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Tuesday
Aug092016

Pitch Wish  

4 different pitches that can get you whatever you wish for (and one that won’t.)

1. Write a PROFIT Pitch

Figure out the Number 1 thing you want or need RIGHT NOW. If you need to generate sales or income, you will need to focus on your “profit pitch” to get the cash flowing quickly. Come up with a mini sales strategy to keep you on track to reach your goal, after you’ve created your Profit Pitch.

2. Craft a PASSION Pitch

You’ve amassed some money and don’t have to stress about paying the rent every month. Good for you! Now, you can focus on your “passion pitch.” Have you always wanted to write a book? Do you love hosting fancy dinner parties for your friends that run late into the evening? Are you looking for your soul mate? These interests and desires are fodder for a great passion pitch.

Dump the Kitchen Sink Pitch: (this is the one pitch NOT to use!)

Everyone has been to a networking event at least once in their life where they heard the classic “kitchen sink pitch.” The person pitching tries in vain to include EVERY competency and interest that they have into one statement that is jam-packed with info. That old cliché’ “Jack of All Trades, Master of None” comes to mind. The listener gets confused by all of the information in the kitchen sink pitch and doesn’t understand how to connect with the person giving the Kitchen Sink Pitch.

3. Create a “pitch for every niche.”

My most successful clients have mastered the art of “creating a pitch for every niche.” They create several different pitches that will appeal to specific target niches that they have carefully identified. Imagine that you are a financial advisor who is attending an event for women who work in media. Instead of giving the standard financial advisor pitch of: “I help my clients sleep at night,” Your pitch is all about how you work with women in media who have over 1 million to invest. And you explain why you’ve chosen this market as your niche. The result is that the women you are speaking to feel like you really understand THEIR needs and can help them. You are a great match for what they may be looking for.

4. Invest in the VIP Pitch

When you start pitching to people in the higher echelons, you need to be able to pitch them quickly and effectively. If you bump into Richard Branson in the First class lounge of the Virgin terminal in London, he probably won’t have time to listen to your life story. The most you can hope for is to get 15 seconds of his time and to engage his interest enough that he would like to learn more. If it’s your DREAM to pitch Richard Branson, @RichardBranson (or anyone else) get your VIP pitch ready NOW, because you never know when it will happen.  Create a specific, tailored VIP Pitch for the Top 5 people you’d love to pitch if you ever got the chance. Yes, it takes time and effort, but it will be worth it.

They’ve spent the time and energy to tailor the pitch to the specific group of people who will hear it.

 

 

Friday
Aug052016

The Wealth of Human Connection (Break your screen addiction) 

 

 

One of the highlights of attending the recent #Shankminds mastermind event in NYC, was getting to see Dr. Ned Hallowell talk about being a “brain mechanic” who works with entrepreneurs who have ADHD.  That and to connect with other entrepreneurs in the real world. Dr. Hallowell is as funny as he is informative and got a big laugh when he told the story of jumping out of a window to escape a boring lecture given by his Harvard colleague. (Luckily, that speech was given on the first floor of the building, so he didn’t have to jump too far.)

He had some great hints for entrepreneurs (that could benefit almost anyone) that included:

  1. Never Worry Alone
  2. Get the Facts; (even if you are diagnosed with a terminal disease, it is better to know, so you can prepare.)
  3. Make a Plan (and if that plan doesn’t work, revise it until it does.)

These are great goals to keep in mind, however, I was really struck when Dr. Hallowell started talking about the dangers of allowing ourselves to live in a world that is ruled by what he calls, “Screen-sucking.” Screen-sucking happens when you allow yourself to become a prisoner to your iPhone or laptop (or any screen) and it can result in a major loss of productivity and even end up sabotaging your relationships in the real world. Dr. Hallowell hosts a weekly podcast called “Distraction” http://www.drhallowell.com/meet-dr-hallowell/podcasts/ where he shares ways of coping with being distracted.  

This reminded me of another powerful presentation by Manoush Zomorodi, who hosts the Note to Self podcast on NPR. She presented at the #Gel2016 conference on the topic of how allowing yourself to be bored can be a major benefit to your life.   

You can see her presentation here: https://vimeo.com/166899798  She created a video that documents how 1 out of 3 people who passed her were either actively engaging with their phones or just clutching it out of habit. She made me even more aware of how addicted many of us, have become to the constant distractions that our technology provides, whether it’s the DING of a new email coming to your in box or the ubiquitous red notifications updates on your Facebook page. Zomorodi makes a strong case for spending time away from your devises and allowing yourself the luxury of being bored. She mentions some scientific reasons why many people come up with their best ideas while daydreaming or in the shower. Seems like Dr. Hallowell came up with one of his best ideas while being bored at his colleague’s lecture. Escape to someplace else. Better yet, why not disconnect from your screen and connect TO SOMEONE else.  

 

Wednesday
Jul202016

5 Quick Tips for Pitching Reporters

Getting press for your product or service lends credibility and gets you in front of a larger audience. Use these 5 quick tips to pitch reporters and get more hits.

  1. Google: Find reporters that write about topics that relate to what you do, (or what your product or service does.) Don’t waste time sending your pitch out randomly.  Be sure to pitch the reporter however he or she wants to be pitched. If they say: “Please, no pitches via Twitter,” respect that.
  2. Brevity Wins: The biggest complaint I hear from reporters is that the pitches they receive are far too long. Think paragraphs, not pages. Stand out. Strive to get as close to a 100-word pitch as possible. If they want more info, they’ll ask you for it.  This is especially true if you are pitching in person or over the phone. Another pet peeve is when the reporter can’t understand what the person is pitching. Clarity and brevity win.   
  3. Know THEIR audience: The reporter is writing articles that will appeal to his or her audience. You must be relevant to those readers. A good question to ask yourself is: “Why would this reporter need to share my story with his/her readers right now? Is it timely? Is it urgent?
  4. Tailor your pitch, show them how YOU fit: Reporters can spot a generic pitch a mile away and they think it’s lazy. (It is.) Give them some story angles. Show them how what you do benefits their audience. What are you helping their audience do better? What problem are helping them solve? What mission critical error will you help them avoid?  
  5. Pitch until it sticks: Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a lot of responses. Keep refining. Pitch until you find the right reporter and it sticks. Become a valuable resource to them. Think long term. Let them know about other people/products/services that they might want to write about in the future.
BONUS: Sharing is caring:

Be sure to alert your audience as soon as an article goes live. It’s only fair that you share the writer’s work with your audience as well, since that’s exactly what he or she has done for you. 

Tuesday
Jul122016

Learning to Fly 

 

“I am afraid.” I look my trainer straight in the eye and tell him this. There is no REAL reason to be afraid. I’ve watched many people come out of the flight chamber and they are all smiling and giving each other high fives. They look like they had a blast. I am working with one of the sales guys at iFly and I’ve asked him all sorts of questions about the experience. I trust what he’s told me. I don’t think I’m going to get hurt. I think it’s going to be fun. But, for whatever irrational reason, I am still afraid.

My trainer has logged 5,000 hours in the chamber. He stops, looks directly at me, raises the eye shield on my helmet and says: “I’m going to be RIGHT THERE WITH YOU.”

Okay, we’re in this together. I can do this. I step into the chamber.

First rule I learn in the chamber. “The more I struggle, the less control I have.” My instructor is Zen and trying to get me to chill out a bit. (Notice his arm around my leg in the photo, trying to get me in the correct position to fly.)

I start to relax a bit. I am FLOATING. I’m sort of almost flying! This is really cool! I leave feeling triumphant. I conquered a fear today.  We’ll definitely be back. 

My husband and I have a late lunch at a place called Harvest on Hudson, before we head back to the city. We’re in between lunch and dinner, so the place is nearly empty inside. We eat fancy salad and Garlicy pizza at the bar and then take a walk outside, where you can see lots of geese and the city FAR away in the distance. Neither of us has ever been to Croton-on-Hudson, even though it is so close to NYC. Another first. It’s a good day to be an entrepreneur. Learning to fly. 

 

 

 

Monday
Jul042016

Pitching in Central Park (The best mojito I ever had.)

You should take today off. No, really. Life is short. Take today off.

My husband and I took a picnic to Central Park yesterday and I marveled at all of the people who hustle in the park to sell: water, Gatorade, Heineken, Corona, or Corona Light. Each vendor has his or her own pitch and his or her own way of transporting their product for sale. Some have regular coolers that you’d see at the beach, some have Red Radio Flyer wagons, and one guy has a milk crate filled with his inventory, which he drags across the lawn.

The guy selling the Coronas noticed the 3 guys next to us were hanging out playing cards and speaking Spanish, so he goes over, asks who’s winning the game and delivers his pitch perfectly in Spanish. Know your audience. They appreciated his tailored approach and each bought a beer. I notice that these guys are now wrapping the beers in newspaper when they give them to the customer. I guess that’s a new take on the tiny brown paper bags that they’d put the beer in, when you bought one at the deli.

Then, we hear loudly, “Freshly made MOJITOS. Mojitos FROM SCRATCH.” This is the best pitch of the day, perhaps because it is so unlikely to succeed. How do you make a mojito from scratch on the Great Lawn?  Like THIS:

He sits, he uses hand-sanitizer first, which I’m usually not a fan of, but in this case, genius. He has fresh mint, fresh limes already cut, one gallon of mojito mix and a jug of Bacardi, housed in two large duffle bags. He’s got his silver cocktail shaker ready.

He starts to prepare my drink, stops and looks down. “I lost my wife on Friday,” he says. I tell him how sorry I am to hear that. He continues, “I guess God needs her more than I…..” his voice trails off.  He looks up, “I’m sorry; I got distracted for a second, let me get this drink back on track. Young lady, please sample this drink, does it need a little more mint?  Let me put some more Bacardi in there.” I tell him, “This mojito is perfect, as is.”

“Oh, just one more thing,” he takes out a tiny pink umbrella and places it gently in my drink.

We walk home from the park in silence. I wonder how many more picnics we will have. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Take today off.