If you were to tell me at the beginning of the year that I’d be Content Creating and Marketing for some of the most amazing companies I found through Social Media — I would laugh. At you. And then tell you to laugh with me. Because I mean… it’s absurd, no?
Well no, not absurd as you think.
But you do ask yourself, how does a student with minimal experience in life (during a global pandemic) begin to create a career opportunity for themselves whilst being whole-heartedly honest throughout the process?
Well, let’s all take a moment to think back to the beginning of 2020
How many of us, in this crazy year particularly, felt the urge to push that little bit harder because, for nearly everyone, our sense of security (financially or health-wise) felt close to non-existent?
The ‘2020 Summer Vacay’ plans on the verge of disappearance, jobs hanging on by a short thread, graduation celebrations out the window, and that daily routine I mastered was completely rattled.
*flips the table*
For me, it was the time I felt the most lost in many ways.
Unsure of what I was doing, who I was becoming, and more importantly, how to survive the tide ahead. I couldn’t deny that feeling stable offered me this natural sense of comfort. This was now being turned on its head, upside down, on its side. You name it.
Personally, feeling like I had no control of my life seriously sucked.
And, I knew that if I wanted to gain absolutely anything this year, it was going to require me to do a few things I was completely afraid of:
- Some serious motivation to start from scratch
- The courage and self-belief to take a shot in the dark
- A LOT of Patience
- Reaaaaally thinking outside the box to execute my ideas
With university closed, my part-time job becoming a ‘no-time job’ and being confined to the four white walls of my bedroom, it was time to get creative if I had any chance of achieving anything post-lockdown.
I’ve always taken a liking to content creating, particular writing blogs. Anything that I could do in a creative manner that could leverage businesses was a bit of me. The problem is, the lack of guidance and experience I had to get my foot through that door felt as if I was drawing a very short straw.
But Alas! I guess modern problems do require modern solutions, eh?
(Did I just say ‘alas’?)
I Took My Chances And Hit Sent On This Game-Changer Email:
Disclaimer: Although this template worked in my favour in this particular case, the opportunity that you are seeking just may not be available at the time — but don’t give up!
This template helped get my email read and replied to without prior contact to the recipient.
The story was — I really wanted this content creating gig with a company in which I had zero idea of whether they were even hiring. All I knew is that I loved their vibe, the people seemed cool and this opportunity would be huge leverage for me.
This is usually the basis of all my pitch emails sent to the busiest of people. No prior contact or relation with them — just little ol’ me seeking major chances.
So Here’s What I Sent —
The entire breakdown of this template you see above is followed —
First Step: I had to know who I was speaking to.
(This is soooo much more important than I originally thought ).
I had to do some serious research about who I was trying to reach out to for a start.
Sometimes I dig deep but in this instance, I knew the person I wanted to reach was a ‘creative’, along the lines of a social influencer— so I started it off with a friendly vibe and ditched the formalities so it didn’t deter them immediately.
e.g. “hello/hey (first name)”
This is the absolute first bit I knew they were going to see (possibly even just from their lock screen) and would give an insight into the person trying to get hold of them too (A.K.A. me).
Letting them know I could also be a quirky creative who knows how to kick it helps them resonate with me more.
Next Step — Proving The Knowledge.
“Keeping up with your blogs and daily life in general via social media, I know you may not get the chance to respond to every email as well as dealing with the possible preparations with the reopening of (Inserts Company Name) very soon.
What To Take Note of Here:
- I talked about how I knew them or where I would get their content from (via social media / reading their Medium blog).
- I had to be understanding of the fact that they are superrrr busy. It makes that person feel like I get them and respect that time is of the essence.
- To prove I knew about what’s going on for them at that specific moment and show interest in their life (are they currently travelling?/ re-opening their business?/ starting a new venture/ what’s the latest on their insta stories?).
- Show a level of respect by doing my research basically.
“With that in mind, I will compose this in a way you will only need 60 seconds to reply, hopefully!”
^ This sentence right here is gold dust.
I’ve added it to almost every ‘pitch’ email I’ve sent since discovering this template and I’m certain that it reels them in every time.
Giving an exact time frame just creates a sense of certainty and efficiency.
The idea of making your reader aware that your email will not take up much of their time at all gives an ultimate comfort zone and relieves pressures.
Although I would pour blood, sweat and tears into formulating this email and back-spacing a ton of times, my recipient was only going to want to know that they can shoot back a quick response to me, regardless of how much I dressed it up.
(Before learning this template, I would write serious paragraphs without a solid point until half way down the email. It took a while for me to realise I was doing it all wrong.)
I Learnt To Be Convenient For Them.
Up Next — Putting My Best Foot Forward With Confidence.
I’m Zara, currently a (insert your current situation e.g. student/ what you’re studying) with both experience and knowledge in the (insert relevant sector) and looking for a way to expand on this through a possible work opportunity.
What To Note:
- I had to keep it snappy, fun and friendly
- Exposing myself in a way that is completely relevant to the email (what I’m up to these days).
- Tell them what I’m already experienced in so they have somewhat of an insight into what I can offer.
- Being very clear with what looking I’m for otherwise everyone is on different pages.
Some people despise talking about themselves in a positive light out of the fear of seeming overly-confident and I’m the exact same.
But to get over this, I started thinking — how will they know how much of an asset I can be to the team/collaboration if I don’t hype myself a little?
So that’s when I started to believe in ‘self hype’ — and boy, it’s a winner.
Don’t be afraid to use vanity metrics.
I drew everything to a close with:
I‘d love to know about any current vacancies you may have within (Insert Company Name) whether that’s a (describe the opportunity you are seeking e.g. marketing assistant/ content creating role).
Next — Being Considerate of Their Time Once Again.
If you’re unable to respond, I totally understand that other things may take priority during this specific time of change, though any response from you would work for me and I’ve attached my CV below just in case.
What To Note Down:
- I reinstated my consideration for their time to subtly say — “Hey, I get you.. once again”.
- It acknowledge their lack of free time, which makes them more inclined to hit you back with an even friendlier response.
- It’s not pressurising them which can make anyone feel awfully uncomfortable.
- I left them with the relevant information to find out more about me and how to get back in touch.
I quickly found that allowing someone space was the quickest way to get my email seen to.
Forget the being sincere or faithful... dream big.
“Dreaming Big” is saying “I’m hopeful and eager for your response” and that essentially, being able to gain that opportunity with them will be — a big dream come true for me.
This sign off became a favourite for me because of how I knew it could make the other person I feel. If I was on the receiving end of that, I’d feel of high value and that my own accomplishments were being honoured by this person.
The Big Reveal: Wanna Know The Response I Got?
Confidential information has been removed for obvious reasons.
That same day later in the evening, I got hit back with this —
This template is an absolute win.
I’ve used this template over the course of the last 12 months every time I wanted to try my hand at something new.
I gained copywriting opportunities, digital marketing gigs and even sent it across LinkedIn hiring managers to create a pretty good first impression before interview processes.
Considering I had no major connections or even any solid experience before sending these cold emails, I was being given a chance, and sometimes all we need is for someone to take a chance on us.
Now, need I say any more? — go and get that opportunity you’ve been dreaming big about!
For a video breakdown of the email, this is my older brother who explains it perfectly alongside his very own experience:
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