There I was, reading a magazine in print one night (because you all should - put the Kindle down - the electric light is bad for your eyes - just subscribe to your favorite magazines in print and read them), and hit the Letter from the Editor in Entrepreneur Magazine. Normally I skip this part, unless the first sentence catches me, hinting that I'm going to get real thoughts from the editor and not just an overview of what the issue is about.
Jason Feifer, Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine, often dedicates this space to his readers, to educate them in how to pitch the media. How to have that pitch work to convince them to feature you - for free. Because plenty of content now is branded aka paid, and it’s actually getting better all of the time. Point is - you want that honest validation from a media outlet. And Entrepreneur’s editor in chief is committed to telling you how to do that. This month, he zeroed in on two words you need to remember: “wanted” and “value”.
The key to a winning pitch is to show the value of what you’re saying right away. First sentence. Show the value of your business or your expert tips right away. Spark the idea in that editor’s mind of “why,” so that the lightbulb goes off in their head and they are like “OH! 🤩 I must show this to my people right away! They will thank my (magazine, TV show, podcast, etc) for sharing this with them!”
The secret to doing that is not to say:
- “Your readers will thank you for showing this to them.” Even though this is the inspiration behind your writing, and the wind beneath your wings of emailing the editor/writer/podcaster/etc. Skip saying that part. You’re going to show, not tell.
- “I wanted to...” Jason pulls this phrase out of a soggy pitch he received to call attention to this point: a winning pitch is not about what you want. It’s about what your receiver wants. Remove this phrase from any pitch you write. Even if it’s to a sponsor you are pursuing for advertising investment. Delete this phrase if you’ve typed it, and get straight to the point. Tell them why they need it, why it’s awesome, and what it is.
Good luck out there! Keep pitching. Keep practicing. Pitches made in real life are part of the practice, so keep finding people who are good matches for your message. Find those people in Tin Shingle’s Media Contact Library. We’re adding to it all the time. Send us your pitch drafts. Our Pitch Whisperer Sounding Board (fancy name for a Members-only community forum on our website) is where you can test your pitch, and get feedback in a safe and supportive space.