ASK GAIL: ANSWERING YOUR SMALL BUSINESS QUESTIONS
I am a small business owner for custom apparel (screen print & embroidery) in Montgomery, IL. I’ve never reached out to a blogger to see what the process is to get a featured spot or even mentioned on their blog. Can you please let me know if this is common and how the process works?
Your question is a popular one. A few things you should know about bloggers. A lot of people contact me to be a guest blogger on my site, but I don’t take guest posts for two reasons. 1. This blog is my main way to advertise my consulting services, so I really need the voice of the blog to be my own. 2. My feed is picked up by other sites that only approved myself as a writer, so I can’t start feeding them other people’s posts. So make sure before you approach any blogger that they don’t have these similar issues.
The first thing you want to do, before you approach any blogger, is to follow their blog as well as follow them on all of their social media sites. Make it look like you’re a fan.
Then, when you pitch to them, pitch a story idea that would involve your business, don’t just pitch your business and expect them to find a way to incorporate it into a post. Keep your pitch short (I personally don’t have time to read more than one paragraph), save on the flattery (bloggers, and the media in general, know what you are looking for so cut to the chase) and then – and this is the most important piece of advice – tell them what you are going to do for them in return.
What do I mean by that? I get a lot of people asking me for mentions and when I ask for one back such as, “Will you then mention my blog on your Twitter page”, for example, they act like I have some nerve and then go on to say how the people who handle their social media pages are very picky about what they post, etc. As soon as I get a response like that I hit delete. This is business. Don’t ask another business to go out of their way and do a favor for you and you have no intention of returning the favor. It’s the old you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
Therefore, you want to always say that you will promote any mention a blog gives you to your customers as well as on your social media pages and even ask (as someone wisely did to me the other day) “and if there is anything else I can do to promote your business, please let me know”. If you get the mention, follow through. Thank them in comments, thank them on social media, circulate the post on your social media pages, circulate other posts of theirs on your social media pages – trust me, you can’t say thank you enough. They will remember that.
I write effective pitches for clients all the time, whether it is pitching to the press, a pitch for a Kickstarter campaign or to get a wholesale deal – just ask me for a free, no obligation quote at firstname.lastname@example.org. Need to ask a lot of questions about your business? Sign up for a 30-minute phone consultation.
Best of luck! Gail