The QUIET power of the perfect pitch:
Allow me to introduce you to my client and friend Kathy. Kathy has a company that casts REAL PEOPLE in TV Commercials. Now, I don’t know about you, but until I met her, I’d never met anyone who did anything like that! And before you start putting on your CYNICAL hat, let me assure you that I know of actual people, (people just like you and me!) who have been cast in TV commercials for HUGE brands that you’ve definitely heard of. So, yes, this is a REAL thing!! (I feel the need to say that, since there is so much shady stuff being promoting online these days.) Best of all, those real people do get PAID to be in the commercials.
So, what’s IN a perfect 15SecondPitch?
First, I must caution you. We live in a very busy and distracted world. No one has time to hear your life story right from the word go. (Even my husband doesn’t want to hear my life story. We’re married. There will be time for that LATER.)
Your pitch is a SHORT introduction. It gives the person a tiny snapshot of who you are and what you do. It isn’t your resume or your CV or your LinkedIn profile. It’s just enough information so that they can get a BASIC idea of what you do and who you do it for. I came up with the idea many years ago that everyone should have a 15SecondPitch because that’s about how long you can keep the average person’s attention. Confuse them and you lose them.
The 15SecondPitch, kind of like an elevator pitch, only better!
Why I love Kathy’s 15SecondPitch
Kathy’s 15SecondPitch is clear, concise and compelling. She mentions that she owns Vitamin Enriched. That’s powerful. She is a proud business-owner. Cool. That’s someone I want to learn more about. She talks about the company and what they do, but also says that their “casting process is founded on the principles of documentary filmmaking.”
Even though what Kathy does is already very unique, she is further differentiating by giving us this example. BONUS POINTS: if you are ever at a networking event and you mention DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING people’s eyes light up!! This is a topic that a lot of people find interesting, so that is something else people can ask her about. It’s all about finding a few things that we have in common so that there is a reason to extend the conversation beyond this initial 15SecondPitch.
She has a creative Call to Action. She says: “We view the world in stories. Let us help you tell yours,” and then a link to her website. This is a call to action that would resonate with the clients (large brands that we’ve all heard of who have the budget to do a TV commercial) and it would also sound cool to any REAL PERSON, (like you or me) who might like to try our hand at being the TALENT in one of these big commercials. Her 15SecondPitch does double duty by appealing to potential clients and to hopeful talent.
This pitch is quietly assured, just like Kathy.
The Super Bowl Commercial (!!!!!!!)
Kathy and her team at Vitamin Enriched cast one of the most incredible SUPER BOWL ads of all time, (in my humble opinion and maybe yours when you see it!!) for Budweiser, along with Kathryn Bigelow. Here’s a link to that ad, which has gotten over 14 MILLION VIEWS!! Notice how this commercial is in alignment with Kathy’s 15SecondPitch and what she says about her company? How it quietly and powerfully tells you a story when so many of the other ads at the Super Bowl were chaotic, bombastic and insanely LOUD!?
I was stuck by many of the heartfelt comments on the YouTube page, including this one from FierceNation United: “This commerical [SIC] is like a healing balm on this politically tense country at the moment…..if only we had more companies doing this, it would help.”
And now I have a question for you:
If a BEER COMMERCIAL at THE SUPER BOWL can STAND OUT and inspire people to feel like this, what can YOUR quietly powerful pitch do?
How do I know what to pitch for my 15SecondPitch if I do more than one thing?
A question I get asked all of the time is: How do I know what to pitch if I do more than one thing.
Here’s my rule of thumb. You pitch for whatever your greatest wish is. Now, I know that sounds very WOO, but it’s true. If you had a very lean month in terms of sales in your business, you focus on your sales pitch that is going to make money come in the fastest. If your cash flow is fairly stable, you can spend time building up your “PASSION PITCH.” Your Passion Pitch could be used to fund raise donations for your favorite charity or to encourage someone to give to a Go Fund Me campaign.
Your Passion Pitch could also be about your passion in life. Whether that is cooking or writing or painting.
Kathy’s 15SecondPitch on her ART
Kathy casts commercials during the day and she’s an abstract painter at night. People do have super short attention spans, so if Kathy was going to a business networking event, she could use her sales pitch and if she was going to a more casual brunch, she could use her PASSION PITCH which is all about her art. Notice how she used two different PHOTOS in her pitch cards as well. Her photo for her art pitch was taken in her studio.
Where exactly do I use my different 15SecondPitches?
Anytime someone asks you, “So, what do YOU do?” is a great time to share your 15SecondPitch. You can even tell them, “Here’s my 15SecondPitch.” That way, they know it will be quick and painless. You are not going to drone one for an hour about your full work history.
Online via Email:
You can also use your 15SecondPitch when you are introducing yourself to someone online via email. One of the most powerful ways to use your pitch is when a colleague offers to do an introduction for you. Send them your 15SecondPitch and they will probably send it along as part of the intro. This is also the best and most painless way to make sure your colleague nails the introduction for you. I can’t tell you how many times people do introductions and can’t really explain what one or both people do. That is a recipe for disaster. You are blowing up that opportunity if you don’t know precisely what the person does and how to introduce them.
When you are interviewed for a podcast:
My friend Zach is a musician and he uses his 15SecondPitch when he is on Podcast interviews. The host will inevitably ask about his music and he has his pitch down cold. Unlike many other musicians he doesn’t say: “Well, my music is hard to describe.” Or “My music really doesn’t sound like anyone else.” Those two elevator pitches are the kiss of death for any musician. People need a reason to take the time to listen to you music. Zach mentions some of his influences right up front in his pitch and is often told by interviewers that he had the best introduction they’ve heard so far.
Now that you have some solid ideas, which pitch will you focus on? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.