Earlier this month we hosted a webinar with guest speaker Anu Anand, CEO of Inner Springboard, on telling your story online. We discussed creating a perfect pitch – a story of why someone should work with you, and how this story needs to extend to your online presence. You’ll want to consider your audience, how are you solving their problems, your goals, and the importance of building relationships in making the sale. Here’s the replay.
What’s wrong with your story?
When you meet someone in person and they ask what you do, what do you tell them? When they visit your website or one of your social media profiles, what do they learn about you? Too often, people make one of these three mistakes.
Saying too little
Simply stating your profession or saying you have great customer service is not enough. Saying too little leaves room for potential contacts to make assumptions about you and your business that may not be correct. It doesn’t encourage further conversation or spark an interest in developing the relationship.
Saying too much or asking for business right away
Information overload or asking for business right away turns people off. Everybody buys, but no one wants to be sold. This is especially true in today’s digital age, when we go online for information all the time. It is equally true in a networking event, where your goal is to be memorable and build relationships. You only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention.
Talking on and on about yourself and your business
It is important to share your journey, but your number one focus is your audience. What are their needs? How can you help them? Listening is important as is communicating your story!
What happens when you make these mistakes?
- You won’t be remembered, because you sound like everybody else!
- A cookie-cutter online presence doesn’t tell people why they should work with you.
- You won’t have the opportunity to establish a relationship. People want to work with and buy from people they know, like and trust.
The Perfect Pitch Formula
Coming up with a memorable story that engages your audience in a few seconds is challenging! Use these points to create your pitch.
What service or product does your company provide?
If you own a pool cleaning service, the service you provide is much more than just making sure a pool is clean and providing great customer service. The value you provide has much more to do with how you have impacted your customer, for example, giving them more quality family time. Here are thoughts to consider when you communicate your services to potential customers:
- What are the real results customers are getting from using your service or product? Example: helping customers save time or money, giving customers peace of mind, simplifying their life.
- Results that elicit an emotional response are what make you memorable.
- Think of your past and current customers, what is it your service did for them? What did it reduce, eliminate, take away, or create?
What makes you unique?
Be unique. If there is nothing that differentiates you from the competition, you will have to compete on price which can be a race to the bottom for small businesses.
- Take inventory of your skills, experience, and knowledge.
- What is your niche? Specializing can be a differentiator. Your market is not “everyone.”
- Are you an expert in certain facets of your business?
- What is your personality and culture? Especially with small businesses and nonprofits, people want to deal with real people! Make your message conversational.
What is your goal?
What do you want people to do? For your online presence, we call this your call to action. In an in person situation, ask yourself what are the next steps I am looking for. Craft your message from your customer’s point of view so they will want to take this next step.
How are you engaging your prospects?
When you know who you are talking to, and what you want them to do, how do you engage them? In person, listening is a great strategy.
- Use open-ended questions to get people talking. Use what, why, and how in their structure.
- Engage them by asking them about what an improved result might do to their concerns and issues.
Online, listening can happen on social media. Remember Social media is just that: social. It implies a give and take. Overwhelming viewers with ads without showing any value is a big turnoff.
Tell your story online and use social media to spread the word. I recommend making your website the hub of your marketing strategy and promoting it on social media and through email. You own and control the content on your website and in your customer emails, but reaching customers on social media is up to the social media platform rules. It is rented land.
Getting to action
Your goal should be to further develop a relationship with your contacts. In person, this may mean a LinkedIn request, offering to join your email list, or maybe a followup coffee or conversation. Online, you’ll want to find out who they are and get their contact information so you can continue to develop a relationship with them through email or re-targeting for example.
The goal of getting traffic online is to get conversions – completing your call to action! There are three types of traffic to think about:
- Paid Traffic. This is paid advertisements that drive traffic. It works, but once the ads stop, so does the traffic.
- Earned Traffic. An example of earned traffic is a social media post that goes viral and draws attention to your business or services. This is great, but takes time to build.
- Owned Traffic. This is your current contact list that you can reach out to in order to continue to build a relationship and gain business. You will want to convert your paid and earned traffic to owned traffic.
Putting it all together
- What do you want your potential customers to know?
- How do you want your potential customers to feel?
- What do you want your potential customers to do?
This know-feel-do format of creating your pitch is ideal because it gives the contact the information they need, allows them to make an emotional connection to your brand, and encourages a call to action. Using this format in a brief and conversational way ensures you will be memorable and successful!