So I recently got an email from someone who thinks that their book is god’s gift to everyone, and they said, “You interviewed someone I know, so you should interview MEEEEEE!!!” And I checked out their website, and it has nothing to do with what I talk about. At all. It’s like they didn’t even read my website. And their website also was not finished. And there was really old content on there. So even if their book DID fit with my blog, I wouldn’t want to promote them, because they are messing up their image and would mess up mine.
And so, I told them politely, “Hey, not a match for my blog.”
And the dude wrote back, and said, “Well, that was fast you *insert bad word here*! Now I’ve got an idea for a blog post!”
And all I can think of is, “Really? Should I be shaking in my boots now? Will you call my blog out as the most horrible blog in the world? Will you use my name? Will you take me to the cleaners for not having the exact right kind of blog for your book?” I mean, seriously?
It’s actually pretty hilarious when I think about it. I mean, I pitch people and get shot down too, but not because I didn’t do my research. Oftentimes it’s just because I didn’t build up a relationship first. Or the timing was wrong. Or the person was no longer having a radio show. Lots of reasons.
Anyway, can we take a lesson from this?
If you’re pitching to someone, please, please, look at their blog or website first. See if there is, in fact, a reason that they would like to feature you. Maybe even comment, or follow them on twitter. At least. Show that you care about their community. Try to make your pitch relevant to their audience, even if there’s not a direct correlation to what you do and what they do.
You will see your pitches succeed far faster by building a relationship before you ask someone for something.
This actually happens to nonprofit staff a lot, when they ask for first-time grants that are WAY above what first time grant asks should be. I learned recently that this is actually insulting to them, and it makes sense to me from this perspective. Why should they give you money when they have no idea who you are? If you looked at their funding record, please call them and ask them, “Hey, what are your first time funding amounts usually like?” They want to help you. So don’t insult them. Show them you care by asking their opinion and advice first.
This also happens to people who are asking for sponsorships. You HAVE to find a point of connection between you and the person, maybe from a board member, a staff member, a volunteer, or even if you do a little research on them and find out you’re from the same state, or both have a similar hobby. Something.
Finally, IF you get rejected, PLEASE don’t take it personally. It often has nothing to do with you. I’d say, most of the time! Please don’t try to “get back” at a blogger, funder, or corporate sponsor who rejects you. You are only hurting yourself.
Do not do the eye for a tooth and tooth for an eye thing. Because you can’t chew with your eye. Or see with your tooth.