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  • Writer's pictureElton Cilliers

Social Media Mistakes - Cold Pitching

If you have used a social media platform for any period of time longer than 5 seconds, it's likely you have experienced a 'cold pitch' before.

A cold pitch is when someone you have never engaged with before direct messages you with a sales pitch.

Now the irony here is that I've spoken with some business owners who practise this approach, and amazingly they have told me that they hate receiving junk mail and unsolicited messages. What am I missing here? If you don't like something, why on earth would you inflict it on others?

Having used social media for several decades now, I can assure you cold messaging is by no means a new concept. It's just easier on social media. Easier, however, doesn't make it right!

I've asked the question on various social media platforms, "Do you like receiving cold pitches from people you've never engaged with before?" and almost every single person who has commented has had the same answer, "No".

So I strongly advise against this approach if you are a freelancer or small business owner.

Other options to cold pitching

As I say, when I use the term 'cold pitching' I'm referring specifically to those people who send you a DM who you have never engaged with. In many instances, they may not even follow or be connected with you on the platform. The message sent is very clearly a copy and paste job and no effort at all has been made to check out your profile/BIO.

I have had messages for example to be a lingerie model. I'm a 48-year-old greying bastard, putting me in lingerie is something NO ONE wants to see I assure you! Immediately, these accounts are blocked for their sheer laziness in their marketing (or rather spam) efforts.

Do your research

I'm not suggesting you should never send a sales pitch to your followers. I'm suggesting you put in some effort and time BEFORE you do so.

Firstly, research the person you intend to pitch to. Do they fit your ideal client profile? Do you actually follow them? If not, start there. Do you engage with their content? If not, start doing so. Get onto the person's radar BEFORE you pitch to them. People are less irritated to receive a sales pitch from someone who is on their radar than a complete stranger.

Take a look at the person's BIO/Profile, have they provided their name? If so, when you message them, ensure you make the message personable by using their name and not just "Hi". Addressing them by name (if they have provided it) will immediately show that you have put some effort into your message rather than simply copy and pasting a mass message.

I know we live in a world that demands immediate gratification, however, running a business does not follow the same requirements. It does take time and it does take effort. Whilst you may think I'll take my chances and send 100 random people a message, and hopefully, I will get 1 bite is a great idea, the other 99 people you messages are likely never going to consider you or your services. Rather work on gaining 100 people who are more receptive to your sales pitches by nurturing your network, spending time engaging with their content and then when the time is right, send them a message, but not one that is 'Hey, buy my stuff', but rather one that sells the value of your product or service.

Sell the value, not the product

When you do message someone with a sales pitch, come at it from their point of view. How will your product or service you're trying to sell them going to bring value to them? People don't care about you or your business (harsh reality), they care about how your product or service can help THEM.

Tell them how your product or service will help them and they will be far more open to having received your message because you're making it about them. People love it when you talk about them, that's just the nature of us humans.

I hope you've found this useful and that it's at least made you think twice about spamming strangers on social media. Do things right, whilst it may seem painfully fruitless in the beginning, will pay off in the long run as more and more of your followers turn into fans because you are engaging and providing content of value to them.

The Online Presence Guy. Web Design. Website Designer. Web developer. Wix Wesbites. Affordable websites. Website guarantee. Social Media Manager. Digital Marketing. London. Cambridge. United Kingdom

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