How to Pitch To and Work With a Big Network

How do you get thousands of likes and views of your original content? One daring and clever creative entrepreneur, Chrissie Blatt, of Chrissie Blatt Creative found a way to get her video ideas produced and posted on a website with hundreds of thousands of viewers. I asked her to share her strategy with us.

How did you find this site and what made you decide to pitch your ideas to them?

I have a close friend that works for Scripps Networks in Cincinnati and his wife told me about a new news site they had created called Simplemost. (Simplemost Facebook here)

I started scrolling through the site trying to really understand the platform and what they do. I noticed that they basically “share” content and that maybe less the 5% of their “news, stories or recipes” are original created segments. I have always thought that I have more ideas rolling around in my brain then I could possibly act on! I started thinking… what if I was the one that created content for them?

How did you figure out what ideas to use? Did you research their market?

The question, "What IS creative content?" plagued my thoughts. If I have “seen” something before or if I create “a version” of something I saw on Pinterest, is that original? What makes something original? What makes content attractive to the Simplemost viewer? What makes the viewer share content? What makes them press the “like” button? I spent the next 2 weeks observing, reading comments, and watching their content for stories that did well and those that didn’t. The sad truth that I discovered is that what excited me as a creative might not be what excited the Simplemost viewer. Especially when a video about Skittles could get 2 million views and a great produced recipe segment only 100k.

"I discovered is that what excited me as a creative might not be what excited the Simplemost viewer."

But like any new venture, I decided to go with the “f*ck it-- let’s just see if I can get in the door…stop thinking about something you haven’t even been given the opportunity to do" attitude. :-) I know how to style events so I can probably style videos + photoshoots with a bit of research + tweaking. I have creative ideas and I know how to execute them. I have a creative eye. And my brain is EXPLODING with ideas I will never act upon unless I find a different outlet to do them!

How did you find out who to submit to?

Sometimes it's ok to just “ask” for the favor. I try not use my contacts very often to “get a reservation” or “get the best seats at the concert” but this was different. Yes, it was for me but what I wanted to do would be helping them too. I asked for my friend at Scripps to set up a meeting for me with the head of production at Simplemost. He laughed…then said ok.

How did the video come about, once they approved your submission idea?

My initial meeting at Simplemost was a total fact finding mission: Why don’t they have more original content? What type of content are they looking for? What does Simplemost really want to be?

With over 2,000,000 users/followers, to me this “news outlet” is still trying to figure out their niche. They admitted that they are currently trying out a lot of different things to see what their users like. They want to produce original content on a regular basis but they are still growing their in-house team and paying an outside production company doesn’t fit their budget just yet. But I am thinking to myself… they are part of Scripps… get in on the ground level. This could be big. Don’t screw it up.

They asked me to propose 12 video ideas and they would get back to me… AHHHHHHHHH 12 ideas? How to narrow it down when I have so many? Talk about analysis paralysis. I submitted a mix of ideas from simple recipes + crafts that I thought their Simplemost viewers would like with a mix of party specific ideas that are more true to the Chrissie Blatt Creative brand.

They selected 4 ideas and told me they would send me a video production crew and a producer to film and photograph! I would be in charge of setting everything up, purchasing and prepping the materials, styling and writing a simple step-by-step for all of the content. We would film and photograph together, and then they would edit and produce the final piece.

"We produced the first 4 videos in my basement on my son’s ping pong table."

We produced the first 4 videos in my basement on my son’s ping pong table. Not exactly glamorous right? But who would know from the finished product?

Are you going to pitch some more ideas to different companies or to this one again?

Sticking with Simplemost for now! Working on round two of video concepts and most importantly a compensation package! How should I get paid? On performance? Per project? Per hour? I wanted to wait until I could gage the success of the 1st batch of videos before trying to place a value on my services. What makes me valuable? Could they do the exact same things without me? What makes a video successful? Views? Likes? Shares? Clearly, there are a million variables when it comes to social media and determining the success of content. Variables that I have NO CLUE how to evaluate.

How do you think it will benefit your event design business? If everything went exactly as you wanted it to, what’s your biggest dream about your business?

My long term goal is to move away from live events and get into more of the editorial side with photoshoots, blogging and hopefully down the road…sponsored content. I think this is a great conduit if I can figure out how to make $! I am going to take it slow on this project and do it well. Grow with them, show them my value and hopefully be there when they are ready to really go for it!

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