How to Master the Art of the Pitch
“So, what do you do?” It’s a question that inevitably comes up within the first few minutes of meeting someone new. For some, the answer is relatively simple. For example: “Oh, I’m a real estate agent/dentist/shop assistant/lawyer.”
Most people are familiar with those professions and will ask a few more polite questions about the company you work for, before moving on. But for those of us who are blazing our own trail and doing something a little different, it can be more difficult to put into words.
When it’s just someone at the pub who’s asking, being able to explain what your business is about isn’t so important. After all, you could say you were a professional fire-breather and they’d probably still forget in a few beers time! But when you’re talking to influential people in your field at a networking event or potential customers or investors, being able to confidently and coherently articulate what you do is everything. No pressure or anything!
We know, talking yourself and your business up to a total stranger can feel a little gross and uncomfortable. If you happen to be an introvert, it may even make you want to sink into the ground like some sort of social awkward shapeshifter! But when it comes to marketing your biz, nailing your ‘elevator pitch’ in real life is just as important (if not more so) than anything you do behind a screen.
So, because we know you walk the walk, here are some handy tips to help you talk the talk.
Try the ‘I help’ exercise
Rather than trying to rattle off a job description, think about how you add value to your customers lives or provide a solution to a problem. Grab a piece of paper and fill in the blanks in this statement: “I help people (preferably your target demographic) ____ by ____.” So, that could be something like “I help small business owners conquer their to-do lists by taking care of their office admin.” This will become your mission statement around which you build your winning pitch.
Keep it snappy, sister
It’s called an ‘elevator pitch’ for a reason — you don’t have long to get your message across before those doors slam shut! Okay, hopefully your potential customer isn’t going to slam any doors in your face (and if they do, you may want to rethink who your customers are.) But the point, us humans have short attention spans so your pitch should be brief and persuasive. A good rule of thumb is to get it to under 15 seconds or better yet, 10 words.
Practice makes perfect
It may sound a bit naff, but rehearsing your spiel in the mirror will go a long way in making you feel more comfortable and confident. Better yet, rope your family, partner, or housemate into being your sounding board (bribe them with pizza if you have to). When you’re not stressing over how you’re going to phrase your pitch, your natural enthusiasm for what you do will shine through. And if you ask us, that’s always going to sell!
So, get focused! Hone in on your business and clarify WHY you are doing what you do. Need some assistance? We've put together a handy and very FREE Business Plan that will help you get on track!