When you’re getting ready to approach someone about an idea or project, the nerves can get to you. It’s kind of like talking to your crush for the first time.
How do I know this person will even give me the time of day?
What if they don’t respond?
What if they laugh at my idea or tell me I suck?
You make some valid points!
The good thing is, when you learn to do publicity the right way, you might never talk to strangers again.
You might be thinking:
“Just a minute, Ieva. Isn’t talking to people I don’t know and getting my story in front of new audiences the whole point of PR?”
You bet it is, my dear.
I’ve been able to build a fantastic network for my business and my clients. I’m constantly reaching out to people I don’t know…
but they’re not strangers to me.
I’m deliberate about who I reach out to. Only under specific circumstances will I send out emails to hundreds of people. Even then, I have a fairly good idea of what each person I email is interested in.
You’re more than welcome to ignore this advice.
If you choose the random email option, you might turn into one of those publicists who spam everyone.
I still have PR guys from well-respected companies blasting me pitches to review music. I haven’t done a music review in almost 2 years. They clog my inbox and haven’t taken the time to see that my music blog is no longer online.
If you don’t want to be one of those guys, here’s what you’re going to do:
1. Be honest with yourself.
What is the purpose of your project/product/song/idea/etc.?
Why are you doing it?
This is the core of your story. This is what makes people interested in what you’re doing. Anyone can take a look or listen and explain what you’re doing.
Only you can explain why you’re doing it. And that right there is a storytelling goldmine.
The internet is a treasure-trove of information. I used to think it was creepy to look someone up before I emailed them. Now I call it diligence.
Did a writer cover a topic similar to my story six months ago? Now might be the perfect time to pitch them.
Did an angel investor you respect just write an open letter to female entrepreneurs in the fashion industry? If you fit the description, get in touch!
You have to have to listen. It doesn’t matter if you’re meeting someone for the first time, or ransacking the web looking for new trends.
There is only so much active research you can do. I’ll admit, sometimes a quick LinkedIn search is all you need.
Other times you might follow someone on Instagram, attend one of their workshops, and spend months reading their blog before you’re ready to reach out and start a conversation.
By listening to someone for an hour or a year, you can learn their story, see patterns in their interests, and hone in on what lights them up. Then you can decide how to be of service to them!
The key is to stop wasting people’s time.
Stop wasting your time reaching out to people who could care less about what you do.
Save investors, writers, podcasters, and businesspeople time, too. Pitch these people when you have tangible, researched proof that connects you to each other in a meaningful way. Give them something worth their while, instead of expecting to get something from them.
Tell me, which of these points clicked with you? What can you do today to test these ideas out?