Here’s a note my friend received recently, via LinkedIn:
Glad to link with you on this thing. Pun intended.
I’m really trying to push my television pilot. I know you’re not looking but could you possibly lead me to some places (or folks) that are? I promise I won’t make you look bad. 🙂
Or you can hit me on the personal tip: [HIS EMAIL]
Any advice at all would be appreciated.
Let’s analyze all the things wrong here, then commit them to memory. Because if you’re going to make it in Los Angeles, you will have to ask for help.
But you have to do it the right way.
Here we go:
The medium. As Gary Vaynerchuk reminds us, content is king, but context is god. LinkedIn isn’t the place to send this kind of message. If you’re asking for this kind of help, send an email.
“I’m really trying to push my television pilot. I know you’re not looking but could you possibly lead me to some places (or folks) that are?” We’re 50% of the way through this note and so far you’ve only talked about one person: You.
“Push my TV pilot.” What’s the logline? What network do you envision? What’s the genre? How could I help you with this if I don’t know anything about what you’re pushing?
“Could you possibly lead me to some places (or folks) that are?” In other words, you want me to open up my contacts for you so that you can spam them with your script? If I was going to help, it’d be with ONE contact. We’d put you in touch with the right person, with the precision of a sniper shot. Not a callous burst of a semi-automatic.
“I promise I won’t make you look bad.” Oh, friend. You’ve already convinced me that you will. You can’t help yourself. If you have to include this in your note, you’re in trouble.
“Any advice would be appreciated.” Wait, so what are you looking for? Do you want advice? Or a referral for your pilot with no title, genre, or dream network?
Why does all this matter?
Because you’re going to have to ask for help. Before you move to LA and while you’re living there. A lot. It’s part of the game.
By seeing how someone did it wrong, it helps us get it right.
Spend the time getting it right.
Photo Credit: Eric Fischer