Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for years, it’s important that you have an “elevator pitch”—a brief, persuasive and honest speech that you use to spark interest in what your business does. A successful pitch should sum up your business in less than 30 seconds and still manage to be unforgettable, thought-provoking, and concise. Much like you and I, businesses tend to change over time and it’s important that your pitch changes right along with it. Keep your pitch up-to-date by consistently adjusting it to fit your business’ current offerings; this way, you’ll always be ready when faced with the opportunity to sell yourself and your business.
Start Small, Dream Big
When Carlson Integrated first started, 4 years ago , I knew I would need some helping hands and thought it would be great if my team consisted of all moms. Afterall, I am a mom and I understand the need for flexibility within the workplace. I started out by taking on individual clients and small businesses, offering marketing strategies that would assist in getting businesses seen and heard. Each time I came in contact with a potential client, I knew I had less than 30 seconds to fill them in on what Carlson Integrated was all about and how we could help their business gain recognition and visibility. I also knew that whatever I would say upon meeting them could be the difference between a new connection and a lost opportunity. So, what do you do when someone asks you, “What do you do?”—You tell them.
Crafting Your Pitch
A pitch is short and engaging, which means you can’t fit every single aspect of your business into 30 seconds. Cut the unnecessary and focus on what matters most and what will get them interested in what you have to offer. It should sound conversational, not rehearsed, and most of all, believable. Practice makes perfect but be sure not to forget about being flexible when it comes to standing in front of different people and audiences. At Carlson Integrated, I took many passes at my first pitch, but it was well worth it. The majority of our business has been a result of long-term relationships we have developed with our clients and referrals. Once we receive those referrals, our pitch naturally comes into play.
Capture Their Attention
Having a limited amount of time to talk about your business might seem like an easy task, but when you actually have to step up to the plate, it can be quite challenging. The very first thing you want to do is capture their attention. Tell them what makes your business different from others within the industry or start by appealing to them on a more personal level, because establishing a relationship is key when it comes to someone thinking of you when they’re in the market for what your business has to offer. I didn’t realize how important my pitch was until I was repeatedly in the position to pitch Carlson Integrated to others.
Get To the Point...Fast
Not only do you want to capture the attention of a potential lead, but you want to keep it. Carlson Integrated is a marketing firm that works with individuals and small and medium-sized businesses, to create comprehensive marketing strategies, often in the digital marketing space. We define the strategy and the messaging, and then we develop and execute a strategic plan that addresses our clients' business needs. A good rule of thumb to follow is after delivering your pitch, if you don’t feel confident in your business’ capabilities or as if you did not communicate your business’ mission and unique qualities with clarity, you more than likely need to head back to the drawing board.
Expansion Leads to Evolution
Over the years, one thing that has not changed about my pitch is the purpose of my business; to help clients and build community, but as my team continues to grow, so does our offering. I recently realized that my old pitch needed an upgrade. I’m proud to say that Carlson Integrated has grown tremendously in 4 short years and I never want to sell us short. I went from a team of 1 mom (me) to a team of 5 women to a team of 13 women who come from various professional backgrounds, and reside in 7 different states across the US. Due to our team’s growth, our marketing services have become more comprehensive, which has allowed us to be more vocal and confident in our abilities.
As your business matures, you should anticipate an increase in opportunities. It is important that your pitch always speaks to who your business is and how it aligns with the needs of your potential clients. That could also mean having several different approaches to your pitch, dependent on who you are pitching to, but ensuring the message stays the same. Remember: keep it short, keep it personal, and keep it interesting.