July 7, 2008

Tips on Developing Your Own Elevator Pitch: Part 1

You walk the walk, but can you talk the talk?

You are at your usual market, looking ahead to what you hope would be a great day of sales. Your displays are set up perfectly, and shoppers are slowing down in front of your set up, marveling the beautiful, handmade treasures you have created.

Suddenly you spot a television crew walking towards you. The producer introduces himself and asks for a short interview for tonight's news program. He explains that he will ask a few questions about you and your wares. The camera guy hoists his camera on his shoulder, ready to zoom in on you and your displays. Passersby now stop and stare to see what you will say...

So... What will you say?

For those of you looking to attract media attention, the next few sentences that come out of your mouth can be a catalyst for future opportunities. You put effort into creating your handmade items, but you also need to put effort into talking about your work professionally.

And this is where the elevator pitch comes in.

In the business world, an elevator pitch is a short description of the company, what the company does, who their customers are, and its competitive edge. It's called an elevator pitch, because in theory, the description should be able to be read or heard in the time it takes to ride the elevator.

For the independent artist, developing something along the same line goes to show your audience how professional you are. It also helps your audience perceive you in the way you wish to be perceived.
Notice I use the term "audience" and not "customers." The elevator pitch is not a sales pitch. While the sales pitch is used to sell your items, the elevator pitch is used to sell yourself as an artist and what you do. You use the elevator pitch to pique not only the interest your buyers, but also audiences that may be interested in your creative process.

For example, a buyer may be interested in buying your bag that's handmade of recycled leather, but a magazine may be interested in featuring you as an artist that creates fashion out of recycled materials. If prepared correctly, the elevator pitch has the ability to connect you with an opportunity that you can capitalize on.

Tomorrow's post: An Elevator Pitch Checklist

by Lisa

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