When someone asks you about what you do, do you have a ready answer? Or do you stumble and stammer trying to explain your business?
I was recently at a writer’s conference where one of the main focuses was learning to create a successful book pitch. My instructor emphasized what a good pitch can do for a writer. She explained that when an editor asks an author about their writing project, they have one shot at sharing their pitch and getting the editor excited about their project. A great pitch makes a great first impression and can translate into a book contract. On the other hand, a pitch that is not well thought out can cost an author the chance of selling that project.
A good book pitch is a summary of the author’s idea, but more than that it’s a summary with a sizzle. At the conference, I learned that many authors spend hours crafting and memorizing their pitch. Then, when asked about their project, they are able to give a quick, concise synopsis that not only explains their idea, but makes the editor want to learn more.
I believe that the concept of creating a pitch can also apply to the home-based business world. As entrepreneurs, we can put together a summary of our business that will not only explain what we do, but grab the attention of whomever we’re speaking with.
A good business pitch summarizes the business concept in one to two short paragraphs, usually a total of 50 words or less. To begin, write out a list of the five most compelling aspects of your business. Try to think about your business as if you were on the outside looking in. What would interest you? What would make you want to learn more?
Try to answer these questions:
• Who is my target market?
• What are my top selling products/services?
• What about my company makes it stand out? If I were looking at starting a business, what would interest me about this company?
• Why did I choose this company?
Put your answers into sentences and you have the beginning of your business pitch. Try to keep your sentences short and use simple words. You want anyone who asks to be able to understand your answer, not get lost in your words. Take special care to describe what you like about your business. These same things will generally appeal to others as well.
While you want to keep your pitch simple, you also want it to give a picture of your business. Let’s say, for example, that you run health and wellness business. You wouldn’t want to use the statement, “I run a health and wellness business,” as a reply about what it is that you do. You want to add in a short description and catch the listener’s attention. For instance, you might say, “I operate my own business. We offer products such as chemical-free shampoo and natural snack foods to help others lead healthy lives.”
When I began my website, I was often caught off-guard when someone asked me about it. I would fumble for words and struggle to express exactly what it is that I do all day. I usually walked away from conversations like this feeling frustrated, and I’m sure the person I was speaking with was more confused than they were originally.
After learning the art of pitching, I can now give a short and snappy reply. “I run a Christian-based website for work-at-home moms,” I’ll say. “I offer resources to help them in their search and am able to make an income by offering advertising.” This usually leads to more questions about my website, which is exactly what I hope for. It gives me an opportunity to talk further about my business to those who are interested.
The next time someone asks you about your home-based business, remember to share your pitch with them. Take the time to hone your pitch to be as short, yet descriptive as possible. Over time, you’ll find yourself refining your words and your answers will become well-crafted summaries that pique the interest of anyone who asks. Word of mouth is one of the easiest ways to build your business and your pitch is a great way to get others talking.
About the Author:
Jill Hart is the founder of Christian Work at Home Moms, www.cwahm.com. Jill is a contributing author in The Business Mom Guide Book and I'll Be Home For Christmas and co-author of the upcoming book, Home Based Blessings. Jill has articles published across the web on sites like DrLaura.com and Clubmom.com. Jill and her husband, Allen of www.cwahd.com reside in Nebraska with their two children.
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