There were heads in hands on desks. You could almost see the brain effort it was taking to wrangle this stuff though pens and onto paper.
This was no easy exercise. Even though getting to the perfect pitch had been preceded with a series of tasks designed to help us define our brand essence.
We’d worked through attributes (physical properties of the offer), benefits (what a client might enjoy from the attributes), personality (what would it be like if it were human), values (how does a client feel when interacting with it) and essence (a fusion of the rational and emotional values).
The entrepreneurial revolution
Now at our first two days workshop of the 30 week Key Person of Influence incubator program, Glen Carlson, who believes there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur explained to the 52 participants on the first night, “the program is designed to draw out the value we’re already standing on, package it, and deliver it to the world”.
The next eight hours of brain draining effort, facilitated by Ian Elliot, co-author of Stop Bitching, Start Pitching, was structured to filter this mountain of knowledge and experience into a compelling 60 second (or thereabouts) pitch that answered several key questions:
What was our business?
Oh come on, of course we each knew what we offered, didn’t we? A lot of pivoting went on. One of our KPI group who trained in social media discovered that she was really an online reputation protector. Another, a printer, but actually a small business marketing advisor. Someone else an NLP practitioner, but in reality a relationship counsellor.
What was so special about what we offered?
The brain vapour intensified. This was a confronting question, but you’d better have an answer or to be blunt, you really didn’t have a business offer which warranted becoming a key person of influence.
Each step took us closer to a better if not the perfect pitch. We needed to establish credibility, identify the most common problems our offer solved, pose the solutions, explain our mission, declare our reputation and lead everyone to believe that doing business with us felt good.
We tested our ideas with our groups. What did each word really mean? Did it adequately, or better still, powerfully convey its intent? Did it mean something other than what it should mean? Was it confusing, shadowy, wordy? Did it underline our credibility? Would people who heard it think,’Yup, you’re interesting. Even if I don’t need what you offer I will recommend you to others’?
We listened to and learned from the volunteers who offered their draft versions to the room for critical appraisal. Some went from clunky to eloquent in just a few short hours; others remained in need of a good editor; some reduced us to tears.
It can only be about inspired business
We were challenged to think of our bigger picture. Would we leave the world a better place for our entrepreneurial endeavour? Could I persuade everyone I ever worked with and beyond,through Why You Must Blog to communicate with passion, build a tribe and make a difference?
So here’s my pitch. To accurately convey a concept in a sentence or few words which might usually take 500 words requires a mental marathon. You just need to keep running, even when you are fresh out of mental legs.
Why don’t you post your pitch here too. Let’s see how we can help each other. You can read more about the Key Person of Influence program and it’s presenters here.
I’m Sandy McDonald. I run an online marketing and coaching business, Why You Must Blog, and coach entrepreneurs in successful content marketing and blogging.
I used blogging to help build a tribe of more than 10,000 followers in 54 countries. They directly help some of the 500 children orphaned daily through AIDS and poverty in southern Africa. We’ve reached over 15,000 orphans in three years.
This, with 22 years running our marketing communications company, resolves entrepreneurs’ three key online problems.
• confusion— how to position multiple offers online
• frustration— no control over their website
• overwhelm—how to establish online authority.
I use a proprietary tool for a do-able plan-on-a-page. It leads to an appropriate self-owned, self-hosted and managed online presence. With the right platform, I coach passionate communications to build tribes of raving fans.
Tribes form through passion. Everyone deserves a tribe.
I’m called an online angel because I empower people to build their tribes. They burn with clarity of purpose and the power of their tribal vision.
Here’s the second crack at it, based on feedback, some negative response to the word ‘tribe’ and, when I spoke it, the first version sounded stilted. This one sounded more fluent.
I’m Sandy McDonald, a dedicated blogger. I run an online marketing and coaching business, Why You Must Blog to coach entrepreneurs in effective blogging to build relationships online.
I used blogging to help build a community of 10,000 followers in 54 countries. We help some of the 500 children orphaned daily through AIDS and poverty in South Africa. Together, we’ve reached over 15,000 orphans.
This experience, together with 22 years running our marketing communications company, resolves entrepreneurs three key online problems:
• confusion— they’re uncertain how to position their multiple offers online
• frustration— they’re grappling with their social media platforms and they don’t own their website
• overwhelm—they’ve a mountain of value, but don’t know how to deliver it.
We create a do-able plan-on-a-page which informs a properly structured online presence. With this right, I coach passionate communications to build their tribes of raving fans.
Communities form through a common passion. Everyone deserves one.
I’m called an online angel because I burn with the desire to build businesses’ communities.
My clients are inspired by this potential for their community to make a difference to their business and leave the world a better place.