Q & A: How to email pitch your hand-made business (a) – 7 ingredients you must know

by yiye

You’ve built a business which is a true expression of who you are. You’ve even crafted a fab offer that could make a difference in people’s lives (hooray!)

Now you are dealing with the uncomfortable part – getting yourself out there – email pitching!

You want people to buy from you, take you on as a partner, or feature you in their blog/magazine/newsletter….how exciting! But hey how dreadful it is to pitch?! You are a creative, a visionary – you are not here to pitch, yeah?

I received a great question from a reader a few weeks ago (thanks for asking!)

How can you write an email pitch without fears or anxiety?

Well, just like a guy wondering how to ask a lady out without fear of rejection, it is not always easy. But with some insight into psychology and consistent practice, it is achievable. In fact, by the end of this blog post, you should see pitching can be quite simple.

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First of all, however, I want you to forget about selling or pitching first.

I invite you to rewind your memory and think about your first date, or go back even further – when you accepted a date or initiated a date.

If you were the guy, (ok I am going to be a little bit stereotypical here. In fact for simplicity reason, let’s all imagine that we are “the guy”), did you tell the other person how many degrees you’ve got? which university you went to and that you won many scholarships/awards there?

No.

Of course not, because that will just bore the other person.

Instead you drop a casual topic and get the conversation started.

Did you talk about how excited you were when you first learnt how to ride a bicycle? Or give the other person a 10 page report on how amazing your kids would be once you guys get married?

Probably not either – although this kind of stuff is cute, you’ll save them later once you know each other better…

You probably didn’t talk about yourself very much other than your name, because you want to show that you have a real interest in the other person, yeah?

Guess you know what I am getting at….

Email sender and receivers usually look at the same information from different perspectives. For small businesses and freelancers, the psychology behind sales pitching is very similar to dating – you need to put the receiver first, show some genuine interests and gain a rapport before anything happens.

In order to get your email opened, read, understood, and acted on, you need to get following right:

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1. A subject line that is relevant or head turning.  Just like a good chat up opening line always helps to get a response, you need something to attract the receiver’s attention – they might receive hundreds of emails to scan through right now.

2. Make it personal & always remember to put your prospective clients first.  Send the email to individuals and address them by their first name. Refrain from talking about your stories or even skills (yet). You make an interesting conversation to start with. Not sure if you could be interesting? Then make a polite, friendly and short conversation to start with.

Demonstrate that you understand their dreams/vision, problems and frustrations. Once they feel that they are understood, the rapport is built. Everything else becomes easier later.

3. Simplicity is key. Respect their time, make your email as concise as you can.

Give bullet points of what exact problems you can solve for them. Make sure you state clearly the benefits of what they will get (not so much of the features, I’ll give examples next week). Unless it is asked, please don’t give them a 10 page report straight away.

If you do that, the underlying tone will be translated as:”I don’t really care about your time. It’s all about me”. Although it might not be true, it could the case that you are so keen to show them that your products/services are right for them. This leads to the next point.

4. Be confident but approachable. Research shows that confident guys get more dates, even if they are not the tallest, the best looking, wealthiest ones.

Similarily, it’s OK that you just start out your business, it’s OK that you don’t even have a complete portfolio yet – as long as you understand their problems and can resolve them with confidence and reliability.

If you put your “confident” hat on, you won’t have the tendency to over-sell.

5. Social credibility or connections. It will be a lot easier to build trust if you guys are already connected via the same groups, friends or contact – if so, do mention the connection in your email.

Or if you haven’t got any connection yet, before you do the pitch, you can connect with them on social media, answer their questions on forums, make useful or interesting comments on their blogs etc.

If you have some social credibility, you can spell it out briefly at the end of the email (or maybe in the middle of the email, I don’t recommend to do it right at the start, see #2), in particular if your offering is slightly unusual.

6. Give a call to action. People might just have had a long day when they open your email, and prefer not to second guess what you are after, so give them a clear call to action:

 “Please let me know if you would like to discuss further, does Thursday 4pm sound good for you?”

“I am keen to hear your thoughts”

“I will be grateful if you could kindly spread the words for me”

“Can you please introduce me to xxx?”

……

7. Finally, don’t treat as if all sales pitches are unwanted. For those who are in need of help and assistance, they LOVE the fact you approached them! Just like girls who are ready to meet a guy, they appreciate the fact that the guy went out his way and talked to her, it saves a lot of second guessing and frustration.

Get it right, your email could well be someone’s light at the end of the tunnel….

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Next week, I will give you a few examples on email pitching:

1. My book designer Anni Hayden Lane’s email (she is a fabulous designer, check out her websites here & here) and why I enjoyed her emails and offer.

2. A recent email I sent to an editor of Health and Fitness (Sep’s issue), to be included as a case study on how to turn around work related stress.

3. Template/script that you can use and tailore for yourself!

Find this post useful? Please share it on.

Want your question to get answered, simply get on the mailing list and send me your question. Plus, there are some bonus tips I only share in emails…

As always, sending you all my love and good vibes!!

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Sibylle

As usual I love the points you make, Yiye, and the comparison to dating is so true! E-mails that go on and on about the product are like those terrible dates who can’t shut up about themselves 😉 As many wise people have said: Think about how you can serve people, because that can make you rich.

Much love and blessings!
Sibylle

yiye

Hi Sibylle,
I like this: “Think about how you can serve people, because that can make you rich.” thanks for sharing 🙂

all my love
Yiye

Brigitte

Thank you so much for all the great advice and it really helps to re-frame email pitching when seeing it in the context of attraction and dating. Great stuff to get into action as usual 🙂

yiye

Thanks Brigitte for reading, as always 🙂
love
Yiye

Crystal

Hi Yiye,

Brilliant timing! I am just getting off the ground and so value this post.

Thanks!

Crystal

yiye

Glad to know Crystal, thanks for connecting and good luck!! 🙂

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