So, you’ve launched your app. After a few weeks, it now has a few hundred downloads. You did a good job marketing it to your Facebook friends. You even created a Facebook page with updates and videos about your app.
But while you think you did a great job in releasing your product and marketing it to your network, you know you need more than a few likes and shares.
At the back of your mind, you imagine being featured on sites like TechCrunch, Mashable, or VentureBeat. You know that in order for that to happen, you need to pitch to journalists. There is nothing wrong with this dream. But this route takes time. Pretty darn long most especially in the startup world where everything moves like The Flash.
The Better Way
So, what do you need to do in order to get the word out about your startup as soon as possible?
Reach out to bloggers.
Now, that’s easier said than done. Most bloggers are busy like journalists. And like journalists, they care about getting the right story for their blogs.
But there is a way to get through.
There is a way you could get a blogger to publish a post about your startup and the product you offer. Unlike journalists, bloggers don’t have to answer to editors. They are both the editor and the writer. They decide which posts get published, and most times they can publish stories sooner than traditional journalists.
Writer and Editor
I used to run a tech blog called Girly Geek. Every week I get emails from startups and PR companies asking me to write about their new website, new app, or new product.
As a blogger, most times I know which emails will get read or rejected just by reading the subject and the snippet.
I’ve been on the other end as well. As a freelance writer and content strategist, I have to reach out to other bloggers. I have pitched my guest posts to bigger websites to build my writing portfolio.
Now, based on my experience as a “pitchee” and a “pitcher”, here are steps to get bloggers to write about your startup:
1. Find bloggers that will be interested in your product.
First, you need to make sure that your campaign is efficient and yield the best results.
That’s why you shouldn’t just pitch your ideas to any blogger who would listen. You need to make sure that the blogger would most likely end up liking your product.
How will you know this?
Find blogs that write about your industry. For example, if you own a PDF software for writers, you want to reach out to bloggers who could actually use the software. This way she can write a comprehensive post or review of your product.
Not only this gets you the chance to get published, but you might gain new users and potential customers along the way.
2. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Reaching out to bloggers means that you are forming a relationship. This relationship could extend more than just one blog post. That’s why you need to be genuine about it. While social media is not the most genuine way to reach out to someone, it is the most convenient. Plus, when you are polite and really seem interested with the other person, it is possible to build genuine connections through social media.
Before sending your pitch, like the blogger’s Facebook page, follow her on Twitter, and connect with her on LinkedIn. Retweet her posts and post comments on her blog.
These tiny things add up and will be a huge help for the next step.
4. Send an email with your pitch.
When you’ve engaged with the blogger via social media, you will feel more comfortable in pitching your story. You’ll have a better sense of what types of topics she likes.
When sending your email, make sure to:
- Explain how you came to know the blogger. Let her know that you love the blog and why.
- Briefly introduce yourself and your startup. Pitch a specific story that you want the blogger to write about.
- End with a call-to action (ask for a Skype call or offer meet over coffee if you’re in the same location)
5. Follow up.
Even if you did all the previous steps, it’s still possible not to get a response right away. And that’s okay.
A quick follow up email is all it takes to remind her. Make sure to wait a reasonable amount of days. Try sending a follow up email after three days or after a week. Just put your self in the shoes of the blogger, and you’ll pretty much know when to do it.
These steps don’t guarantee that every pitch you send will be read and accepted. But, of course, when you follow these steps, you increase the odds of bloggers getting to know you, your startup, and your awesome product.
Have you reached out to bloggers before? How did you establish the connection?