You need to get through some doors but don't have agency representation? I find this to be the biggest pain point for most independent content creators.
But, now more so than ever, with the future of television migrating to the digital space and influencers creating instant fame with the the touch of a finger and a mobile device, I believe networks need to be a bit more flexible, and are becoming more innovative with finding fresh content for their viewers.
I'm not saying the doors will all start flying open using these seven tips, but I've had some success, as I show you in this post...
When I am in the room, I shine. The passion I exude when speaking about my projects is undeniable, but it's getting into the room that is the hard part. Pitching is not ALL about what you do in person. It's first about how you get in the room. On my journey to pitch 100 times this year, I am learning to perfect my pitch in person and otherwise. I've had several people ask me questions about what should go into their email to the people and companies they are seeking to pitch. Below are 7 things I usually include into my email pitches.
The first part of your pitch begins with your first communication. Be it by phone, social media, or email, you have to reel the other person in by the story you tell. If you are like me, you may be full of great ideas, but you don't have representation. Which means for us; we have to be very creative and think outside of the box when writing for an opportunity to pitch. I write about this in my forthcoming book, #100Pitches: Mistakes I've Made, So You Don't Have To and wanted to share with you some tips that I use to get into the room. I'm getting better with each attempt.
Here are a few of the things I like to include in my emails to grab attention:
I was told by an urban blogger that they receive hundreds of emails each day, and the first emails they choose to open are the ones with catchy titles. If you have someone who referred you, then I would start with “so and so suggested I reach out to you – 3mm film wants Michael B Jordan to Star. Or, So and so referred me—NAME OF SHOW PITCHING. If you have talent attached, your subject may say, “Jussie Smollett Project Seeking 3mm- 4mm already secured.
2. Praise them about their recent work in the industry.
I always praise whoever I’m reaching out too on their recent work. I make it a habit to know what the person or company has been doing recently. I’m not saying that it always works, but it’s worked in my favor to let the person that know I am abreast of their great work.
3. I created this show specifically for your audience.
If it is a actor, company or network, I always let them know that I create this project specifically with them in mind. 9 times out of 10 it’s true and even if you didn’t create the content specifically for them, you think that particular person, network, or company must be right for your project or otherwise you wouldn’t have added their names to your wish list.
Ex: “Hi, I've created a 1/2 hour sitcom specifically for your audience.”
4. Give the working title, logline and a brief, generic synopsis of your show.
Most networks and production companies do not want a synopsis until after you have signed a release form, but I like to give a synopsis that isn't directly about my show, but how their audience will connect to my show. In other words, you would spell out a problem that the main character would find themselves in in your show. Your story will tell the themes of the show without necessarily saying, the themes of my show are...
5. In your email, show them through a one liner that you've researched their audience and understand the demo.
This sitcom will appeal to your 44% of 23-30 year old, female demo, but since it's a show about fashion, it will also appeal to your other demo as well; after all, fashion is fashion!”
6. Also, let them know what else you have in your pipeline (genre's and themes).
They may not be interested in what you are trying to pitch them, but something else in your pipeline may align with their mandate for the year. You never know, sometimes it can be the thing you least expected. But it's where they are headed. That’s happened to me twice! The thing I was least expecting the company to be interested in was the thing they expressed interest in.
7. Give a specific date you want to chat with them? This week, Next week, Thursday or Friday.
Here is a screen shot of an email response I received from an attempt at pitching new content I created.
If you enjoyed these tips, get The BOOK and see more of the email copy that I wrote!