But most importantly, you’ve got to sell yourself
In life, everything’s a pitch. It doesn’t matter whether you’re telling your friends about your latest article or in the middle of an interview for your dream job, you’ve still got you sell your idea; most importantly, you’ve got to sell yourself.
It may sound harsh, but if you can’t convince your friends to buy into an idea, how do you expect a stranger to?
Every time you walk into a room, you’ve got to sell yourself; you never know who’s there and what will come of it. I’ve known people drag themselves to meet-ups and parties, wishing to be anywhere else but in that room, and walk away with a job. As they say, it’s not always what you know, but who you know. That’s why in life, everything’s a pitch.Going all the way back to the inaugural Traverse 13 event in Brighton – a conference for travel bloggers, travel companies, tourist boards and PR agencies to meet and greet – it was the perfect time to pitch yourself. With events such as TBEX, TBU and Traverse, you’ve got a captured audience all in one room, and it’s never been easier to promote yourself – all you’ve got to learn is how to use that to your advantage.
With a number of industry professionals at Traverse 13, the one talk that I found really useful was Steve Keenan’s. Former travel editor of The Times Online and co-founder of Travel Perspective, Steve is a fountain of knowledge for up-and-coming bloggers and journalists. When he talks, people really listen.
At the conference, Steve gave a talk on pitching to editors, some of the dos and don’ts as it were. In it, he talked about the importance of capturing your audience in the first sentence and in that first paragraph. He then went on to ask the audience if anyone had any examples of writing in which they felt they had really captured their audience from the start. Obviously he was met with a stunned silence as people nervously looked from side to side, wondering whether they should say anything or not.
As one guy started reading out his example, I knew this was an opportunity that I didn’t want to pass up on.
With a room full of bloggers, journalists and other professionals, I knew this was an opportunity to pitch myself, so I frantically searched my phone and read out one of my favourite stories. Was I nervous? Of course, but I knew you don’t get noticed sitting silently at the back of the room.
In the evening, at the infamous TravelLads after party, a girl came up to me and said, “I wish I had your confidence to speak up like that,” to which I explained that I didn’t want to do it, but I needed to do it.
With so many bloggers, journalists and other professionals, how do you sort out who’s the best of the best?
Next time you’re faced with a room full of people, especially if you’re going to a travel blogger or a social media conference in the future, make sure you remember that everything’s a pitch. I hope you’ve enjoyed mine…
Featured image contributed to Master in Travel.