So, it’s Tuesday morning, and like every Tuesday morning I start off my day scanning through the dozens of emails from the night before when I come across an email with the subject line, “Love Your Blog.”
So, I’m thinking, “Hey thanks! It is a good blog!” Followed by the cynical, “What do they want?”
Naturally, I think maybe they want to do business with me, or maybe they just want to be my blogger bestie. But upon opening up the email, I read this:
” I found your blog while doing some research…[compliment, compliment, compliment]…
[now the pitch]…The reason I am emailing you is we are looking for bloggers like yourself to help us [pitch our product without actual paying for you, but in return] feel free to showcase your style [(ah, how nice, right? You mean I get to decide how to write for you?)].
Please let me know if you’re interested and I’d be happy to send over more details. I look forward to hearing from you soon!”
I must get at least two of these type of emails a week–people scouting the Internet for established bloggers to pitch their products, services, or businesses. But why this one struck me so much, is they actually didn’t want to offer me use of their product, or suggest any sort reciprocation whatsoever.
So, half curious and half taunting, I politely responded back and said “I may consider featuring your business on one of my blogs if you will in turn would feature my blog on your blog and social media.” And the response I got was, “We will highlight only our favorite submitted pieces on our growing social media platforms.”
Here’s my problem with this business model. There are only three reasons why a social media professional would blog for someone else: 1) money 2) products 3) exposure. And, unless you are The Wall Street Journal, forget the last one. Your exposure means little to someone who has spent their entire career building a valuable and sustainable audience. That makes US the professional and YOU the one that should be doing favors. So if the incentive you’re offering is only a possible mention on your “growing” social media, that is not incentive at all. My social media isn’t growing…it’s established!
How to Tick Off A Blogger
Blogger Outreach Professionals listen closely! I am not alone here…it is NOT good business to contact bloggers who make a living on social media and ask them for something for nothing! We charge our clients a lofty fee for our audience, ability, and expertise. On what planet would that be a good business model for to give you something for free and charge clients a premium for the exact same service?
We are so tired of people new to the industry who believe that we will just hand over our audience and website traffic to anyone who requests it. The reason that we have a dedicated audience in the first place is because we don’t spit garbage like this out to our customers.
The CORRECT Way to Reach Out to A Blogger
1. Offer incentive. A teacher of mine once told me, “There is absolutely no such thing as a free lunch. Period.” He’s absolutely right. Right off the bat, tell me why I should blog for you and what the incentive is. And if the incentive is not 1) money 2) products or 3) exposure on The Wall Street Journal, seriously re-think your blogger outreach strategy.
2. Make it easy for me. The last thing I want to do after a day of writing nine articles is to sit down and pitch your product or business. But, if you have the majority of the writing done for me, I might just consider it. Consider this the old PR model, but it works! Tell me what to write, offer incentive, and I might just help you out…if I’m feeling generous.
3. Show some respect. I don’t know if it’s naive people, cockiness, or just a general lack of business sense, but the entire assumption that I should help YOU out is like spitting in a bloggers face. Instead, tell me why you chose me to pitch your products, what it means to you, and how you think it could help my business or clients. Respect the professional list of followers I have created over the years. You wouldn’t expect a salesman to hand over their customer list to a collegue would you? In social media, our followers are our customer list, and we protect them like they are our babies!