I get pitch emails from new companies ALL. THE. TIME. Typically it’s a new wedding marketplace, blog, or resource of some sort that someone is starting, to help “change the wedding industry for good”. Or something like that. I see it all over the place from other wedding vendors too, though, and it’s capital-T The. Worst. Here’s an example I received today, word for word:
Okay…I see what you’re trying to do here – emphasis on trying. You’re using a tactic of relating to your audience through shared experience. That’s a real tactic, it’s taught in sales school (I know, I went to sales school at a Fortune 10 Company).
The problem is two-fold:
First of all, you’re relating to them on the most general level possible. There were almost 61 million married women in the US alone in 2017. You may as well say “As a person who drinks coffee…” or “As someone who’s shopped at Target before…”.
Secondly, you’re not actually relating to them. You don’t actually know the stress that’s involved in planning a wedding outside of your own. You planned one wedding, in one town, in one style. With the help of many vendors. Potentially with the help of a planner. None of this qualifies you to understand or “know firsthand” what couples all over experience, and especially not what vendors experience.
I’m not saying you’re not qualified. You likely are very qualified. I have seen this same pitch on the websites of many established, accomplished, very talented and competent vendors. But the fact that you’re a “former bride” doesn’t qualify you for crap and doesn’t tell me (or other potential clients) anything useful about what you’re offering.
Case in point – I’m actually *not* a former bride, and yet I’m more qualified than 96% of former brides to help you plan and execute your wedding due to years of research, experience and education within this industry.
The reason your marketplace will be different, or your photography services are special, or your wedding blog will be the best has nothing to do with the fact that you’re a former bride. It’s because you have a degree in photography, or 10 years of experience, or the fact that your marketplace brings a unique, different idea to the world – tell me that. Don’t tell me you’re a former bride. Tell me why you’re unique, qualified, different. Tell me what you do and what makes you uniquely you. Tell me what I can get from you and your product that I cannot get from one of the other 61 million “former brides” in the country.
And for those of you sitting there thinking “oh phew, I’ve never used this pitch!”, you’re not necessarily immune. There are plenty of similar examples I see out there, including, “dog mom”, “coffee lover”, and really anything about turning your passion into a career. I’ll admit, I’m guilty of the dog mom one myself (I don’t know if you know Bodie, but he’s reeeally cute!). All of these things are great. They’re real, they matter to you, and sure, they may help you connect with a potential client. But they’re also things that apply to pretty much the whole world.
Ask yourself who else that client may be looking at in their search.
…if so, you can skip it. Don’t mention it at all, or brush over it very briefly – but don’t dwell on something that doesn’t actually set you apart, nonetheless something they’ve already heard 3 times this week. I promise you, I’ve never lost a job because I am not a “former bride,” and conversely, I’ve never gotten one because I love my dog.
I get jobs because: I have years of experience, because of the story I tell behind my work, and of course because of the pretty photos on Instagram. I get coaching and business clients because: I talk the talk, and I focus on building real, profitable, long-lasting, respectable businesses, not just on making those pretty things that go into photos – and I purposely cut out those clients who want to learn more about the art, because that’s just not who I am as a coach. Let someone else be that person, let your competition have their areas of expertise, and let them have the clients who want to focus on that. That will clear the road for all the clients who want what you’re specifically offering to find you – because you’ve told them in your amazing marketing pitch exactly what that specific offering is.
Wedding invitations to tell your story, and business education to help you write your own.