Perfecting Your Pitch: Introducing Yourself At BlogPaws 2015

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Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess

“Hi, my name is ……… and I ……….” Um, sure. Great. Is this how you introduce yourself at the BlogPaws conference or networking event? Imagine you fill in the blanks, “Hi, my name is Robbi and I am the BlogPaws Blog Manager.” Nice for me, right? But what does that really tell you? What if I met you and wanted to work with you and “sell” myself to you. Would that sentence do that? Nope.

Why? Because I’m not really telling you anything. I’m making a statement of fact, a fact that you could read on my elevator speechbusiness card. It would be like introducing myself and saying, “Hi, I’m Robbi and I have red hair and wear glasses.” You probably could have figured that out on your own.

How about this, though, “Hi, I’m Robbi and BlogPaws writes the blogs that makes the whole world read and I manage that content.” Hhhmmm perhaps now you’re getting more of a picture of what BlogPaws is and does and my role in it. Perhaps you’re intrigued by the “writing the blogs that make the whole world read.” I could expand upon that and say that “Hi, I’m Robbi and as the BlogPaws blog manager I am helping shape social media excellence one pet parent at a time.” With these qualifiers I am opening a door for more discussion and hopefully raising a question in your mind that leads to us getting to know one another better.

My first attempts at, “Hi I’m Robbi and I’m the BlogPaws blog manager” is a statement of fact and doesn’t open the door for discussion. It’s kind of like when my kids used to come home from school and I’d ask, “How was school?” and they’d say, “Fine… or dumb (depending on the day!).” Once I started asking more pointed questions I got more engagement with them.

Here are my tips for crafting an elevator speech, but more importantly, crafting a “getting to know you” statement that leads to further exploration and explanation and from there, hopefully, a relationship:

  • When someone asks what you do, have a phrase or sentence or two that rolls off your tongue that lets the person asking get a glimpse into the “who you are, what you do, and why you do it.” The “why you do it” is important. If you simply say, “I’m a pet blogger,” that’s nice for you, but if I want to work with you and you tell me that, I am not certain how we could work together. If, however you say, “I am a pet blogger who works with small, natural food brands to help them gain a national audience…” that is long and awkward, but if you can show the person you’re meeting WHY you do what you do, you have opened the door to further exploration.10298675_10203187891033470_7908358652109926268_n
  • Write it down and practice it. You don’t want to sound stilted or staged. You want to be natural and if you believe in what you do, you will sound natural. If you say, “I help business owners craft their media message and assist them in disseminating it to their clientele.”  This is an awkward sentence and really doesn’t say much other than, well, words. How about, “I work with small business owners on crafting their social media and marketing messages.” Hhhmmm. That might lead to a, “How do you do that,” Then I can explain.
  • Even if you work in a high tech field, use low tech verbiage. Your business card or your website may have some
    high falutin’ phrases but consider how your words sound to the listener. You want to be approachable, right? When I meet a new, potential client I don’t talk about SEO or Google Analytics or Facebook algorithms. After all that’s what my clients pay me to understand, they just want the bottom line numbers.
  • Turn the question upside down and ask a question right back! As an example, and I read this somewhere but can’t remember where, but it made an impression. Say for example, you’re an organizational management consultant (high falutin’ phrase aka professional organizer) you could turn the question around and say, “You know how you keep wishing you could see the top of your desk and take care of all that paperwork? I’m a professional organizer and I help business owners see light at the end of the stack.” Clever and it makes
    the “what do you do” more interactive and memorable.
  • One of my best pieces of elevator speech advice? Be willing to toss the pitch aside and simply have a conversation. Pet people are a casual bunch and you’ll make more fur-iends by being approachable than you will by having a memorable elevator pitch. Besides, people want to do business with people they know, like and trust and if you’re reading from a rehearsed speech, you’re not making it easy to get to know you.

Where do you get stuck when you introduce yourself to potential clients or colleagues?

Photo Shutterstock: Dog with microphone

Coming up: What To Do After The Elevator Pitch: Effective Follow-Ups

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