The unsolicited marketing pitch is becoming an epidemic. I’m not using that term lightly, considering current times. But there’s no doubt the marketing industry is facing a deadly epidemic.
The Pitch Pic
Few things are as shocking as talking to someone online, really hitting it off – then out of the blue, they send you an unsolicited nude picture.
The business equivalent is the unsolicited marketing pitch. I’m going to call it the pitch pic. You probably saw that one coming.
So you get these friend requests or messages from people who want to know how you're doing. They’ll start by asking innocent questions about your life or business.
And then out of nowhere, comes the pitch.
If you're like me, you probably knew it was coming. Maybe you play along just because you have this somewhat perverse need to get justifiably angry.
Sometimes it really catches you by surprise. When it does, your response might not be as charitable.
My most memorable unsolicited pitch pic
There was this one time I got a friend request from someone. I checked out her profile, she was in my ideal audience. It seemed like we might have some things to talk about. I thought maybe I could help her with some marketing.
She opened by complimenting me on my glasses.
“You know, I really like this style. I've been kind of wearing the black framed glasses for a couple of years. I've been playing with size and shape and all that. Thank you, I'm really happy with them too.”
Sounds innocent enough, right?
Then out of the blue, dear reader, she starts to tell me about how poor eyesight is caused by bad energy, and how she's been helping people heal their eyesight without surgery.
I've been wearing glasses for 31 years. And she was basically telling me that at five years old, I was so energetically screwed up, that I needed glasses.
Needless to say, I was offended. I broke my standard pitch pic response protocol and let her have it.
I told her there were better marketing techniques, and whoever was teaching her was wrong.
Pitch pics come in different forms
There are better ways of finding your ideal audience than trolling Facebook looking for profile pictures of people wearing glasses, and then pretending to be their friend. All so you can try to pitch to them.
That's why I wanted to come up with this euphemism of the pitch pick. because it's very violating to have someone judge you based on one little piece of information they know about you.
It’s even worse when that judgment is based on a physical characteristic, or they read a comment where you were being vulnerable.
It somehow makes me picture an internet vulture waiting to pounce on your perceived weaknesses. It can spring on you in many different ways.
You sometimes get the friend request or the message “Hey, I help accident, you know, so-and-so with XYZ. What do you want to talk about that?” and you're just like, “Oh, don't waste my time.”
Then there are the sneaky pitch pics. Those are almost worse because it's from people who pretend to care about you.
That's the part that I think drives us all a little crazy. The pretense.
Alternatives to pitch pics
I don't know who is teaching people that this is how they should be marketing to their ideal client. But I'm taking a stand against the unsolicited marketing pitch.
I’m going to give you far more effective ways of reaching out to people.
When you see someone that might be in your ideal audience, you have a couple of options.
You can create content they might like. You can get in there sphere of influence. Be visible to them, and hope that they reach out to you.
But if you want to take a more proactive approach, and you want to begin reaching out to people who are in your ideal audience, they might ask you why you are connecting. If they do, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being upfront and honest.
“Hey, I noticed that you seem on the surface to match a profile of the people that I really liked to connect with. I know that I can provide a ton of value to you. And I would just love to connect, begin to build a relationship and let you see what I'm all about.”
That's it. No pitch pic.
Just ask to have a conversation. Think of it as dating. We're not going to send unsolicited pics to the people we're dating, are we? At least I hope you aren’t.
What we're going to do is let them be interested enough to ask for more.
There are situations in which a pitch is not unwelcome. In those cases, people need to consent to receiving your pitch.
People need to consent to taking the relationship with you to the next level. That goes for both professional and dating relationships.
You can do better than an unsolicited marketing pitch
As someone who gets a lot of pitch pics, I feel very strongly about this. That’s why I’ve started to pitch back.
Two wrongs might not make a right, but they do help make light of the situation. Besides, knowing how it feels might make these marketers think twice in future.
As long as we only contact people because we want them to pay for something, their relationship with us will always be transactional. No one wants transactional relationships. They want to get to know people who have their best interests at heart.
Giving people value is the key.
When I reach out to people, I might say something like, “Hey, I'm hosting this webinar. Yeah, there's going to be an offer at the end. I'm going to give you a ton of value before I get to that. I'd love it if you could come.”
A pitch like that, and you can be guaranteed some people are going to want to hear what you have to say.
In fact, when I host a webinar, and I tell people that I'm going to have an offer at the end, but I'm also going to give you a ton of value, people don't leave when it's time for the offer.
They stay behind to hear what I have to say.
If you send your unsolicited pitch pics to 100 people, you might get a sale. That is still not a valuable use of your time and effort.
And it's certainly not the image that you want to put out in the world.
An authentic relationship beats any unsolicited marketing pitch
I'm now taking a stand against anybody who is teaching this unsolicited pitch pic nonsense.
This is not the way to build relationships that work. You may make a sale here and there. But it’s still going to feel really yucky to everybody else.
You're going to turn people off. You're going to piss people off.
And you're going to spend a whole lot more effort and energy doing something that's not really working than if you turned around and began building real relationships based on transparency and value with those same people.
If someone was to come and slide into my DMs and say, “Hey, girl, you are my ideal client and I want to get to know you better.”
I’ll listen to what they have to say.
I got married before all these dating apps were a thing. Yet I can imagine that if I was single and dating and a guy slid into my DMs and said, “Hey girl, you look like the kind of girl I'm looking for. I can't wait to get to know you better.”
I’d be hooked. That’s a great opening line.
So why are we not using that same idea in our businesses. Why are we not looking at people as more than a number in the spreadsheet.
Goodbye to the unsolicited marketing pitch
No more unsolicited pitch pics. We are going to start building relationships with people and knowing them before sending pics. Okay?
If you've been coached to do this, this is not a judgment on you.
I just want you to know there are many ways of getting clients. An unsolicited marketing pitch is not one of them.
Do you have any words of wisdom to share, or do you profoundly disagree with something I said and want to let me know? I’m all ears! Comment below and let's talk about it.