For the team here at Art-Work, ‘The Pitch’ is about putting your business, your ideas and often, as a creative, your heart on the line.
This month’s calendar image is a visual expression of ‘The Pitch’ as seen through our eyes.
The pitch happens continuously throughout any professional relationship. Firstly, you need an elevator pitch to get through the door. Then, you need to successfully pitch ideas. Finally, you need to pitch an effective implementation of those ideas. And the loop continues with the next project!
We thought (seeing as we are a creative agency who specialise in branding and all) that we would provide some practical tips on the concept of ‘The Pitch’ that you can use to start building or strengthening your brand today.
Let’s talk about the elevator pitch.
You’ve probably heard of an elevator pitch before and you’re probably thinking your business (or yourself as a personal brand) has an elevator pitch nailed down. And maybe you do, but there might be room for improvement, too.
Give it a go now – try explaining (out loud) what your business is all about. It's harder than it sounds, right?
Our “BUMP” method provides tips to help you craft an effective elevator pitch. We like the acronym BUMP (no, not that sort of bump!) because it reminds us of a fist bump, which usually follows a successful elevator pitch.
Business – what’s your business all about, what does it do?
Unique – what makes it unique?
Market – who are your ideal clients?
Passion – show that you’re passionate and remain authentic.
B is for business
Start with a brief explanation of who you are, your business and what it’s all about. Keep this part succinct and if possible add in a qualifying statement – why you’re credible at what you do.
We say something along these lines:
“I’m the lead designer at Art-Work. We’re a cross-discipline agency that specialises in photography, design, art and brand consultation, and have worked in these fields for over 20 years.”
U is for unique
Next, it’s time to tell the prospect why you’re different to others. There’s lots of other companies out there who are probably doing something very similar to you – or at least this is how your potential client/customer sees it. Defining what makes you unique is an integral part of the pitch.
Throughout the brand development process we work with our clients to define their vision, mission and value statements. All these elements work together to create a ‘brand recipe’ that is uniquely, well, you!
If you haven’t developed these statements and aren’t sure where to start, we encourage you to explore what drives you to get out of bed every day and choose to do what you do (cash money aside!). This process often starts to open up ideas about what makes you different.
Another great starting point is to ask your loyal clients. Sometimes, they can explain what makes you unique (it’s why they keep coming back, after all) better than you can.
Tying in your brand statements is a great way to bring your uniqueness to your elevator pitch. For example, at Art-Work our mission is to make creativity work for our clients and their businesses.
Our mission statement, in elevator pitch form goes like this:
“In a nutshell, we take creativity and we make it work for you and your business.”
M is for market
You’ve got a desired client, right? Well, this is the perfect time to tell the world who you want to be working with. Adding information about your market to your elevator pitch helps you find clients who are the right fit for you.
At Art-Work we are really passionate about working on what we coin “cultural” projects. For us, these projects are defined by outcomes which add to the culture of a place or our collective world – whether this be through branding an up-and-coming restaurant, or collaborating with arts and cultural centres.
This market is broad enough for us to sustain business, but narrow enough for us to target the types of industries and brands that would be the best fit for us.
Again, as an example we say something like this:
“We work in a range of industries: fashion, lifestyle, arts and culture, food, drink and music. From cultural to corporate, both public and private, our clients range from SMEs to local councils. But they do have a commonality – a desire to improve culture and lifestyle in one way or another.”
This is a great way for us to complete our elevator pitch and keep the conversation rolling. Finishing on a note about the type of businesses you work with provides a natural segue to asking the prospect about their business and what they value.
P is for passion
And everything above has less impact unless you deliver it with passion. Remain authentic – speak in your natural tone of voice and your passion will shine through. And no matter what you do, don’t look at your shoes! People don’t shoe-gaze when talking about their passion!
Over time, continually craft and tweak your elevator pitch. It’s also a good idea to have a few variations up your sleeve so you can respond to your environment accordingly. Aim to refine your pitch and keep it to under a minute – short is sweet.
So there you have it – BUMP out that effective elevator pitch and start building your brand!