I received a random message on Facebook last week from a stranger I was not connected with. They indicated that they were relocating to my town and were not sure what I did for a living but had a great business opportunity for me.

I’m not sure how I didn’t jump out of my seat immediately at this “opportunity.”

What were the mistakes?

First they gave me no indication that the message was personalized to me. Why specifically are they reaching out to me? Second, it showed they knew nothing about me or even what I did which led me to question the final inquiry of requesting that I listen to their business opportunity. How could they possible know I’d be good for whatever it is?

Overall, I don’t think anyone would disagree that this was a terrible pitch.

Now, how could this be remedied?

First – clearly articulate who you are and the specific reason for the contact. Second, show that you’ve done your homework and that you know who the person you are contacting is and what they are about. Lastly, you make it very clear what you’re asking for. The days of bait ’em and bring ’em in are dead. We’ve become far too good at ignoring these bad pitches.

Relate this to pitching yourself to a magazine editor. You introduce yourself, you show you’ve done your homework, you tailor and personalize the message and you make it clear what you’re asking for or pitching about.

That is how you stand apart from a sea of terrible pitches.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto