As a human being, it’s very likely that you’ve got a ton of great ideas swimming around in that head of yours. Maybe you even have so many ideas that you don’t know where to put them all—they don’t all fit on your blog, or your friend’s blogs, or your company’s blogs. There’s probably so many ideas in there that it’s starting to get a little cluttered.
Well, what do you do with things that you have too much of? You get rid of them: sell them, give them away, donate them, and so forth. It’s the same thing with ideas.
Our new Voices of Customer Support project is here to help. We’ll be connecting people with bright, shiny ideas like you to companies looking to give them forever homes. But, maybe you’ve never done any creating for someone else, and you’re not sure how to even go about getting them interested. Unfortunately, unlike puppies, ideas aren’t always so easy to get other people invested in. Good news: we’re also here to help with that. Here is Support Driven’s guide on how to write a good pitch.
Tell them your idea and why it is unique
First things first: they need to know what your idea is. They also need to know how unique it is. Why should they have you tell their readers about it, as opposed to someone else? Why do they need to have this information? Keep this part short and sweet—two to three sentences max—and make sure it hits the most interesting parts of your idea.
For example: Learning to provide feedback efficiently and considerately is already a huge task. Once you’ve tackled that, it’s time to learn how to invite feedback, both constructive and positive, for yourself. This post will give you three ways to cultivate a persona of acceptance and interest when it comes to feedback.
Who is your proposed audience?
Audience is one of the most important things to keep in mind when writing. After all, you’d speak differently to your friends than you would to the executive team for your company, wouldn’t you? By having the audience in mind right from the get go, you’ll be much more conscientious of your tone as you write, thus making editing more quick going at the end.
Similarly, it’s possible that the company or site you are pitching to doesn’t have a large readership in the demographic that you are writing for. That would mean that, probably, the two of you weren’t a great fit. You don’t want your writing going somewhere where people won’t be receptive, and the company doesn’t want a piece that no one in their target audience is going to care about.
An example of this would look like: The audience of my piece is people just starting to move into a managerial role.
How long is it going to take you to write this? If the company hasn’t already given you a deadline, you should let them know when you can have it done. Try to be honest with yourself about this: it looks bad to give one deadline and not be able to meet it, or be able to meet it but with a subpar piece that requires a lot of editing. It’s better to give a farther-out date and deliver a super-stellar piece of work, than cobble something together ultra-quickly.
Hopefully you have some links to stuff you’ve already written, but if you don’t: get on that! Join our writing challenge or sign up to write a day-in-the-life or career timeline post! Once you’ve got some writing under your belt, you can show people what you’re working with.
Be sure to provide links to the pieces that you’ve written that you think are most similar in tone or topic to what you’re pitching, otherwise the reader will wonder why/what they’re even reading. You wouldn’t give someone in real life a magazine if they asked you for a long novel, so don’t do that here either.
This is not necessary, but will show the person you are pitching to that you’ve put some thought into it, and may differentiate you over other pitches. Create an outline of what you’ll cover in the piece. For example, for this one, I would have written:
Things to include in a pitch:
- What your idea is and why it is unique
- Who your proposed audience is
- Deadline/when you can have it done by
- Writing sample
- Synopsis/outline of how you will structure your piece
Get as detailed as you can. This will both help the reader get a picture for what the end piece will look and flow like and also help you move a bit more quickly when you actually get to writing. Similarly, it may showcase another idea that they want you to expand upon, and give you another option for writing for them in the future.
Ultimately, these things are put in place to let your idea shine. Keep your focus on what you want to accomplish with the piece, and let it speak for itself. Provide the basic information that someone would need to make a decision on your piece, do not overdress it, and you’ve got the workings of something excellent!