Today we’re going to talk about getting people (sometimes perfect strangers) to commit to doing things for you. Because collaborating and speaking and interviewing are a big part of growing your blog and your business. And because I’ve received lots of awesome and a handful of not so awesome requests, it’s time to nail down exactly how to get people to commit to being involved in your project.
Here’s the thing, I’ve been emailed about speaking at a handful of online summits over the past month and I have to say, some of those got an immediate NOPE because a lot of important stuff was missing. On the other hand, I’ve had a handful of people ask for interviews, prizes for giveaways, guest posts, and I have immediately said YES – not because I knew them, but because their ask was legit.
And because I want you to get all of the YESSES, here are 7 things to think about before you hit send!
Connect with the person in advance
If possible, make friends on Twitter, comment on their Instagram, or find some other way to make contact prior to making your request. Ideally, make contact multiple times because the more popular the person, the more likely you’re not the only one reaching out. I like to know my peeps by name, but sometimes it takes a few comments before I remember someone. Sending an email out of the blue can work, but emailing someone who already has some idea of who you are works better.
Include information about your event
I know what you’re thinking…including event info is a no-brainer, right? Well, in my experience this information is missing from requests waaaay too often. Don’t make more work for the person you’re already asking to do work. If you leave out the date of the event, the deadline for a post, or the number of attendees you expect, they’ll have to respond asking for all of the info instead of giving you a Hell YES. And definitely do not leave out that information and request they hop on a call with you to get it. #nononobueno Send it up front, make things easy.
Include YOUR website and social media links
This is important if you have not already made a connection with the person you’re emailing. Stop reading this right now and add this information to your email signature (it’s under Settings). This is the first thing I check when someone emails me. If I can’t find any info about them and how they’re rocking their online presence, then I’m going to assume their podcast / summit / giveaway isn’t going to be very rocking either.
Have marketing materials ready
Whether this is a website, a landing page, or a press kit. You need to have SOMETHING that shows you’ve already made a plan and put effort into the project. This means your blog needs to be updated consistently if you’re asking for a guest post. You need at least an introduction on your site for what your interview series will be about and past interviews if you have them. You need dates and times and details on a landing page if you’re asking for a summit or conference speaker. You need social media and traffic stats and a plan for promotion if you want them to spend a few hours writing a guest post.
I have done work and interviews for people whose project suddenly disappeared, so the more committed YOU appear, the more likely you’ll get a commitment from someone else.
Be very specific about what the other person will have to commit to
Sarah Von Bargen is AMAZING at this, which is why I always say yes to her immediately. Her emails show up with bullet points – this is what it is, this is what I need from you, this is when I need it by. There’s never an ‘oh, also can you…’ email the week before something is due and I never have to respond requesting extra information.
Do you want the guest post to be 800 words or 2000 words? Are they expected to send a solo email about your online summit? (FYI – I almost never agree to do this. I will mention it, but I will not write an entire email about it. If you’re on my email list, you’re welcome :) Will the interview be audio or audio + video? Will they need to provide a freebie or coupon code? Don’t ask for this the day of the event – ask for it in your initial request.
Explain how they will benefit
Yes, frankly, most people want to know what they’ll get out of it if they’re going to add your request into their schedule. Maybe it’s an hour of their time, but some people’s hours cost $600 and you might be asking to have it for free. Tell them how many listeners your podcast gets. How and how much you will be promoting your online summit. Let them know if they can include a content upgrade in their blog post or join an affiliate program for your conference.
The truth is that it’s not worth my time to do an interview or write a guest post for someone with 10 followers on Twitter or a website that hasn’t been updated in three months. Yes, I love helping people grow their blogs and businesses, but there has to be some benefit for me as well if I’m going to take an hour away from my business to work on something for yours. You can definitely email the big guns, but make sure they know what’s in it for them.
Send your request MONTHS in advance
Yeah, that’s months with an S. Most of the heavy hitters I know plan their calendar at least three months in advance, which means if your summit is two weeks away, they probably already have that time in their schedule booked. You need to be asking for these things at least a month, or maybe three or six (if they need to fly somewhere), in advance. Weigh the timing with the amount of work they’re committing to. Writing a guest post with a content upgrade will likely take more time than jumping on Skype for 30 minutes for your video series.
Plus asking for things way in advance makes you look like a badass organized boss who’s on top of shit. I always want to work with badass organized bosses and I bet you do too.
The bottom line is – the easier it is for someone to understand . . .
- What you’re asking for
- What they’ll need to do
- When they’ll need to do it
- And how they’ll benefit
The more likely you’ll get a positive response right away and people will be excited about working with you.
Alright, any questions??