launched - you can find one of my Instagram posts featuring Last But Not Least Moisturizer here" or attach screenshots of IG stories, etc.)
If you HAVEN'T already mentioned, use this 1 sentence to explain why you want to work with them. Make this PERSONAL.
My other advice is never to cold pitch a partnership with a brand you haven't organically mentioned before - if you've never worked with them before, ask to be gifted first, then follow up with your post(s), any analytics and THEN the request to partner.
If you want to pitch a brand you haven't worked with (organically OR paid), share an example of content that you want to work on with them (i.e. "I'd love to feature [BRAND] in my series, Monday Night Mash Up (example here) - my most recent video in the series had 115K views!")
What's the request? Make this clear! Do you want to work on a paid partnership? Do you want to be gifted? END THE EMAIL WITH A QUESTION! This is critical because everyone is skimming emails and wants to know what you want from them.
If you haven't organically worked with a brand, it's important to lay out how you'll add value beyond vanity metrics. Talk about the specific content you envision creating
If you have worked with a brand before and they aren't willing to pay, ask about testing affiliate partnerships, etc. if you believe you can generate true conversion for them - that's an easy way for them to gauge if you are worth the investment
Also LINK EVERYTHING - your handles, your posts that you are sharing, etc.
Attach a ONE SHEET on your audience, stats, etc. - I hate a media kit to begin with and anything longer than a page isn't getting read unless I'm the one requesting it.
Example below -
My name is Adaleta, and I'm a content creator with a community of 1M+ engaged beauty consumers across Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.
I've been using Dr. Dennis Gross products for years - you can find my most recent posts here, here and here.
I'd love to discuss the brand's 2021 launches and activations, and see how we can work together in a more meaningful way. Dr. Gross's Alpha Beta Peel would be a great fit for my series, Mash Up Monday where I deep dive into my favorite products. My most recent video in the series had over 150K views!
Do you have time to chat this week and discuss larger partnership opportunities?
Bryn Kenny, the co-founder of PR & marketing agency MBA Partners, responded with her bullet points on how to send the perfect pitch via email. Emails are tough to build relationship with, especially if it's the first time you're reaching out but there's a lot of great advice for any and all emails being sent to colleagues and those you interact with professionally.
Do your research: is a brand’s aesthetic similar to yours?
What types of influencers have they worked with thus far?
Why do you think you’d be a great ambassador for X brand?
Never send an email that feels impersonal or part of a “bcc” scenario, or one that feels entitled in any way.
Come from a place of collaboration and, in the most direct way possible, explain what value you’ll add.
Be open to a trade relationship as a starting point and see what comes from there.
Bottom line, brands want to work with influencers—big and small—that genuinely love their product and understand and support the brand’s message (such as a charity affiliation, vegan, clean, etc).
Always include a media kit (or even a simple list of this info) when you reach out to brands -- keep it up-to-date with your social handles, key reporting metrics/numbers (followers/reach/views, audience/demos & any other analytics), a summary of who you are/what you do, past brand partners/links to bigger campaigns, links to any press/TV, etc. Keep it concise but including this relevant info is key! Brands always ask and then you cut out some emails -- then they'll also have it on file for upcoming opportunities.
May sound obvious, but always include why you like the brand and want to work with them, personal anecdotes and stories, content ideas for what you can do for them and also if relevant, link to similar content you've created to give them an idea of what you can do!
If you really want to work with a brand, that might mean buying the product first and organically posting about it (tag them, use their hashtags, etc). The brand will see and this goes a long way! If it's expensive or that's not feasible, reach out to see if gifting is possible (or an affiliate program!) and build the relationship from there (tell them why you are a fan, why you think your content featuring their brand would resonate with your followers, etc). Even offer to do a giveaway! Offering your services in a small way for free (that benefits both parties, not talking about creating/posting content for free) first, goes a long way with a brand.
Keep the relationship going whether or not they can pay you at the moment -- if possible, post regularly, check in with your brand contacts on an on-going basis, meet up (when possible), congratulate them on a big launch or even ask what's new with them and how you can help support launches/campaigns.
Leverage yourself for specific moments in the calendar year (think holidays, events, special gatherings.)
Condense the pitch, but make it super personable.
Mention a recent campaign launch or achievement the brand has done.
Tailor the pitch for each individual client (people know when things are copied and pasted).
Mention why the brand inspires you, any past work, etc.
When you pitch an agency or PR firm, mention which brand you want to work with (otherwise it is clear it's copied and pasted).
If you mention you took at the agency's site, and they have a lot of great brands and then ask to hop on a virtual meeting. Find out where they live and send them a virtual gift card for a local coffee shop OR send a $5-$10 Starbucks gift card for a virtual coffee chat.
Sending a media kit out of the gate is a huge turn-off.
Include recent results, case story, etc. (followers, conversions, etc.)
And that's a wrap. 4 agencies shared their tips on how to pitch yourself in 2021. So much helpful intel that I have personally learned from, and I have already altered my own pitch which was too long and not direct enough.