Cold emailing has a bad rep. I get it! After all, this oft-untapped form of networking can be difficult, since there is no prior relationship with the person you’re reaching out to. Being someone who places a high value on connection and storytelling, cold-pitches felt so impersonal and I myself thought poorly of this way of marketing for years… that is, until I finally learned how to write them in a way that didn’t feel so, well, cold.
All these social media influencers you see representing brands and getting paid for dream jobs make it look easy. It may seem as though these opportunities just fell into their laps. And while sometimes they do, sometimes brands reach out to them after seeing their work or hearing their name, more often than not it took a lot of hard work to get those jobs.
So the way I see it, is you have two choices: 1. You can sit at home in your yoga pants, feeling sad for waiting around and letting your skills go to waste, wishing to work with your dream clients… or 2. You can take matters into your own hands! I much prefer the latter. Don’t you?
If you want to get the opportunities you’ve been dreaming of, work with the brands you’ve been admiring from afar, and create a life for yourself that you thought impossible, it’s time to take action!
The idea of writing a cold email and pitching yourself to a business may seem scary at first. You may feel fear of rejection, or not feel good enough, or afraid you’ll say the wrong thing and blow your chances. But once you do it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Today, my friend, I’m sharing my biggest cold email tips with you for free!
If there are a few brands you’ve been following or particularly love, get organized! Make a list of brands you want to work with. Maybe this sounds obvious, but start with making a list of the brands you’d love to work with in Excel or a Google Doc. As you send emails, update this spreadsheet with the step completed (ie: contact information, email sent, follow up, no answer, etc)
It’s vital that the email you send be personalized. Know who it is you want to reach. Do your best to find the department and name of the person you need to speak with (for small businesses this is often the owner, for global companies, the marketing manager), even if it takes longer. For larger companies, it may be more difficult finding the email address, so you may have to fill out a generic form instead. Be genuine in sharing what you love about their brand and why. On the note of personalization, stay away from templates. Do not, I repeat, do not, copy and paste emails or send emails in bulk. Not only is it completely obvious, but it feels like a cold email — a pitch that you send to anyone. If you’re reaching out to a brand, it’s for a reason. Tell them why you were drawn to them.
Your email, first and foremost, needs to serve. In order to have any consideration, clearly communicate what it is that you can do for this company. How can you provide them with value? How can you alleviate their problems or pain-points? Don’t be afraid to brag a little bit, to show that you’re skilled and offer value.
Link to your website, blog, or portfolio. Send them your social media profile, or testimonials from previous clients (if you have them). Make it easy for them to click over and view your work, and see that what you’re offering is credible.
Keep it short and sweet. If you’re pitching to a larger company, it’s likely they’re receiving hundreds of emails a day! Keep your email to them short and to the point — you can always elaborate if they respond to you.
Follow up. Don’t be afraid to follow up. People are busy, and it’s easy to miss an email, or read it on an iPhone and forget about it before you have the chance to answer. If you don’t hear back within a week after your first email, go ahead and send a follow up. If you don’t hear back after that, it probably means they’re not interested. Don’t be discouraged by this! While rejection can be disheartening, you aren’t going to be a good fit for everyone, and that’s okay!
Get comfortable with attract and repel. And if you truly believe that you were a good fit for this business, use this experience as motivation to keep bettering yourself, or growing your brand. You can always reach out down the road.
Start small. Don’t go for the largest company right away. You need to prove that your work is consistently high quality before they will consider you. Instead, start small and work your way up.
Get the attention of brands you want to work with by tagging them on social media! If you do it enough (make sure they actually have their products in your photo — you don’t want to spam them!) they may end up reposting your image with credit, or even reach out to you about creating a working relationship.
Did You Find This Post Helpful?
Hopefully this guide helps you gain the confidence you need to put yourself out there, and pitch yourself to brands you want to work with! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! How do you feel about cold email pitches? Did this guide help change your mind at all?