How to Give the Perfect Pitch

elevator-speechIf you have ever been to a networking group, you were probably asked to stand and give your “elevator pitch” to the group. Members are trained in how to present who they are, what they do, and the benefits of their product or service in 30 seconds or less, or the time it would take to travel in an elevator from floor to floor (which is why it’s called an elevator pitch).

Even if you don’t network, you will constantly be asked, “So, what do you do?”  It will happen at family gatherings, parties, social events…pretty much anyplace people gather.

Therefore, you need to be prepared with an elevator speech. It doesn’t have to be canned, but it does need to outline the basics that not only tell what you do, but inspire the listener to ask more. Here are some simply steps to developing your perfect pitch.

Keep it short

People don’t want a long drawn-out explanation of what you do. Very often, they’re just asking to be polite. Keep your introduction to no more than 3 sentences, then ask a question to engage the other party. If you do all the talking, you will lose your audience.

Hone your USP

What makes you unique? What are you known for? This is your unique selling proposition or USP and it will be the point people remember. Be sure to include it in your introduction. For example, TOMS Shoes is known for giving a new pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair that is purchased.

Wow them

Here is your chance to wow your audience with some incredible fact or story about your industry. Something they didn’t or wouldn’t necessarily know, like a statistic or a result one of your your clients received for example. “Did you know that approximately 85 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 24 experience at least minor acne?”

Engage them with a question

Ask them if they’ve ever experienced a specific or common problem that relates to your industry. “Does your cell phone ever cut out when you’re driving in the country?”

Avoid buzzwords or industry jargon

Talk to a person not at them. Use regular words and not specific industry jargon that could make them feel stupid or intimidated. You’re there to create conversation, not impress them.

Know your business

When more questions come, know the answers, both about your own business and your industry. Keep up with news and current events that relate to your business; they are great conversation starters.

Set a follow up

If the person you’re speaking with expresses interest in your business, set a follow-up action and stick to it. “Great, I’ll call you tomorrow to set an appointment.” Better yet: “Pull out your phone and let’s get a meeting on the calendar right now.” If someone tells you they want to introduce you to someone else, follow up immediately…either the same day or the next. The longer you wait, the less likely the appointment will pan out.

If you need help defining your USP or honing your elevator pitch, please contact All the Buzz.

Running a Home Based Business? Keep Doing It!

woman-working-from-homeMany an entrepreneur has started a business from home. You might recognize some of the more famous names: Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com), Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Apple), Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Google), and Walt Disney (Disney). These men all started their companies from their garages.

In 2013, Small Business Trends reported that 69% of startup and 59% of established businesses were home-based. Even more interesting, the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report stated that more than half of U.S. entrepreneurs continued to operate their businesses from home long after they had been established.

There is no stigma in stating that your business is run from home. In fact, there are many smart reasons to continue doing it Continue reading →

Writing is Everything

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“No one gets informed, educated, pitched or sold without writing.”

–Peter Bowerman, copywriting expert and author

All the Buzz Writes New Website for Tichenor Law Office

nova-estate-lawyers-imageThe Law Office of Patricia E. Tichenor, P.L.L.C. had an older website that just didn’t offer the friendly feel or functionality attorney Patricia Tichenor wanted. She wants to be known as a different type of law firm — one that is warm and friendly — and wanted the copy to reflect that difference. New to this site are the FAQs and the blog, which also add a client-centric focus.

All the Buzz worked with a design partner and created the copy on the new website. All the Buzz also creates the blog posts for the site in order to offer in-depth insights into various services and issues and to assist with search engine optimization.

If your website needs revising or a whole new look, or you need to keep current on your blog posts, please contact All the Buzz. We’ll provide the professional look and feel you need.

 

An Insider’s Tip to Getting Your Story into the News

woman-reading-newspaper

She should be reading YOUR story.

I, like other writers, am always looking for good stories. When we writers find something we think is interesting, it is likely that others will find it interesting as well, so we pitch the story idea to magazines, newspapers, online media, etc. If the publication also believes their readership will benefit from the story, they will contract with us to write it.

But how does a story get from your company into the media? Continue reading →

Article: National Aquarium

diver-at-natoinal-aquarium-baltimore-maryland-linda-barrett-all-the-buzz

Diver at the National Aquarium, Baltimore, MD

There’s something about seeing your story in print that never gets old. I also find it especially thrilling when my photographs are also printed, as in this beautiful montage for my article about the National Aquarium (see photos and story here) in the May/June 2016 issue of Viva Tysons magazine.

Have a story you’d like to see in print? Contact All the Buzz to find out how we can help.

 

 

6 Steps to a Better Presentation

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Sometime in your career, you’ve been asked to give a presentation. Maybe it went well. Or maybe it didn’t. The answer lies with your audience. Did they listen attentively and ask questions, or did they look at their watches and dart out the door once you were done?

There is a science to giving a good presentation and professionals know they just can’t wing it. A good presentation is carefully researched, written and practiced ahead of time, keeping the audience’s interests in mind. Here are six steps that can help you develop a better presentation.

How to Give a Better Presentation

  1. Find out who your audience is. Then single out a couple of members or leaders and send a questionnaire or hold an interview in advance to find out what issues they are facing, or what it is they really want to learn or know. Incorporate this information into your presentation.
  2. If you must use slides, use them as visual backup to what you are saying. Do not outline your presentation on the slides and read it to your audience.
  3. In your opening, you must make an emotional connection with your audience. Use a story, ask a question, or astonish them with a shocking statistic to catch their attention and pique their curiosity.
  4. Tell the audience what they are going to hear and the benefits they will get from listening. At the end of your presentation, review what you went over and reinforce the benefit.
  5. In the body of your presentation, stick to no more than three important points. Make eye contact with members of the audience.
  6. In your closing, circle back to your opening statement and close with a call to action–what do you want people to do? Tell them. And always end with a positive statement or forecast.

If you are not a good speaker, write out your presentation. Or better yet, hire a professional copywriting firm like All the Buzz to help you.

New Website for Spa Noa

Spa-Noa-orchidsAll the Buzz joined a design partner to provide copywriting in the creation of a new website for Spa Noa, a high-end popular salon and spa in Reston, Virginia.

Owners Lucy Silva and Mary Taylor wanted an inviting website that reflected their commitment to quality and highlighted their personal touch. Their home page describes it best: “The luxury of an upscale spa; the warmth of a best friend’s home.”

A soothing design, custom photography, and customer-based copy help enliven the site and relate to what clients are looking for.

What is Copy?

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“Copy is a direct conversation with the consumer.”

–Shirley Polykoff, American Advertising Executive

Five Ways to Spice Up Your Blog Posts

blog-graphicA portion of the writing work we do here at All the Buzz is blog writing. It’s fun to delve into our clients’ businesses and uncover inside stories, industry news, and personal accounts that can be used as blog posts.

If you, however, are writing your own blog, marketing and publicity author Marcia Yudkin offers these five quick ways to spice up your web content.

  1. Upcoming Attractions

    Use your blog to announce or launch new products, and give dates of trade shows you’ll be attending or speeches you’ll deliver.

  2. Interviews

    Interview your charity partners, vendors, industry leaders, or best clients. Take it a step further and create a multi-post entry or a podcast series.

  3. Weird News Stories

    Post insider stories about your product or its production, offbeat uses for it, or interesting news stories relating to your industry.

  4. Polls

    Take a local, regional or nationwide poll and post the results. If your industry offers statistics, post their polls and survey results.

  5. Charts

    Graphic elements help tell the story in a visual way and capture people’s attention before they read the copy. Illustrate your story or use the graphic with a caption as a stand-alone post.