Best Practices For Approaching Me For A Story
Author's Note: I expect that I will update this blog post periodically to reflect evolving changes to my writing methodology for Forbes.
If you're reading this, good chances are you're probably a founder (or investor) looking for me to cover your company in Forbes. If that's the case, then you've come to the right place. This post will describe in detail my process for covering startups for Forbes.
The first thing you should know is that I only write seven stories per month for Forbes. Why? I won't go into details, but given the fact that being a Contributor to Forbes is not my full-time job, I only have time for seven stories per month.
I write three types of articles: full profiles, fundraising announcements, and Q&As.
For full profiles, this is a current list of the industries I like to cover: aerospace, gaming, social media, fintech, productivity. These are the verticals I aim to specialize in to write well-written, in-depth stories on startups in these spaces. (In rare cases, I may make exceptions to this list.)
For Q&As, I am open still to any type of company pitching. Q&As will be focused on questions in four areas: problem, market, solution, and team. It's similar to a full profile but in a different format.
For fundraising announcements, I only write them for companies that I've previously covered on Forbes. To state this another way: if you pitch me first on covering your company's fundraising announcement, the answer will always be no.
Diving into the logistics: I strongly recommend you reach out to me at least three months (preferably four to six months) in advance. The reason why you should reach out to me early is that I get requests constantly to write on a founder's startup. Given the limited time I have, I cannot write about every company. Smart founders reach out to me early, which allows me to schedule them well in advance for a future story.
I will not take last-minute requests for a story from anyone. It's not worth my time to do so. The onus is on you to reach out to me well in advance for a story. Also, do not contact me through a public relations firm. I have never written a story pitched to me from a PR company, and I never will.
Do not contact me via a PR firm.
Just shooting a short note to firstname.lastname@example.org is all you need to do. In your e-mail, your pitch should cover the following (preferably in this order):
Here are some reasons why my process is set up like this:
I don't have time to write on every single startup that comes into my inbox.
I want to be a specialist writer in a few key verticals that interest me, instead of being a generalist as I have been in the past.
My main focus is growing my Substack mailing list, Founder to Founder. The larger my audience grows, the more likely it is in the future I can write more than seven articles for Forbes per month.
Most importantly, this isn't my full-time job. I work as a software engineering for a large engineering company. That will always be my priority over Forbes.
If you've read and understood what I've written in this blog post, then working with me should be an easy process!