Scared to pitch yourself for a podcast interview, a speaking engagement, a contractor position, or something else in your business? This blog post will help you find where that fear comes from and how to overcome it, based on your personality type.
Post originally published in December 2019. Updated January 2021.
A Marketing Personalities Podcast listener reached out last week on Instagram and asked…
“It feels great for me to show what I do and educate people. And I want to do that by getting in front of new audiences. But pitching to be on podcasts or be a guest expert or whatever form that takes doesn’t feel good. So it’s like there’s no feel-good step needed in order to do a feel-good marketing strategy. Any thoughts or resources for this struggle?”
Here’s word-for-word what I told her…
“My short answer is, you have two clear options. First, you could learn from an experienced PR strategist, specifically on how to pitch. Take their recommendations, tweak them so the copy feels right to you and hit send. OR you could still learn from an experienced PR strategist, write your pitch, and then have your assistant or someone other than you send the actual email. That way, you’re removed from the sending and ideally, don’t even know what pitches have been sent and when. That distance can be freeing.
AND of course, I’m curious what’s under the resistance to pitching for you.”
Which then this listener confided,
“It’s fear of rejection, bothering people, or being judged. Those are the usual suspects lingering beneath the surface for me.”
UH HUH. I think this is underneath most of our PR woes.
And it’s holding so many of you back. So if you relate to this pitching-doesn’t-feel-good-because-I’m-scared-of-rejection, listen up.
Handling the Fear of Rejection in the Diplomat Tribe
I won’t be the one to tell you exactly how to get over this. I haven’t mastered this myself. The one thing I do know that usually works for me is aligning and connecting back into my WHY and the mission I’m on. When I plug back into that, sending that pitch email seems like a no-brainer and I’ll be damned if I let the recipient of that pitch email stand in my way of getting my message and mission out there.
Now, that’s me. And that’s a very Diplomat-Tribe-way of approaching the issue. Right? We’re so mission-driven so if we can just tap back into the mission, realign with it, we can release the baggage we’re carrying around like our fear of rejection and just do the dang thing.
Handling the Fear of Rejection in the Analyst Tribe
For Analysts struggling with this, it might be helpful to take a look at your strategy again, remember how crucial it is to book that gig, and that could catapult you into action, regardless of the fear.
Think about it – fear is a feeling. So if it has you tripped up, you could get back into action by releasing the feeling and digging your big brain back into the data, the logic, the strategy. Take a look at that Marketing Strategy Map again and remember how crucial it is to get whatever you’re needing to pitch yourself for.
Handling the Fear of Rejection in the Sentinel Tribe
For Sentinels, realign and connect with the person you most want to serve. Will the most important people in your life benefit from you booking this PR feature? Yes? That might be just what you needed to remember to send that pitch.
See, Sentinels prefer to pay attention to what’s happening around them, rather than what’s happening internally. If what’s happening internally is that icky feeling of fear, it could help to turn the focus to the external, remember who could be helped, and take action from that place.
Handling the Fear of Rejection in the Explorer Tribe
For Explorers, try looking at this as an experiment. Give yourself a certain number of pitches to send out, say 5 pitches, hit send, and be willing to see what happens. If you can do things in batches, you might not get hung up on the one that’s freaking you out the most.
Plus, it’s usually helpful for Explorers to approach a work-related task from a place of experimentation or play, rather than I-must-get-this-done-or-ELSE!
Hopefully those little tid bits move some of you into action!
And I also know there’s more to this. Because regardless of your Marketing Personality Type®, fear of rejection is a very real thing that sure, you could push through this time, but pushing through and healing are two verrryyyy different things.
To heal your fear of rejection and truly let it be a thing of the past – something that no longer hinders you, something that you no longer have to just grit your teeth and get through – bring us to a much bigger conversation.
I don’t have the answers to this one. I have some ideas and some journeying of my own I’ve done in this area, but instead of trying to come up with answers for you, I’d rather direct your attention to a few resources that I’ve found helpful when it comes to releasing my fear of rejection.
More Resources on Handling the Fear of Rejection
First, is a blog post written by Rachel of Clarity on Fire. It’s titled “Are you tired of pretending to be someone you’re not?”. In it, you’ll find some fresh, new encouragement to be yourself – you know I’m always here for THAT – and you’ll learn how to PLAN for rejection as opposed to avoid it.
Another great blog post from Clarity on Fire, this one written by Kristen, is titled “How to bounce back from any rejection.” This one was especially helpful to me, as it guided me to imagine what it’d be like to get rejected – really take my mind there – and see that really, it wasn’t as big of a deal as my very loud inner critic was making it out to be.
And finally, a classic TED Talk that fires me up every time I watch it – Jiah Jiahng’s “What I learned from 100 days of rejection” talk. To conquer the fear of rejection, Jiang embarked on a personal quest and started a blog, 100 Days of Rejection Therapy. His journey revealed a world that was hidden in plain sight — a world where people are much kinder than we imagine. He discovered that rejection can be much less painful than we believe and that the fear of rejection is much more destructive than we know.
So with those three resources, I invite you to take a closer look into this for yourself.
Because if it feels good to do speaking gigs, book podcast interviews, and be featured on others’ blogs and platforms… we’ve got to get you doing more of that feel-good stuff. When you feel good, your audience feels good. And those feel-good activities are what will grow your company. Period. So truly, the fear of rejection needs to be addressed and healed so you can step into your next level of growth.