How to Pitch Yourself
I am a massive side hustler and I’ve got where I am because I pitch myself. I am the ultimate Pitch…er.
Pitching yourself is not an easy thing to do though, to start off with at least. Today I thought I would share my tips on how to get yourself out there in a non-arrogant but confident way.
It’s all about the brands. Coca-Cola, Apple and Google will agree. Make sure the same brand across all your platforms and yes I mean your website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. The last thing you want is to have a website under one name and all your social media under others. No one will be able to find you, and if you have an email with email@example.com then get rid of it. It’s not professional or a great way to start your pitch.
For a personal brand I recommend a clean, easy-to-understand and a fitted to you and your profession style.
This is something I’ve only recently done but after attending numerous networking events and not having a card I realised there’s only so much pitching that can end with you writing your email on a napkin or helping someone find your account on Twitter. A business card simplifies all of that and they don’t have to be flashy or expensive. I got 100 simple cards with all the details I need to share for about £20.
Make sure your bios are consistent and up to date. The last thing you want is to have a bio that includes your age, job and interest from three years ago. I always make sure I update my bio within a week of my birthday and on the start of a new job.
Also, make sure you’re highlighting your best bits! If you want to pitch an article to a lifestyle magazine then make sure your bio fits their demographic or profile. If you want to start a new tech company, or be a presenter or be teacher write a bio that is suitable for that role and will interest people. They’re going to know you after all.
Social media accounts
Now they’re all personally branded make sure they remain professional and relevant to their purpose. For example my Twitter is conversational but also focuses heavily on my career, my blog and my personal experiences as that is what I write about and use as inspiration for my blog and my novels. You don’t see me talking about politics or bashing other people’s views. I rarely retweet news articles that aren’t relevant to me or my brand and I definitely don’t troll people.
It’s the same for Facebook – I use this to promote my career, writing and blogs. My Instagram is slightly different as I focus more on photos of my life in London, but I also feature images of books I’ve read, things I’ve been doing. I see Instagram more as a visual diary than a social platform and I don’t use it for business or socialising too much.
Choose your social media platform of preference and focus on that. Mine is Twitter, but your’s might be LinkedIn or Instagram. And that’s fine, just make sure it’s consistent and has a style that you’re happy with and will convey your brand.
Reaching out to others
This step is one of the hardest to do but it gets easier the more you do it. If you’re a journalist then you need to pitch your pieces. If you want to collaborate with a brand or a product then you need to contact them and pitch to them why they should work with you. You should contact people on social media that inspire you or do a similar job to you and see if they can offer insight or mentorship in your career or lifestyle.
Networking and pitching go hand in hand, and the more you do of one or the other the more you increase your experience in both.
Know your brand
This is important. You need to know what you’re trying to pitch in order to pitch it well. I am a career-focused woman with a specific interest in writing about feminism, women, London lifestyle, zero-waste activism and social media. These are therefore the things I focus on when I pitch myself. I would never pitch myself to the CEO of a start-up company for an app that sells gym wear. I’m not into fitness at all, none of my followers/readers follow or read my work because of an interest in fitness or clothing, so why would they want to work with me?
I would however pitch myself to a women’s lifestyle magazine, to a London-based brand that targets young millennials for things like furniture, city-based activities or even dating. I would consider pitching to a PR about collaborating on a social media project focusing on mental health etc. I know my brand and therefore I know who I would work well with. They’re the people I pitch too.
What is your USP
Your USP – or unique selling point – is something that you have that no one else has. For me in 2019, it was being a vocal zero-waste activist doing a year long challenge in response to eco-anxiety. Because of this USP I was on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales, I wrote articles for Glamour, Huffington Post USA and The Telegraph on it. I was sent products for review from eco-friendly companies and collaborated with other ones.
In 2020, I’m no longer doing my challenge (although I am still using mostly zero-waste products!) so I’m having to find my next USP. Your USP can change. It’s like 15-minutes of fame, your life changes therefore your experience changes therefore your USP changes.
For me in 2020, my USP could be that I am possibly the youngest marketing manager in the UK trade publishing industry. Or, it could be that I am a novelist of an outrageous take on feminism in the 21st century (fingers crossed!) It could be anything. I’m discovering what it is and when I do I will pitch myself as that.
What are your goals?
Before you pitch you should have some goals. I use a vision board and vision book to create mine, just because it’s fun and also creative. Goals can be focused on anything from making money to developing a network, to working with a certain brand or increasing your engagement/awareness via social media or other platforms.
You decide what your goals are then and then you target the companies or the people you want to pitch yourself too and go for it.
With regards to pitching yourself, the worst thing that can happen is someone will say no to you. Or just ignore you. I promise you that this will happen about 75% of the time. It’s completely normal and to be expected.
You never know what other people are pitching, or how they’re pitching themselves. You just have to know what you’re pitching and go from there.