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Coming up in this video, I’m going to share my super secret hush hush way of reaching out to an influencer completely cold. It’s a strategy I’ve used to pitch somebody at Life Hacker, Product Hunt, and even Apple – and it works like a charm. Stay tuned.

Get the email template that I used in this video.


What is up App Nation, it is Steve P Young, and I’m going to share my super secret way of reaching out into – to an influencer. And it is using Instagram. So, before I share my strategy about how to use Instagram and reach out to an influencer or reporter completely cold and actually get a response – it’s almost guaranteed that I’ve gotten a response using this strategy. It’s – I want to share with you why Instagram.

So number 1, is that we’re sharing more intimate stuff. We as content creators on Instagram – we’re sharing photos of our family, photos of our food, photos of our vacation. Things that are really intimate to us. Whereas Twitter, maybe possibly even Facebook, we’re sharing more broad stuff. Things that we may be interested in. Talking about cold, and it becomes easier to create that content on Twitter than it is on Instagram.

And also, number 2, is because there’s not usually a big following that we have on Instagram, compared to Twitter, right? These are the more public platforms. Facebook is a little bit more private, while it’s becoming more public. I think with – when you compare it with Twitter, we have a huge following. But on Instagram, it’s probably 10% of that follow. I know a few reporters that are in the thousands – tens of thousands of followers on Twitter, but maybe just a few hundred on Instagram.

And so it’s a really great way to make that connection when you’re going completely cold. And I’ve used this strategy to actually pitch somebody at Life Hacker, who responded and said, “Hey, I’m going to consider looking at your app.” And pitching the moderator at Product Hunt. So I know a moderator, but I wanted for a client of mine – I wanted to pitch somebody else, ’cause I thought it was a better fit. And we looked at her Instagram stream, and then figured out what to say in that pitch.

And lastly, I’ve actually used it to reach out to somebody at Apple, completely cold. Now he’s become a contact of mine .I pitched a new game that I am working on, and he actually said, “Let me know 2 weeks before it’s released.” So fingers crossed. But I shared this strategy. Oh let me give you an example why – don’t use Twitter. You shouldn’t be using Twitter anymore. ‘Cause I interviewed the editor at the Next Web, the editor at large at the Next Web. A big time guy. And he was giving me an example of a bad PR pitch.

And it started with, “Hey Martin, I hope you’re over that cold that I saw on Twitter.” So I thought, “Hey, you’re building that personal connection. You’re kinda doing a little bit of research on Twitter and on the reporter.” But Martin said, “Look, it’s too obvious, right? You’re just referencing something I tweeted about. You don’t know that much about me yet.” Because Twitter is too obvious. And so I actually shared him the strategy I used to pitch somebody at Life Hacker, and I’m going to share this story with you in the recording – and his response to my story in this video. So check it out.

Here’s something that we’ve done in the past, and it’s actually gotten a response. But we’ll look at a person’s Instagram, and kind of just do a little bit of research. See I’ve always find that – hey, if I mention something about you personally – it shows that I’ve done a little bit of research, rather than I’m sending the same email to every single person. So that’s why I’m like, “Okay, well let me do a little bit of research. Maybe I’ll look on Instagram, ’cause there’s a lot of photos there. Try to find a connection here worth mentioning, and then put that on– You tell me if this is good practice or bad practice. So the subject line is completely different about Instagram or something I saw.

So I’ll give you the example. Hey, one reporter that we were trying to pitch saw a dead rattlesnake or a snake on his bike ride. He likes cycling. So I said, “Okay, crazy rattle snake, I would have stayed away from it.” That was the subject line. And I told the developer to pitch this. I didn’t pitch it, I wrote the email though. I said, “Okay, alright–” I’m just going to pretend it’s you, Martin. “Martin, hey, crazy rattlesnake. That’s – like I would never get around it. Love what you cover, but here’s our app, here’s how it’s different.” Is that creepy, or what do you think about that?

Martin: Right, well it’s weird, because although I said earlier that those kind of things can be creepy. Like, “Oh, I hope your cold got better. ‘Cause I saw a tweet about it 3 weeks ago.” That rattlesnake example isn’t quite so bad for some reason. It’s like a bit more of a fun talking point. Which is why it’s just so – it’s a minefield, and it’s so different for every journalist in terms of the actual specifics of what will annoy them or what will make them open an email? That there are no golden, hard and fast rules. But I’d say, at least that showed a bit more humor, and wasn’t like– It didn’t make it–

A cold.

Martin: It didn’t make it feel too much like, “Oh I’m looking through your window. I’m being really creepy here.” It was a bit more fun, yeah.

Yeah, and I like Instagram, because I don’t think a lot of– Everybody can search Twitter. That’s what my analysis was. Like, “Oh everybody’s probably checking their Twitter feed, so if I mention on Twitter, like everybody knows that, right?

Martin: Yeah.

So if I check Instagram, it’s at least a little level deeper, and hopefully I can find something. And you’re probably sharing something cool, because it’s a photo rather than just a tweet, right? So, I don’t know. That’s what I was thinking, cool. And this funny thing Martin, I’ll just tell you is that– I’ve pitched this guy before. Never responds, okay? Never responds. But the developer, we use that subject line and say, “Hey developer–” Email like this guy. And then he actually responded like positively. Like, “Oh my goodness, yeah, like that rattlesnake was crazy,” Blah, blah, blah. And this cool looking app, and I might be doing it – a round up post. And so, yeah, we’ll keep this in mind. But yeah, he did respond positively to that.

Martin: Cool.

So to my surprise, actually Martin liked that idea. Because it showed a little bit more effort and I was being a little bit more creative than what we could have done on Twitter, which is very, very boring. So let me share with you the exact strategy – how to really leverage Instagram and cold email one of your influencers, whether it’s a reporter or influencers that you’re trying to get a hold of. Let’s go to the screen cast.

Alright, so here we go for the Instagram strategy. So generally what I like to do is – once I’ve figured out the right reporter or the right influencer to pitch, is search for their name in Instagram. So I’m going to use me as an example, because I don’t want to expose anybody else that we’ve already pitched. But I will put “Steve P Young Instagram.” We’ll find it. And usually if you just Google somebody’s name, usually on Twitter then you might find their “about me” page, which has their Instagram account. So there are various ways to find it. If you find their website, you might be able to find their Instagram account on the website. But any which way that you want to try to find their Instagram account, I found that Google is probably the best way.

I’m going to click on this. Yep, this is the guy. Such a handsome guy. This is the guy that I want to pitch. So here’s what I want to do. Most of the time, I want to stay away from these most recent photos, ’cause it’s too obvious, it’s too easy, right? I don’t want to make it so easy for myself really. So I want to go deep research. So I might stay away from these photos. I don’t know what the heck he’s doing there. But let’s go down a little bit more. Very cute daughter. He’s got a few workout pages. Some food shots. Beautiful wife. Keep scrolling down, ooh a side (8:12?) bowl. Okay, there might be something there.

Scroll down, just try to see something that might be able to leverage. And here I see something. So this is a little bit – he’s wearing a Christmas costume. I’m going to click on it. And it looks like it’s in the New Year, so it’s 7 weeks ago. This is probably a photo that I want to use as sort of the photo that I’m going to pitch.

So when I’m pitching, what I’m going to say to him in the subject line is, “Awesome Christmas Sweater,” right? That’s it. That’s the subject line that I’m going to use. “Steve, awesome Christmas Sweater.” And then the opening sentence in my cold email is going to be, “Steve, love the Jesus sweater that I saw on Instagram. And it’s a funny sweater, I actually got mine myself.” You can maybe share that photo if you want. But then that’s something personal that you can use.

And then you go into your pitch. So what I’d like to say is – a couple of things in the opener is – I say – I know where I found it – don’t be a stalker, right? So I say, “Hey, great looking Jesus sweater that I saw on Instagram.” So IG, if you want to be one of the cool kids like I do. I say, “Saw the great sweater on IG, the Christmas sweater on IG. Big fan of your podcast and blog–” Blah, blah, blah, blah. And then I go straight into my pitch. “Hey, I’ve got this app, I would love your feedback on–” And going straight into my pitch.

And so that’s the way I’ve been able to do it for a few other people that I shared with. The Life Hacker, we saw a – he saw a dead rattlesnake on his biking trail. And so we used that. It was like, “Whoa crazy rattle snake,” for the Instagram. For The Product Hunt, it was a Halloween costume. I generally like to go into the older posts, so that you know I’m just not finding something at the very top. l’m actually doing a little bit more work, and finding something that’s more – it’s older. That shows I did a little bit more research than just finding the first post that I could finally find, and then writing that email.

So, like even this. This. I shared this in the past. Said, “Oh wow, I’m going to be creating a course for the Next Web.” And this is, you can say, “Hey Steve, congrats on creating the Next Web course on ASO, can’t wait for it.” And then go straight into your pitch. That would be the subject line, and then go straight into your pitch, right?

So the subject line that I’ve used is – stays away from nothing related to the app itself, or what I’m trying to promote. It goes straight into what I see on Instagram. The first paragraph is sort of the opener – how I saw this photo. And then I go straight into my pitch. And if you want a sample – so I’m actually giving away one of my email templates that I’ve used on a Product Hunt moderator. You can use the link below, and get access to this exact template that I used on a Product Hunt moderator. And while I know somebody, we pitched her cold. And we got – she submitted the app on to Product Hunt. So if you want that, use the link below, get access to my free template, and then utilize it.

If you have some success, leave a comment on this video, or email me –, and let me know how it’s gone. And let me know that – if you found some success with it as well.

Alright guys, if you like it – if you like this video. If you like any of my videos so far, hit subscribe on YouTube, hit the like button. Really appreciate it. And then I will see you next week, with my — That’s a bad ending. I’ll see you next week. See you.



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