That’s not a sales pitch. THIS is a sales pitch.

It’s one of my favourite scenes from Crocodile Dundee. Our hero, Dundee, is confronted by mugger wielding a switchblade. Dundee smiles at him and, with a great accent, pulls out his own ridiculously terrifying knife.

With not so quite so many knives involved, it’s a predicament I face all the time with a slightly different context. I am fortunate that so many people submit a great variety of articles to Vue magazine. They cover every topic from qual to quant, from big data to little data, from neuroscience to storytelling. One thing many authors have trouble with is why did I reject their article for being a sales pitch.

“But I only mentioned our brand name three times.”
“But our logo is only shown twice!”

These are the obvious cues for me and now hopefully for you. But let me give you a few more examples for cases where it doesn’t seem quite so obvious. And if you could pardon my sales pitch in the process, I’d appreciate it.

Sales Pitch: We at Peanut Labs realized the need for easier access to research sample which is why we built Samplify, a self-serve automated sampling tool.
Educational: Researchers need easier access to research sample. There are a number of self-serve automated systems that do this. Some of the basic features of these tools include…

Sales Pitch: We partnered with CharitableOrganization to run a segmentation study about people who donate, and discovered six unique segments.
Educational: A segmentation study for CharitableOrganization revealed that there are six unique segments of people who donate. [side note – I am all for naming charities. They deserve all the press we can give them.]

What you’ll notice in both of these cases is that you can indeed write about the results of an entire case study without name dropping yourself AND without losing a single important detail.

The next time you write an article, do a word count of your brand name. Then do a word count of “we.” Can you reword most of them without losing any details? I’m sure you can.

Insert your sales pitch here in the boilerplate with your email and Twitter address. That’s what this part is for.

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