With many in-person networking events off the table right now, email pitches are becoming an increasingly effective tool for landing speaking gigs.
That is, of course, if you do them right.
It’s so easy to accidentally say or do the wrong thing in an email pitch. That’s why I’ve put together these Dos and Don’ts to make sure you’re giving your email pitches every chance of succeeding!
So without further ado, let’s get started with the Dos!
Email Pitches for Speakers – The Dos
DO: Show Who You Are Rather Than Tell
No matter how good you are at writing, prospects won’t get to know the real you through the words written in your email despite your best efforts. You need to make them feel as though they’ve just hung out with you instead of merely receiving an email from you.
So how do you go about achieving that?
Firstly, I ALWAYS recommend sending sample videos. In case you don’t know where to begin with your videos, read my easy-to-follow guide for creating the perfect speaking reel. You could even send the pitch in video format if you want to. Just remember maximum file sizes may come into play, so don’t forget to compress your video before hitting send!
A workaround for being unable to send large video file formats is linking to your various social media accounts where they can watch you in action to their heart’s content.
All of this gives your prospect a chance to feel who you are as a person, which is much more likely to result in you securing a paid speaking slot at their next event.
Do: Follow Up!
Speakers often come to me saying that no one has replied to their email pitches. When I ask them whether they have followed up their initial message, I am shocked by how many admit that they haven’t.
Look, don’t take it personally. People are busy. They may have LOVED your initial email but got distracted and then forgot to reply. You should go into your email pitches expecting to follow up in order to get a response.
You don’t want to get pushy, but a gentle and friendly reminder helps to bump you back up to the top of their inbox and gives them another reminder. Plus, and here’s the crucial part, it shows how much you care about the potential gig and how much you really want it.
DO: Include An Offer They Can’t Refuse
The reason so many people don’t reply, at least initially, is there isn’t any reason beyond letting you know their thoughts. So give them an offer they can’t refuse. Offer to do something valuable for them on a no-obligation basis so that they can’t help but reply.
That reply starts the conversation, and then BAM, you have your foot in the door. It might not lead to a gig today or tomorrow, but it may form a crucial industry connection that pays dividends for months and years down the road.
If you’re wondering what you can do, get creative and research pain points you might be able to solve. Maybe you’ve noticed that they could do with a hand when it comes to promoting the event, for example.
If that’s the case, offer to spread the word about the event on social media and send out an email to your newsletter subscribers. After all, how can they say no to free advertising?!
Alternatively, if you know that the purse strings are tight, why not offer to forego your speaking fee to earn a new valuable opportunity? The choice is yours, but do your research to find any pain points you can quickly and easily resolve for them!
So that’s the Dos covered, what about the Don’ts?
Email Pitches for Speakers – The Don’ts
DON’T: Write a Novel
I don’t need to tell you that someone opening an email containing mountains of text will be immediately turned off. Remember that you are briefly interrupting someone’s day when you send an email pitch, especially if they receive real-time notifications on a mobile device.
Also, don’t forget that when emailing someone, you only have eight seconds to grab their attention. If it’s not interesting enough after eight seconds, they will move on. Bearing that in mind, start with 1-2 short, snappy sentences that grab attention from the outset. Also, make it personal. Nobody likes receiving a pitch that was clearly copied and pasted to several people.
Then point them to whichever multimedia you have provided for them to get them to know you better before offering them a chance to touch base quickly. You can use a sentence along the lines of “If this piques your interest, I’d love to hop on a phone call or send over more details.”
If you’ve successfully left them wanting more, they’re bound to reply, and you can go from there.
DON’T: Make it About You
Even if you are the best speaker in your industry, no one likes to listen to someone going on and on about how amazing they are (even if it’s true!). You need to show that you genuinely care about your prospect’s aims and goals before demonstrating how you can help them achieve their ambitions.
By framing your email in this way, you first demonstrate that you have really done your homework. However, you also prove that you care about their brand, understand their mission, and provide an excellent fit for their specific types of events.
DON’T: Be Boring!
Ok, this might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many test pitches I receive that are completely flat and robotic. As I mentioned at the top of this post, you have to allow the person on the receiving end to really feel who you are.
A formulaic, overly corporate-style email isn’t even going to get a response. You have to be as authentic as possible. Otherwise, you’ll just sound like every other speaker trying to win their business.
Email Pitches for Speakers Are Powerful Sales Tools When Executed Correctly
With some of the traditional sales and marketing channels shut down in light of the ongoing pandemic, email pitches have become a powerful tool in speakers’ belts across the country.
But since so many speakers are relying on this method to secure new gigs, you must go the extra mile to ensure what you send stands out from the crowd. By following the advice I’ve laid out above, you can create email pitches that are unique, attention-grabbing, and authentic, allowing you to land more gigs.
If you would like to learn more about email pitches, along with a whole host of other exciting hints and tips, then make sure to join our free Facebook group – Grow Your Speaking Biz.
It’s a fantastic group of talented speakers who all spend time helping each other grow as individuals and business owners, including sharing hints and tips on killer email strategies. So head on over, and I’ll see you in there!