Have you heard the statistic you have 2.8 seconds to grab someone’s attention online?
Let me reiterate: you have 2.8 seconds to grab someone’s attention before they keep scrolling, browsing or opening a new email from the next candidate.
You have 2.8 seconds to string together some of the best damn words this person has ever read! I mean, no pressure. But you gotta knock the ball outta the damn park, okay!?
How would you feel if you were looking to hire a VA and found your inbox full of a hundred emails and 95% of them went like this:
“Hi. I saw your post on Facebook looking for a Virtual Assistant. I have 7 years experience working in data entry, customer service, content creation and bookkeeping. I’m looking forward to talking to you more about this position.”
Would you want to reply to this person?
- They could be technically the most qualified or experienced of the mass applicants but they did absolutely NOTHING to show you how AWESOME they are.
What if your pitch left your future client feeling so excited to interview you they responded with something like, “You sound like you’ve dropped from heaven.”? It’s time to write a pitch THAT good…and I can tell you, standing out is a lot simpler than you think!
BE A HUMAN
Let’s take it back to the basics – the person on the receiving end of your pitch is a HUMAN, just like you. They want to be spoken to like a human.
This is not the time to string together a sentence like, “Dear, Madam. After seven years experience in a fast paced customer service position, I feel extremely qualified for this role.” That sounds like you’ve found a thousand people to pitch to and you just copy and pasted that into every single email or application.
I know, it’s not your fault you were trained to speak to employers like this. But my public service announcement would like to scream on repeat: robotic, impersonal, scripted customer service jargon is a thing of the past and it’s time to master how to be playful, funny and personable with the right amount of professionalism. It’s more than okay to be yourself!
Write the pitch pretending you’re talking to a friend using your unique conversational tone. This elicits EMOTION and FEELING in the reader, which gets you ahead of the rest!
FIND YOUR WHY
Chances are, the client wants to hire someone who likes their mission as much as they do. You need to figure out WHY do you even want to work with this person?
What is it about their business/brand/message/blog that resonates with you? If this person already fits into the category of your ideal client then this should be easy!
- Do you LOVE that they help busy Stay at Home Moms create profitable, passionate careers?
- Do you LOVE dogs and love that the client has created a dog sitting business for busy people?
- Are you just really desperate to take on any gig to get experience? SAY THIS (worded in a better way of course).
Take your WHY and meet me at point number 3.
Now that you’ve found out WHY you want to work with the client, it’s time to get to work.
Absorb everything you can about this person or company while looking for something relatable. DIVE DEEP. Stalk their Facebook, Instagram, Blog, LinkedIn, Pinterest, their criminal record (just kidding) but you get the point.
Find SOMETHING you can use to relate to with this person. Anything. Maybe your detective skills show you that they:
- Went to University in your hometown (Shout out Cal State Alum!)
- They wrote a blog post about the calendar system they use that you found really awesome (tell them you’ve been looking into new calendar systems and you loved this post!)
- They have a picture of them eating vegan tacos (Hey vegan taco lover, fellow plant-based foodie here!)
If you’re ESPECIALLY creative, you can find a way to use this in the subject line of the email to get them to drop everything they’re doing to find out who you are. But don’t worry, sliding this into the pitch is just as powerful. Get creative and personal – don’t hold back!
SHOW (DON’T TELL) WHY YOU ARE THE BEST FIT
Do you remember in your elementary English writing classes when the teacher kept emphasizing how important it was for you to SHOW the reader something instead of just TELLING the reader? Same here, everybody. Same here.
Would someone who calls themselves “creative” write a boring ass pitch? NO. They don’t need you to TELL them you’re creative – SHOW THEM you’re creative. I’m not saying you need to write them a mini novel full of clever alliteration and puns (although puns are totally encouraged).
Rather, just THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX of how you can SHOW OFF about being the best in whatever it is you want instead of just telling them why you think you’re a good fit.
Chances are, you’ve already attached your portfolio or samples of your work so you don’t need to get too hung up on this BUT it’s still an important consideration to spice up your writing from the jargon we’ve been taught to write when applying for jobs.
HAVE MORE CONFIDENCE THAN BEYONCE
Again, let’s imagine you’re a busy entrepreneur that barely has time to take care of her overwhelming to-do list let alone sort through a hundred pitches to find a VA to help her take care of said overwhelming to do list.
Would you pick someone who bluntly just told you they don’t feel confident enough to do the work because they don’t have experience? Probably not.
YOU ARE A CONFIDENT, BOSS, VA WHO THEY CAN TRUST TO TACKLE THE JOB (even if you don’t feel like it!) Think about saying something along the lines of, “Although I don’t have experience calling myself a virtual assistant just yet, I did work in an office for 13 years doing all of the same tasks….I’ve got this under control!” Take yourself seriously and SELL your worth!
There you have it, VA friends. I can’t wait to see you send your old pitch draft straight into the trash folder and get to work on a draft as clever and catchy AS YOU ARE. And just in case you forgot, were always rooting for you and sharing tips like this on our free Facebook Group, so make sure you share your new pitch with us there, too!
Natalie is a small town American girl turned globetrotting digital nomad. Based in the tropical island paradise, Bali, you can probably find her fueling up on fresh coconuts or freaking everybody out with how many chili’s she can eat in one sitting. She lives a laptop lifestyle helping clients with social media management, outreach, engagement and whatever new challenge gets thrown her way. She writes about her life as a digital nomad here: https://virtuallynatalie.com
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