Press is a powerful promotional tool for your Etsy shop, but pitching yourself to editors can be a daunting process if you’re not armed with a game plan. What’s one of the most important tricks for getting your products featured in blogs and magazines? Thinking like an editor. Here’s what media folks want you to know.
1. Forget Expensive Press Kits and Marketing Materials
All an editor wants or really needs initially is a personalized email (one to two paragraphs is sufficient) and an amazing picture. Make sure the pitch is addressed to a specific editor and you’ve double-checked the spelling of their name. From there, if an editor is interested, he or she will go directly to your website or Etsy shop, so make sure your sites are ready for that kind of attention before you pitch.
For more tips about how to craft a compelling pitch, read How to Win the Hearts of Bloggers.
2. Read Before Reaching Out
The single most common pitching mistake to avoid (and the quickest way to being ignored) is to contact editors before reading their magazine or blog. Even if you only spend five to 10 minutes with the publication, you can study the articles to identify the tone, learn whether they feature handmade products or if their emphasis is on something different, such as profile stories.
3. Give Your Pitch a Compelling Headline
The single most helpful thing you can do to set your pitch apart from others is to write a good subject or lead. Many top editors receive hundreds of pitches each week, so you must engage them and help connect their mental dots within the first seconds their eyes land on your email subject line. For example, “Cool Wet Weather Gear … Under $25” quickly informs an editor that you’re suggesting a potential product roundup idea for spring. If you have creative, exciting content to share with the world, the editor will pick up on that and get excited about your pitch, too.
The other important component of your pitch is the picture. Embed (never attach) a low-resolution (72 dpi) photo directly into the email. The trick to knowing if you’re submitting a great product shot (well-lit and against a crisp white backdrop) is if it looks like yours could be plugged directly into the page, section, or blog post of the publication you’re pitching.
Need photography advice? Read these tips.
4. Be Easy to Find and Quick to Respond
So many products with passionate people behind them fail to reach their press potential because they’re slow to respond to editorial requests or because they don’t make their contact info (phone number and email) available for media inquiries on their site. Many editors will abandon a site and opt for a different product if they have to fill out a form to reach you.
When editors or bloggers reach out, return the call or answer the email the same day.
5. Go the Extra Mile
Your job is only half complete if you don’t follow up your pitch. Editors may find your pitch full of possibility upon first blush but then get inundated with work and don’t respond to you. A quick follow-up email, 10 days to two weeks after the initial pitch, shows you’re serious and may just be the necessary nudge to inspire an editor to commit.
And don’t get discouraged if an editor can’t find a place for your product or idea the first go-around. When you come back to that same editor with a good idea or a different product a second and third time, it signals that you mean business and are doing the work it takes to get their attention. If it’s a good match for the magazine or blog, eventually an editor is likely to reward persistence and find a place for your idea.
What are your favorite tips for getting press, and what are some of your favorite blogs and publications? Share your thoughts in comments.
Amy Flurry is a contributor to some of the biggest publications on the newsstand and online, including InStyle, Condé Nast Traveler, Country Living, and Design*Sponge. Amy served as a contributing editor to Lucky magazine for six years and is the author of the DIY publicity book, Recipe for Press: Pitch Your Story Like the Pros & Create a Buzz ($23.95). Her popular book and DIY PR workshop serves to strengthen relationships between editors and the entrepreneur. Follow Amy Flurry on Twitter @recipeforpress and on Facebook.