You have to pitch.
If you don’t get out there and tell people how fabulous you are, they will never know. They will not hire you or buy your script or invest in your start-up. Communication, ideally in person and one-on-one, is essential.
But what if they steal your idea?
I hear this off and on from clients, students, and friends. It is probably one of the biggest reasons people don’t pitch. And they’re not wrong to think about it, ideas do sometimes get stolen. So be smart about it: copyright that screenplay (that’s “copyright” NOT “register with the WGA”), patent that prototype, get your marketing materials together, build the website, get your business off the ground.
The idea is probably not the valuable part. You can’t actually copyright or patent just an idea; what you are protecting is the EXECUTION of the idea. An idea without work put into it isn’t worth much. Also, your idea probably isn’t that original to begin with. What matters, what makes it valuable, is all the time and effort and expertise you put into making the idea reality. And that is very, very hard to steal.
So 1) protect yourself, and 2) understand that a million other people may have had your idea but your passion and know-how is what makes it impossible to replicate. Then get out there and tell people about what makes your work singular.
Pitching isn’t the problem. Honestly, it is much more likely that someone will offer you a dreadful contract and try to land-grab your project that way. So pitch-pitch-pitch!
Just don’t sign anything without getting it vetted first. 😉