That’s certainly the question so many freelancers, service providers, and small businesses are wondering in an economy where consumers both annoyed with outdated marketing tactics and also withholding their spending because they’re unsure about what their financial future has in store for them.
And the answer to that question is a big ol’ simple…yes.
Cold pitches do work. Though in 2023, it’s important to approach them carefully.
The spray and pray method of bombarding email inboxes to any potential lead doesn’t work anymore. Actually, let me rephrase that: it never worked. For cold pitch emails to be successful, you need to first understand what you’re hoping to get as an end result from the communication and also how your message will impact the reader.
You see, as consumers, we all care about one thing. We’re all wondering, “What’s in it for me?”
And the recipient of your cold email is thinking that very thing—consciously or subconsciously—as they read your message.
In this episode of Talk Copy to Me, Laura and I focus on two questions, and two questions only:
Do cold emails work?
How do I go about sending them?
By the end of this episode, you’ll learn why cold emails are worth investing time in and you’ll feel like the practical tips you’ve heard will help you craft effective cold emails in 2023. (You can thank us later!)
Do cold emails work? Here is what Laura and Erin want you to know:
What cold pitching is…and what cold pitching isn’t
Why people are afraid of cold pitching and how to move past that fear
What types of people or businesses do really well with sending cold emails
The seven types of cold pitches and why you want to be doing all (or at least most) of them
Why you’d want to approach some of these types differently (and how to do it)
The big question that must get answered in every cold email you send
The three big mistakes creative entrepreneurs make when sending cold emails
How perfectionism plays a role in making cold pitches not work (or not get sent!)
How to write a cold pitch that people will read
The role rejection plays in cold pitching and how rejection is a blessing and not a curse
Other podcast episodes and resources mentioned in this episodes:
The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday (Amazon tells me I already own this, and I didn’t know I did, so apparently I know what I’m reading next!)
Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday (I wrote this title down when I was on our call, so I’m not sure if it got accidentally edited out or what, but I thought I’d include it anyway!)
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer (Same as above: I wrote it down during the interview, but can’t find it in the transcript, so fingers crossed Laura actually did recommend it, but thought it would be helpful to share!)
That’s a quote! Laura and Erin answer the question: “Do cold emails work?”
“There’s this ancient part of your brain called the Lizard Brain, and it’s wired to keep you safe.” – Laura Lopuch
“We have to remember our websites come in iterations and they change… there’s no ending point here.” – Erin Ollila
“I think that there is a beauty of understanding what the need is of the person that you’re messaging. But there has to be an approach where you’re really considering how you present that need to them.” – Erin Ollila
“Understand that “Not now,” or “Not interested,” is not a no. It’s just that you just offered me a Margarita and it’s 3:00pm and I prefer that margarita at 08:00pm.” – Laura Lopuch
“Selling is a service, right? People need things. It’s just the way life works.” – Erin Ollila
“We know our own products; we know our own services; we know our own industries. And we forget the whole…what’s in it for the end user, the audience, the reader.” – Erin Ollila
“It’s not like you’re reaching through the screen and putting the screws on this person, like ‘You’ve got to say yes!’ It doesn’t work that way.” – Laura Lopuch
“Make sure your email answers ‘What’s in it for me?’ for your reader. You don’t actually have to introduce yourself until maybe 75% of the way through the cold email, because they don’t really care about you until you can present yourself as the solution to their problem.” – Laura Lopuch
Think of who you’d like to connect with when the timing is right.
Laura says, “I would say pick one to three people that you either would like to work with or you’ve come across…that you’re thought, “I could probably solve that for person.” Just write down one to three names. Start researching; start putting together things, and send some cold emails.
Laura Lopuch is a cold email maverick. She helps solo entrepreneurs send cold and pitch emails that get new clients without the sleaze or big time suck.
Four months after launching her business, she grew it by 1400% and signed a $20,000 client from just cold emails. She has since helped her clients get their next big $10k or $25k client with cold emails, using her powerful ‘The Relevancy Method.’
Laura wrote a viral article for Copyhackers and has been featured on outlets like The Fizzle Show, Copy Chief Radio, CrazyEgg, and Unbounce. She has also spoken at conferences like MicroConf and Shine Bootcamp.
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.
When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.
Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:
Learn more about Erin’s VIP Day options if you’d like to learn more about how you can hire her to help you with your marketing
Here’s the transcript for episode 078 about cold pitch emails with guest expert Laura Lopuch
NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors.
pitch, email, cold, pitching, podcast, website, partnership, people, rejections, good, book, carpet, copywriter, content, lizard brain, put, write, xyz, clients, love
Erin Ollila, Laura Lopuch
Erin Ollila 00:04
Hey friends, welcome to the Talk Copy to Me podcast. Here we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk coffee. Hello everyone today I have Laura low pitch here with me to talk about cold pitching. And that is probably what you know her by. But what you don’t know about Laura is that she actually got lost on a mountainside in Austria. And the tricky part about this situation is that she had to make it back to the bus stop before a certain time, or the bus would leave her there. So before we talk about cold pitching in any way, shape or form tell me obviously it seems like you You made it back to the bus but what happened in the store it Yeah, I
Laura Lopuch 00:59
did make it back to the bus. So I was on like a trip in college with like my classmates we we were kind of doing I think it was like a music generated tour. I don’t know, I’ll be honest, it was like 20 plus years ago, details are a little fuzzy. But basically, we were in this like beautiful mountain side. mountain town in Austria, it was like one of those gorgeous, the mountains go right into this gorgeous alpine lake. And you could hike up to the top of the mountain or you could take a train up. And then you could take the train down or hike down. I opted to take the train up and hike down thinking things should be like well signed, you know, like directions easy. I’ll just follow the rest of the people. i It wasn’t that way at all. I got off, started following a path got on some other path ended up not seeing anybody for a few hours watching my watch. Oh
Erin Ollila 01:59
Laura Lopuch 02:01
I need to be at the bus at like four o’clock because they’re leaving. And also to like totally snarl things up. I had my professors like eight year old daughter with me, she just oh my goodness. Like back down with me. And so we’re like lost in the middle of this forest in Austria. I hadn’t seen anyone I’m watching my watch going, I need to make it there. Because the bus is going to leave me in my head. I didn’t equate the fact that I had the professor’s daughter with they won’t leave me for sure. And so anyway, we’re running through the forest. And I just have like a general direction based on my guests. That
Erin Ollila 02:41
was hopefully I guess I’m guessing you’re
Laura Lopuch 02:45
hoping crossing all my fingers. We ended up meeting some like German couple, you know, like trekking through the forest, very well equipped, very confident, very competent. They didn’t speak any English. I didn’t speak any German other than please. And thank you. And we figured out like they pointed to where I was on the map, which was like way off the mountain in some Valley. And they kind of like pointed me back to how to get to the town. And based off of that kind of rough guideline, we made it back we like ran through the town ran up to the guy standing there waiting for us. And yeah, we made it there. But definitely not going to repeat that again.
Erin Ollila 03:27
And I think the funniest part is that you had your professors child with you as you lost on the Austria mountainside.
Laura Lopuch 03:34
I was like thinking like, of course, of course, it’s got to be media in charge of this kid. And they trusted me with the kid and I can’t like let them down in my head. Of course, it wasn’t like, oh, they cannot leave me because I have their child. Yeah, like, they’re gonna leave me and
Erin Ollila 03:50
then I’m stuck with a child. I’m a mom, now. We’re gonna have to grow up in the forest, you know, like forage for berries. And that’s how we’re surviving now. Oh, gosh. Oh, my God. Well, this is a great fun story to start this episode with. I’m excited to have you on because I think cold pitching is something that does get a bad rap. I understand why. But I think that I think you do a really good job of explaining why it doesn’t have to. So before we jump right into that, could you kind of give us a brief overview of like, what cold pitching is?
Laura Lopuch 04:22
Yeah, so basically, at its heart cold pitching is you emailing a stranger to get them to take a specific action, like the action that you want them to take? And to have them take it? So if I’m like, Hey, Aaron, I’m popping into your inbox. Can you go check your fridge and see if it’s running and you actually go and do that? That’s technically a cold email.
Erin Ollila 04:40
Okay, I’m really interested in the day that I get an email like I’ll send you in when we’re off the call. You can just forward it right back to me. Alright, so why do you think that people are so either afraid or not in alignment with cold pitching people?
Laura Lopuch 04:57
Yeah, it has to do with the way your brain is made to get really deep really fast on you. Basically, your brain is wired, there’s this ancient part of your brain called the lizard brain. And it’s wired to keep you safe, specifically is wired to keep you safe in a world 500 1000 years ago, right when we were living on mountains, and that was normal, and we had to look out for all of the werewolves, and who knows what else was roaming the mountains back then, but that brain is wired to keep you in the pack. So if you get separated, you are likely dinner for that werewolf like that same, you don’t have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun the the slowest person. So your brain is still thinking like that. And it hasn’t, the software hasn’t been updated. So pulling that into cold pitching. A cold pitch is naturally making you stand out from the pack you are setting off with the clear intention of having your email stand out in the inbox so can get open so can get acted on, you’re also sending off with the clear intention that your cold pitch is memorable enough, ie stands out enough to get acted on. Right. So it’s at its heart, like a cold pitch triggers your lizard brain in big bad mean ways. And that’s why you get like the like shaky hands and the nerves and the sweaty pits and all of that good stuff, when you try to send a cold email. And that’s why a lot of people don’t do it. Or if they do do it, they tend to copy what everybody else is doing. And then say, why didn’t I get any results? What’s happening? Why is this not working. And it’s because you’re still kind of trapped in that pack mentality, the lizard brain is saying, Be safe, be safe, don’t get killed, don’t go off the cliff don’t get eaten. And if you can accept that, those warnings are actually just part of the process. Sometimes they’re part of the signposts that say, Hey, you’re, you’re on the right track, you’re on the right path, you’re doing a really good job, because you’re triggering triggering yourself in this way, that means that your email is different. And so if you can kind of accept it as part of the normal process, it’ll make it a lot easier. And also on that note, I’ve sent 1000s of cold emails, and I still get like kind of nervous and shaky, and like who I’m easy. And I snap at my kids a little bit more often, like really feeling unsettled about a COVID email that I know could do really big things for my business,
Erin Ollila 07:28
I heard a lot in what you just said there. And I think like one, it’s the quick reminder that like, there’s almost no change that comes without emotions of any sorts, right? Like even positive changes in our lives, marriages, babies, right? Like they, they pull out a lot of emotions, whether it’s fear, anxieties, happiness in our lives. So we have to understand that any way that we’re like pushing ourselves forward, we’re going to have those feelings of like of fear or uncertainty. But I love that that you kind of posed it as like, it’s normal, you’re an expert in cold email pitching. And you still feel that when you’re like pushing yourself a little bit or when you’re trying something new. And I think that like one thing to consider to like add to what you said is what I hear from some of my peers. And what I feel a lot myself is the idea that when you aren’t cold pitching, let’s put aside like a really good pitch. And think about what else is happening. A lot of people are worried that everything else has to be perfect in the world, right? Like they need the perfect website, they need the perfect social media presence, because they can I will say I have fallen into this trap very, very often. So let’s just pretend we’re talking about me here. But like, it’s it’s very stifling to have that pressure on yourself. And I think that’s why pitches don’t get sent. Because people think well, I’m just going to update my homepage and make it a little bit more fresher. I’m just going to do XYZ or I’m going to post on LinkedIn more. So that way, when this person comes and checks me out, they’ll see, you know, like I’m smarter and engaging and personable. But that’s what stalls people like we have to also recognize that part of good pitching, I think is being willing to forget about that and just focus on the actual pitch.
Laura Lopuch 09:17
Yes, I couldn’t agree more. A lot of times that stuff kind of pops up as like procrastination. It’s almost like, oh, gosh, yeah, you have to be perfect. And so in order to be perfect, you almost procrastinate. And you have to polish up everything else. And to speak to that when I first started cold emailing, I was sending cold sales emails. I was like three months into my business. And my website at the time was a blog dedicated to book reviews in which I would cast the main characters of the book. I would pick like actors and say, Oh, I think so and so like Brad Pitt would be great as this character in the book.
Erin Ollila 09:55
Can we bring this back? Oh, yeah. Because I love that. So I’m sorry for the interruption.
Laura Lopuch 10:02
So just to say like, my website had nothing to do with what I was pitching, and I still ended up signing what would become a $20,000 client, and to speak to that even more like, cold pitching, like, say, for partnerships to get on podcasts or to do a webinar or workshop for someone else’s audience. It wasn’t until like, what is it maybe nine months ago, that my website actually, like, looked legit professional, like, I hired someone to do it. And that was your seven have been in business. Before that I had just done it myself and figured I had other fish to fry, which were sending cold emails to get clients.
Erin Ollila 10:43
Yeah. And a reminder here for everyone that like, regardless of what you heard her just say like, we have to remember our websites come in iterations and they change, right. So as Laura’s business changes, it’s next year, you very well could hear her on another podcast being like, oh my gosh, yep, everything’s great. But that homepage of mine, you know, like and, and that’s okay. Because even myself as a website copywriter, when I get my website to a place that I’m happy with it, I’m always like, great. Now I can forget about this and move on. But I find myself a year later, even sometimes sooner if like, there’s a shift in offerings or whatever, I want to go back and keep touching. So there’s no ending point here. Right? Like, if you pay attention, she said seven years in business was when she finally liked that website that she has. So don’t think that everything has to happen on day one, in order to take any action elsewhere.
Laura Lopuch 11:36
Definitely not you got to you got to figure out what are the biggest triggers that are going to create growth in the area in the direction of your goals, my goals might look very different from yours. And that’s totally cool. And yours might look very different from mine. And that’s also cool. But you have to figure out like, what are those triggers? What’s that one thing that you have to focus on really hard to make all the other things unnecessary? And you’ve got getting a really good website. And then you can say, Okay, I am good to go. Or maybe that’s like, I’m going to put up a landing page. And in six months, once I figure out my offers, then I’m going to work on that. But you really have to figure out what’s right for you right now.
Erin Ollila 12:17
Yeah, and to flip it, for some people, it’s the opposite. It’s like, forget all of that, like need to get clients in the door, like I need to practice the work that I’m doing to develop my craft and to be able to know what it is, I should say on something like a website. Because if you don’t really know, like, what your offer is how how you’re offering it your clients pain points, like, don’t invest your money in something that, you know, does cost a lot of money to get done well. But before we before we talk about, like the different types, because I loved how you brought up like there are different types of cold like pitches, what are there any specific industries or type of business owners that do better with cold pitching than others?
Laura Lopuch 12:57
I, in my experience, I found that service providers do really, really well, especially if the service that you’re providing is something that your potential client publishes publicly. So for example, you website copywriter, you can go on someone’s website and be like, oh, man, like we could we could do some really cool things with this. I’m gonna send them a quick email and say, Hey, I was on your website. And I noticed like XYZ research shows that you should be doing ABC, would you like help with that? And it can be as simple as that. So if you can, if your service is something that’s pretty visible, copywriters are good at this. Graphic designers, website. Designers, brand strategists, I would even go so far, maybe photographers, depending on actually partnerships would probably be a good or better choice for photographers striking up like a win win partnership with maybe a high school so they can refer you all have their graduating class, and suddenly you’re booked, right. So that would be like a one to many kind of pitch versus a one to one where you’re individually pitching one person that you want to work with.
Erin Ollila 14:08
Cool. So one, one of the episodes that I had heard you on was on the tiny marketing podcast, and you were talking about like the seven or eight different types of cold emails. And what I kind of took away from that is I realized I was actually sending cold pitch emails. I didn’t know that I was, but I was sending them because I think I thought of them only as, like a service based thing. So like you mentioned, like I saw something on your website, would you like to work on XYZ. You’re putting yourself out there with the potential for rejection from someone who you want to give you money. But there are so many other different ways that you would want to reach out without necessarily having a connection or anything like that. Do you want to kind of do a quick overview of what some of those ways would be? Yeah, definitely.
Laura Lopuch 14:55
So there’s like seven different types. So one is like a SWOT up like a lead magnet swap or a list swap, right where you’re like putting someone else’s name in front of your email list and they’re doing the same. This is super fun. It’s also really low key. A second one is a webinar or workshop pitch, where you’re pitching someone to, to basically come on live in front of their audience and teach them something. You can also call it a masterclass. There’s so many different ways to call it, but really, you’re coming on video teaching their audience something, and maybe you put like a lead magnet link inside your presentation, if that’s cool with them. Then another way, the third is a podcast pitch, where you’re pitching to be a guest on a podcast, kind of like what I did here to get onto your podcast, right. So they do work, they’re also my favorite way to, to do a partnership, because it’s a lot of fun, you end up making kind of a friend in the process, because you’ve spent maybe half an hour an hour with this person, usually in conversation, so you it’s a give and take, and it’s a lot of fun. The fourth is asking an expert for a quote or an input into say something that you’re working on some sort of content, I’ve done this in the past, actually cold emailed Ryan Holiday author of a couple of New York Times bestseller books to include a quote in a gap like a blog post that I was writing. These are really fun ways to kind of like, dip your toe in the water perhaps, and get some expert insight and a really cool quote in a piece of content that you’re creating. Let’s see, what are we up to five a guest blog posts is another great way. This is how I kind of cut my teeth on partnership pitching. I wrote like a really viral article for Copy Hackers, I think it was about seven years ago. And I still get people coming into my world because of that article. Because Because of that, the effort that I put into it. So if you do a really good job on a on a blog post, it pays dividends for years to come.
Erin Ollila 17:06
100% beauty of SEO and you know long term evergreen content, right? They’re
Laura Lopuch 17:11
amazing. It’s amazing. Then number six is like an affiliate or referral or like a revenue based partnership where you’re referring someone and maybe you get a kickback for a client that they sign or some sort of affiliate Partnership, which everybody these days are talking about. So you don’t need me to go into that. And then the last one, of course, is the cold sales email where you’re pitching one to one, it’s me to you, and I want to work with you. So I’m not actually trying to sell you on me or the problem or the solution. I’m actually just trying to start a conversation and see, are you interested? Is it something that you want to solve now? And if yes, do you want to chit chat further and see if we’re a good fit? It’s not, hey, let’s run around the corner get married because this is Britney Spears and late 90s. And I just need a new husband. This is a bit of a smaller ask than that.
Erin Ollila 18:04
I love that. No, I think that from someone who gets a lot of cold pitches, what I see that goes wrong is the fact that people lead their pitch often with what is wrong with the individual that they’re pitching to. So like using your example before if I were to connect with someone and offer like my services as a website copywriter, I don’t necessarily want to email them and be like, everything on your website is awful. You need me right? So there is yes, I would never do that. It would just die of shame after I press send. So I think that there is a beauty of understanding what the need is of the person that you’re messaging. But there has to be an approach where you’re really considering how you present that need to them you know do Do you have any advice for how people can speak to the person they’re pitching we can just stick with the cold sales email for one second here so you don’t have to go through every single type of of those cold pitches.
Laura Lopuch 19:04
So yeah, basically start off with a compliment it’s interesting because research has shown that your brain fires and responds to a compliment the same way or responds to you receiving cash or me giving you cash basically. So just lights up your recipients brain so if you can start off your cold email and put your recipients brain in such a favorable position. Of course they’re gonna keep reading your email of course you have their attention of course they’re not going to click Delete because their brain is having a good time like so. That being said, Be specific in your compliment. Make it genuine, don’t try to like slap out some wishy washy Oh, I liked your like your number one on SEO on Google. And it’s like, did you like do anything else besides that you just Google my name like, be specific say I really liked how you did it. I I’ve really enjoyed that it, uh, congrats on data, like be specific. Think about how you like to receive compliments, and then go look for that stuff. So you can give that person a compliment like that in return. And bonus points, if you got like some sort of big aha from something this person shared, and then you made a change in your life because of that, tell that person then because that is huge. That is like, huge, huge feedback. And they’re gonna love you for that. And of course, they’re not going to stop reading your email, because they’re gonna say, oh, what else does this person have to say about me keep bragging about me? I love it. So definitely start off with a compliment, and then kind of think about, what’s the problem this person has? And can I solve it? If you can’t, then you probably shouldn’t be sending the cold email in the first place. But if you are the solution, then you actually have an obligation to send that cold email because you are the solution for that problem that they have. It’s not your responsibility to force them to proceed with you or to sign as a client or to say, yes, but it is your responsibility to say, hey, I can solve that problem. Like, you need to drywall your basement, I can do that for you. Would you like me to do that for you now?
Erin Ollila 21:13
Yeah, I think that’s such an important key thing to point out about when it comes to like pitching people, especially for when it comes to sales. I always say that selling is a service, right? Like, what people need things. It’s just the way life works, right? Like, I can give you a list of the things that I need new carpets on my second floor, right? So like, if someone is promoting their carpets that they sell, or their offers that they have around flooring, like they’re not bothering me, if anything, they’re helping me because, one, I don’t know how to sew together a carpet create like or like weave together? Well, how have you make a carpet, I don’t even know how to, I don’t want to install it on my house. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it installed in my parents house, it’s a lot of work that goes into it, I just want someone to get me a damn carpet. Okay. But with that the people who are selling carpets are doing me a solid, right. So we have to think about how we sell to people just in general, like website sales pages, a lot of my clients will kind of like pull back in anxiety of like, it’s kind of the lizard brain thing that you said, like they feel like they’re bothering people by like, you know, showing what they offer in their business or encouraging them to like purchase on like a sales page. But if you don’t put it out there, people won’t know. So if we’re talking about cold pitching, and you know that someone has a need for whatever it is you have, it’s a service to offer it to them, you know, they get to make the decision on whether they want to continue reading your email, or whether they want to respond back like that’s on them, and you have no control over that. But for the rest of it like you’re you’re actually doing them a favor by presenting it to them, or at least giving them the option to consider it.
Laura Lopuch 22:56
Exactly. And if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. And so what’s the what’s the cost and not asking and saying, Oh, well, I could have? I wonder what could have happened? Like, can you? Can you really live with that unasked question? Or is it just better to just risk not getting an answer and asking anyway, you don’t really know what’s going to come of the question until you ask it. And in fact, like Amanda Palmer wrote this really awesome book a few years back, I think it was called the ask or something like that. But in it, she explored the power of asking, and how, like she had all these amazing things happen in her life after this year of asking she I think she went on to fun, like a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign because of this simple idea of just ask, just ask.
Erin Ollila 23:48
Yeah, and if we think about that, like in our personal life, how many people struggle with all of the day to day tiny little things that they do? Because asking isn’t necessarily something that’s been ingrained in our culture, right? Like, at least for American culture, we’re kind of taught to, like hustle on and like, push forward and, you know, succeed. And I had read something in like, a parenting book blog something a couple of years ago, where it was, like, instead of teaching your children’s like, you know, like, Are you like, what was it? Like? Did you do a good job at that it was kind of like, ask them how they felt about the work that they did or like, ask them, like, if they made themselves proud, because the point of the matter is, like, we don’t want to keep raising children who only feel like that they are loved or successful, by like, the achievements that they have, and like how hard or how much effort they put into things. We want them to be able to like recognize, like being proud of yourself, even when they don’t like draw, it’s a painting Well, or even when like, you know, things kind of fail around them because they put the effort in. So I think like if we can look at it like there are many things in my life where even if I just had like a tiny little bit of help, it would kind of take so much stress off for me Be able to focus on things or move forward with other things. So when we, you know, flip it again to talk about, like the person that’s getting pitched and us doing the pitching. If we’re not putting ourselves out there to make ourselves available, we don’t really know, you know, like, what we could have had what we could have done, what could have really changed in our own lives.
Laura Lopuch 25:19
Exactly. And also on that point, it’s also interesting to see when you start cold emailing, how many people reply and say, I was looking for this, but I didn’t know where to find you. And by asking you putting yourself out there, you create this like ripple effect, and you start to kind of draw in the people that you really want to work with. But we didn’t know how to find you. And you just have to make yourself a little bit more visible and ask.
Erin Ollila 25:45
Yeah, absolutely. I have a fun story of how I guess I like accidentally cold pitch someone, I was using a tech tool that I had for my business to like, you know, obviously make something happen and feeling a little frustrated, because I just didn’t know how to do things. So I went on their website, they had a blog, it was so well written that I was like, it’s very, like far and few between that I like see something that’s content. And I’m like, that’s great, like, good job. Like, there’s just so much junk content these days. So me feeling all like lovey dovey and excited that I found my answer, and really just thrilled that, like, I was reading a lot of good content, I decided I was going to thank the content editor for this company. Because I write content all the time. And I thought I never hear like people being like, thank you so much. That was so good. So I sent someone a LinkedIn message truly, just to be kind. And I was like, Hey, I’m loving the content, you’re creating, you know, like, like, this tool is not like necessarily something I naturally know how to do. And it’s been so helpful. And it’s really interesting. So I just want to give you that kudos because, you know, as a content creator, I know how nice it is to kind of hear feedback. And would you believe I am now a writer for that company? Because we just chatted, right. So I’ll tell you, I was like, this is the funnest, like accidental cold pitch ever, because I went into this, literally just being a nice human and being like, really thankful for what I was getting from the content, and just wanting to do something nice, like to give them that feedback. And it’s been a great relationship, I really enjoy the writing that I’m doing, I enjoy the person that I’m working with to like, you know, as my editor. So I think, even though I didn’t know that I was cold, pitching them through that, I would take that for like the listeners of like, that’s how easy it is like, not that I’m telling you to just be fake and be like, I love the content you’re creating. Let me like create content for you. No, don’t do that. But I think it’s like, you know, earlier you said like, start with a compliment. Or even if it’s not a compliment, like, is there something that you can bring to their attention? That’s positive, right? Or share that post that help? Listen, the podcast, you listen to whatever it is, I think by doing that, it kind of just opens up like the human to human conversation. So yeah, I think that when I was listening to your episode on the tiny marketing podcast, and you were going through these, like seven or eight, seven types of cold pitches, I was like, I’ve done them like, okay, or and take a deep breath, like cold pitching doesn’t have to be scary. Because it’s like the podcast pitch. I’ve pitched podcasts many times to be a guest. And I have pitched guest to be on my podcast before. Yeah. And I think like, when it comes to all of this, another way that people can kind of practice like getting past the anxiety is like forgetting about rejection. I have an online literary journal that I’ve had for about almost 11 years now. And I think the beauty of that in my life is that I reject 1000s of people a year, right? So like, this is their creative writing. So there’s a lot of emotion that goes into that. But I know like I reject good stuff all the time, just because it didn’t fit in the issue. We publish something similar. We have too much fiction, we have too much poetry, whatever, right? So if I’m sending good rejections, like it’s, it’s made my mindset be a lot more easy going on getting rejections. So when you think about pitching, and if if being rejected is something that’s holding you back, like I’d counter to say, like, you can get rejected and still be really good. Like, let’s say, you know, like, I’m pitching as a website copywriter, they could have just hired someone two weeks before, that has nothing to do with me or my skills. But if you if you don’t pitch, you don’t even know that you’re in that situation. So it’s partially just like putting yourself out there and being willing to be rejected by understanding that there’s many reasons someone wouldn’t want to work with you.
Laura Lopuch 29:39
That is so true. And in fact, one of my private clients inside my mastermind he kind of just had this big aha around rejections. He said, like you gotten a knock now reply, basically, which happens a lot because you don’t have control over the timing. And like you just mentioned, maybe they just got their website done. You don’t you don’t have insight into that. But you He realized that the knock now didn’t mean No, I don’t like you. It’s more of a, I had a bazillion things going on at the time that you called emailed me and I didn’t reply. And thank you for following up. And it’s still not now because I’m in the middle of like, I think this person was rewriting their podcasts and he pitched him to be on their podcast. So it’s not like nothing personal. It’s just the timing. And this podcast host was like, you’re definitely on the list. Thanks for following up and we’ll be back in touch in a few weeks. Once I get all of this crazy chaos figured out. And I know what I’m doing with my podcast. I’d like you back on. So understanding that not now, or not interested is not a no, it’s just uh, I’m, you know, like, you just offered me a margarita and it’s three o’clock and I prefer that Margarita at eight o’clock. Thank you. Can you come back then? It was that it has nothing to do with you personally offering the margarita. It’s just as you know, you’re offering me a drink at like one o’clock in the afternoon. And I still have work to finish.
Erin Ollila 31:03
And especially this is the case when it comes to things like collaborations or guest blog post, the workshops or the webinars like that type of teaching experience podcast for sure video shows, part of it’s just logistics like, I mean, you mentioned a few different reasons why it could happen. But like, I just sent a few rejections to pretty good pitches yesterday, because I had gotten an influx at one time, I’ve been trying to schedule out my, my recording now. So I can have podcasts that will go through the summer and not have to record in the summer. But when I rejected the few people that I had rejected yesterday, I’d said to them, your pitch was great. It didn’t fit within the series that I had, like glowing already that kind of naturally formed on their own. Like, this isn’t me sitting down, I’m saying, I’ve been talking about this. It’s just that things started to align where I could see episodes come together. So for me it was I was like, you know, I know, this isn’t what you want to hear. But could you pitch me again in September, because that’s when I’ll go about doing the next batch of content. They were great pitches, they were nice people they’re people I’d love to talk to build relationships with it just wasn’t the right time. So when you’re pitching like media outlets, let’s say they might have already have like months worth of content that already booked out in their editorial calendar, they might be working on seasonality things like one of the things I know from my content creation days with bigger brands is when we’re creating holiday like holiday content, let’s say Mother’s Day, for example, the writer doesn’t turn that into the end of April or the beginning of May, the writer may might write a Mother’s Day post in like February, because like depending on the company and the reasons legal team might need to check it. The editor needs to check it, there’s rounds of revisions, there’s just like the practical scheduling and all of that stuff. So there are timelines and logistics that kind of influence people decision finances, they might have already spent their marketing budget for this quarter, whatever it is, it is all not about you. So that’s just kind of like a way to kind of like shoe out that rejection anxiety and just be like, Hey, I’m putting it out there. If it comes back, great. If it doesn’t, I know now I’m practicing the art of cold emails, and the practice is going to make me better at sending them in the future. Even if I get an email from this.
Laura Lopuch 33:22
Yeah, I really liked that reframe of the practice. Because you really when you send a cold email, you have no control over whether or not that person says yes or no. And I think that’s a huge misconception, especially around cold emails. It’s not like you’re reaching through the screen and like putting the screws on this person, like you’ve got to say yes, like, it doesn’t work that way. Results are not guaranteed, even if you did a fantastic job on your cold pitch. And you are super proud of it. And this has happened to me. I think I called Pitch Jay Klaus, the host of the creative elements show, and he never replied. And it was just like, well, I did the best I could with that pitch and something didn’t align. And he decided not to reply, maybe he forgot, maybe got busy, maybe something happened. Maybe there was a fire in his life or personal emergency, like there’s so many things. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to re pitch them. I’m just waiting for the next inspired compliment so that I can start that next pitch email in a place of authentic complimentary, you know, gratitude, basically, and start trying to start that relationship again. It just, yeah, it doesn’t mean it’s personal. Like that’s, that’s really the biggest thing. Just go into it. And one another big thing is try to try to be like, get yourself in a really positive space when you’re writing that cold email. If you’re kind of begrudging it, that’s gonna come across on the page. And if you do get like a knock now or I loved your pitch, but it doesn’t really fit in you can Always ask as the pitcher like, Okay, that’s cool. When can I follow up with you? Or when do you think this would be a good time to talk about this topic? Or if you don’t get a reply, you can also ask like, I’d love your feedback on the pitch, was there something that didn’t sit with you? I’m always looking to grow, that can also start conversation and get you insight into timelines and what people are thinking about. And if your topic needs work, or maybe it doesn’t need work, and it’s just something that doesn’t align with the podcasts hosts general idea about the topic that you’re pitching. For example, I pitched this one podcast and got like, no replies, and then followed up and was like, Can you give me insight into why you didn’t accept and didn’t reply? And they said, the host just doesn’t like cold emails. They don’t she doesn’t believe in him. And I was like, oh, okay, well, that’s very valuable information, because then I can reframe my pitch, and I can pitch partnership emails, which I know she’s into, because she has a different idea of cold emails. So just don’t be afraid to ask going back to the asking question. Yeah,
Erin Ollila 36:05
I love that you brought up that point, because it’s also something that we should kind of talk about is like, the descripting description of what you’re offering, right? Like, what is commonplace to us in our own businesses is not necessarily like something that your audience understands. So the carpet people, for example, if they start messaging me back, and like, I say this, because yesterday, I was literally looking online at carpets. And you know, it was like, Do you want textured carpets? Do you want like triple pull something or another and I’m like a carpet as a carpet as a carpet. I wish I had more like carpet, like expertise here. But like, I can’t even look at pictures. Because now I have to choose between, like carpet designs, and I don’t even know what they mean. Right? So if a carpet person messaged me, and they were like, Hey, Aaron, do you want this berbere XYZ, something another, I’m going to be like maybe, or I might feel like depending on how technical the jargon is, or not thinking about how to like describe it to me, I might just be so put off that I can’t even kind of like build that connection and communication with them. I see this happen a ton when people write any kind of copy, like emails, sales pages, websites is like, we know our own products, we know our own services, we know our own industries. And we forget the whole like, what’s in it for the end user, the audience, the reader, like, that’s the key. So like, whatever you write on your website really makes absolutely zero difference about yourself, like, especially your about page, your about page is not about you, I’ve said that 5000 times in this podcast, it is about how you can help, like what acknowledging what you’re at, like the audience needs, and then how you are the right person to help them through that. Right. So if we’re talking about cold pitching, I think those same rules apply. It’s like, how can you present this to show the the need and talk about it in a way that actually makes sense for them. So they don’t feel like you know, confused, overwhelmed. They don’t simply understand the jargon and things like that. So I really think that like, when we approach the copy, we have to make sure maybe it’s just as simple as having someone like appear who is in a different industry read it, that they can say like, Does this make sense to you like as a random, like, outside of my industry? Do you know what I’m suggesting? So that way, the person who opens that email doesn’t feel like oh, gosh, like, you know, with your example, I hate cold pitching, when, you know, in fact that they would like to have a conversation about like collaboration and efforts and things like that.
Laura Lopuch 38:35
Yeah, I actually find it helpful to have my husband read those things, because he knows enough about my business to be dangerous, but like, he’s not an expert. So he could say like, What do you mean by this? And it’s like, oh, okay, I need to clarify, you know, this specific thing. A good rule is, I call it the What’s In It For Me tactic, but basically, like, make sure your email answers what’s in it for me, for your reader, you don’t, you’re actually have to introduce yourself until maybe 75% of the way through the cold email, because they don’t really care about you until you can present yourself as the solution to their problem. So if you can answer what’s in it for me, throughout your email, that will help your reader understand that you understand their problem, first of all, and by understanding you are the solution, and oh, hey, look, you’re the solution. And yes, I’d love to talk or yes, I’m interested or whatever that next step is that your call to action that’s asking them to take? But really, we don’t really care about anything other than answering that question. It’s really just a human question. Like someone asks you to do something and you immediately filter it through that question, well, what’s in it for me? Well, if I empty the dishwasher, my husband will be happy and it’ll be a calm, peaceful evening, write? What’s in it for me, why should I get a new website? Why should I do this? Why do I want to do that? Why do I want to get more clients and Maybe they don’t want to get more clients, maybe they just want to make more money. So what’s that question for your reader? And how do you help them solve for that question?
Erin Ollila 40:09
Now, when we talk about, like writing the emails in this way, would you say that that same type of email works for all of the types of cold pitches? Or do you have to kind of like approach, let’s say, collaboration pitches and partnerships differently than you would the cold sales email?
Laura Lopuch 40:26
That’s a good question. I haven’t been asked that one before. So kudos. I would say that the collaboration or the partnership pitches are less anxiety building, because a lot of times my call to action is, are you interested? Would you be open to this, that kind of really soft, like, Call to Action, I’m not asking them to, you know, let’s get this on the books right now. And a lot of times that kind of like intense pressure gets put into the cold sales email, kind of by its inherent nature, because a lot of times, you’re looking at the numbers and the metrics and the data behind a cold sales email versus a partnership, you’re kind of just like dipping your toe in the water. And it’s like, Would I like to, like do something with this person? Are they interested? And there’s a lot more breathability inside to be like, actually, you know, I don’t think your audience is the right fit, I’m gonna pass and there’s a little bit more space to be able to say that.
Erin Ollila 41:26
And I think too, when it comes to that, and we’re bringing back up how you mentioned the ask if someone if you’re doing a partnership, or collab, cold pitch, and someone is not able to work with you. And yeah, this could work with the cold seal sales emails, but I think it’s more natural for the collab emails. You could say to them, like, okay, it’s great that like, you know, well, thank you for letting me know that I’m not the right fit. Do you? Is there anyone in your network that you think would be the right fit, right? Because they’re not saying no, like, You’re horrible. They’re just saying, like, No, we’re not the best aligned collab partnership. But it’s like, there have been so many times that like, people have said to me, like, Okay, I’m not great on your show, you know, do you know any shows that are like XYZ? And I’ve said, Yes, like, I have a friend who has a show that would love to have you on. For me, for example, a lot of the times I my main effort is to kind of bring this back to marketing, like I could talk about, like the moon, if it were relevant on the talk copied me podcast, as long as I can bring it back to like, what, like, are we writing copy for this? Like, how does this affect our marketing, but if someone pitches me something like, you know, like, financial or very sales oriented, and I don’t think it is super aligned, I have friends with just regular business podcast, I have friends with like, finance podcast, right. So I think just asking and putting yourself out there, so long as the person is not like, rejecting you very badly, is a great way to kind of continue that conversation as well. The big question I have for you, before we get like end of this is, how do you stay organized with all of this? I’m not sure yet. Okay, that’s a fair answer. Very
Laura Lopuch 43:08
fair process. A lot of times, um, I actually like to use kind of a combination of a couple of things. I use boomerang in my email to get the like the initial pitch to boomerang back into my email when I’m supposed to follow up. So I’ll, I’ll do that. I do have like a master spreadsheet of kind of all the people that I would like to pitch. And then a lot of times, I’m just kind of keeping an eye out for like, how to pitch or something that’s happening in their world, that dovetails nicely into what I would like to pitch. So sometimes it’s kind of like a percolating effect where I’m waiting for things to come through. I really like to keep it all in my email and just have things like get boomerang back. And so then I just follow up when it comes in. That’s probably the shortest answer is just use Boomerang, it’ll, it’ll solve a lot.
Erin Ollila 44:01
Any type of automation that can actually remind you to do the things that you need to do especially checking in like, that’s what you’re going to need to use something to help you kind of stay focused. All right, we have covered so many things. Is there any type of homework assignment you would give our listeners based on the conversation we’ve had today? Yeah,
Laura Lopuch 44:20
I would say pick one to three people that you either would like to work with, or you’ve noticed, like kind of come across in your internet ramblings come across something that you’re like, I could probably solve that for person, that person, just write down 123 names that either you’d like to work with this person or you can solve the problem that this person has.
Erin Ollila 44:43
Those would be your first people. Like those would be the
Laura Lopuch 44:45
first people start right out. Yeah, exactly. start researching, start putting together things and send some cold emails.
Erin Ollila 44:52
All right, absolute final question. Now, do you have any favorite business books that you could recommend to my listeners?
Laura Lopuch 45:00
I love reading I this. This was like a hard question. I was like, How do I pick a favorite? They’re all. The first one is the gift of failure by Jessica Lee. She is actually it’s the subtitle is, oh, how the best parents learn to let go. And it’s basically it’s a book for parents. But as an entrepreneur, you should definitely read it because we encounter failures so much. And we think it means the end of the world for us. Yeah. And so this book teaches you, first of all, how to think about failure, and then how to reframe it. She definitely writes it from the parents perspective. But if you can kind of like parent your inner child, yeah, there you go. It’ll work wonders. Awesome. Yeah. And then the other book is the obstacle is the is the way by Ryan Holiday. And it’s another like, definitely written as like maybe a self help business book, but can totally apply to parenting as well. Oh, my gosh,
Erin Ollila 45:54
I love that. All right, I will put all of the ways that people can get in touch with you. Learn about your programs, and how they can become better cool pictures in the show notes and the podcast description. But I want to thank you so much for your time today. It was such a great conversation. And I really think that you have helped encourage people to kind of put themselves out there and start pitching.
Laura Lopuch 46:16
Awesome. Thank you so much for having me, Erin. I loved it.
Erin Ollila 46:23
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Top copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today. I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation. Head on over to Instagram and follow me at Erin Ollila. Until next time friends
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