The Art of the Pitch: How to Get Someone to Listen

Updated: May 31, 2019


I can't even think of how to begin this post with anything other than this: YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS STUFF.


When it comes to approaching someone else with an idea or proposal, there are a few basics that EVERYONE should know. Whether you'd consider yourself a "sales person" or not, being able to get another person to listen to an idea/project/collaboration or really anything else, you need to know how to pitch.


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Bailey Livingston Photography, Mesa Arizona Wedding Photographer

I receive messages regularly from people asking me for something. They'd love for me to: buy their product, be their product model, become a fitness trainer, collaborate with their company, sign up for their webinar, take their photos for free...and that's just the beginning of the list.


Don't get me wrong, I am the first to support another person out there chasing their dream, but I'm also out here chasing mine and that takes a lot of time! So, when someone simply asks me for something, while only stating the benefit to themselves, I'm not inclined to carve time out of my busy schedule to make something work. It sounds harsh, but check out a couple of examples:



Example A: Hi there! I'm trying to get my name out there a little bit and build up my portfolio/Instagram. Would you ever want to collab?


Example B: Hey Bailey! I've been following your business from the beginning and absolutely love your style, and what you offer. I also have a soft spot for Pandas, and can totally relate to your obsession! I noticed you just launched a new brand (so exciting!), and wondered if you were looking for a few models to help promote your product? I've been building my modeling portfolio and would love to work with you in trade!



Okay, so which message would you be more likely to respond to, ready to jump into a fun project that would benefit you both!? OBVIOUSLY Example B! But you guys, only ONE out of every TEN requests I receive actually sounds that good.


So why is Option B the better way to approach someone?

Here's how I read that message:


1. "I've been following your business from the beginning"


- They're an actual fan! They've been invested in you from your humble beginning and love what you're doing? Entrepreneurs LIVE for super fans!


2. "I also have a soft spot for Pandas!"


- They know something about me personally! They actually did their research, and aren't just looking for something for free. Plus, this is a great way to create a personal connection, which means the perfect start to a new friendship!


3. "I noticed you just launched a new brand, and wondered if you were looking for a few models to help promote your product? I've been building my modeling portfolio and would love to work with you in trade!"


- Again, they were paying attention to what I'm doing, and taking a genuine interest! I love this! TRADE = MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL. They aren't just looking for something for free! Every good pitch HAS to include a proposition of value for each side. Nobody wants to make time for something that won't be beneficial for everyone involved!



And what does Option A sound like?


1. "Hi there!" - They've copied and pasted this message to tons of photographers...yikes

2. "I'm trying to get my name out there a little bit and build up my portfolio/Instagram. Would You ever want to collab?" - Uh oh, another person just asking for something for free...no thanks.


So, next time you're ready to pitch, remember to create a real connection, be authentic, and make sure the collaboration will beneficial for everyone involved! Happy pitching!