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  •  The EvO:R Street Journal

    The EvO:R Street Journal
    Editorial statement
    Dedicated to the culture, business and interests of the indie artist. EVJ delivers controversial points of view, hard-news commentary, Industry Insites, artistic prose and photography and welcomes responses (pro or con), feedback and topic suggestions from readers. If you would like to submit an opinionated article, inspired poem, photo or essay to EVJ, forward all copy to Editor ESJ and put To the Editor in the subject field.



    The Elevator Pitch
    You need a fast pitch when going after what you want in order not to lose the audience you are asking from
    By Loren Weisman
    2009-07-09

    People tend to want plenty of time to explain themselves, their sound, their vision, their goals and anything else that has to do with them. People like to share as much information as possible. They feel they need to explain as much as possible when it comes to getting a fan, finding a label, a manager, an agent, etc.

    However, the fast pitch, the one liner, the quick explanation or the elevator pitch is the most effective way to present yourself. It shows consideration for the person to whom you are pitching, and it proves your overall organization and professionalism.

    It is understandable that you want to use as much time and as many words to describe yourself, your goals and your abilities, but when it comes down to it, you need to remember a lot of others are doing the same exact thing. The more professional your presentation, the better you will be heard and the better impression you will leave.

    Your Fast Pitch

    Ok, so get to the point where you have it practiced it and have it down in order to get the best results. Period.

    What is your fast pitch? It's a quick and descriptive summary. It's an elevator pitch: the pitch that you make in the elevator when you only have a few seconds to present yourself or your idea.

    The same pitch should be in your soliciting materials as well. Make sure the one liner of your bio or that first sentence of your bio is a grabber. Make sure it is strong, detailed and quick.

    The same goes for your tagline. Think of it as a shorter version of the first sentence of your bio. How can you sum up your band and sound in a short, unique phrase? Stay away from the 'we are indescribable', 'we don't sound like anyone else', 'we are totally original', ' you have never heard anything like us' or any of those stupid lines that will immediately cast you in an unoriginal light.

    For both the written word and the spoken one, think highlights, think memorable, think precision. Remember that other people are doing pitches along the same lines, so the faster the more precise and the more detail provided over the least amount of time will allow you to stand out much stronger. Make sure to figure out what you want to convey, what you want to share and how to answer questions with simple, quick responses that cover the crux of the question, but compel the person asking to dig deeper.

    Let them dig deeper. Make them ask for more. It is a much better sit! uation than disclosing too much and either making them bored or turning them off from what you are trying to share. Prepare yourself to present just like you would prepare a song in performance. Practice the ideas and go over the basics:
    Who are you?
    What do you want?
    What do you bring to the table?

    And make sure that your answers are quick and to the point. Do not drag on and do not waste time. Get straight to the point. You have no idea how many will appreciate that. At the same time, when you are to the point, you will find an audience that will want to know more and ask you for it.

    Sports Center

    Imagine it like Sports Center. You have two reporters who are giving the highlights and details of a one hour game in 2 minutes. Do not go into the story behind how you were formed or, if it's an interesting marketing point, then summarize it! Summarize the marketing points, the strengths and the exciting elements to draw peoples' interest. Be quick, informative, brief and, if you can, add some humor. Many salesmen and women will tell you it is all in the fast sell or the fast ask. The longer you go, the more chance you will lose them, their attention and their interest.

    Know the pitch and the different parts of it

    Just as you need a strong tagline for your band and a strong one liner to describe your band, you need to know what parts to say next and what a particular person might want to hear.

    The Who

    For example, if you are presenting yourself to a label, a c! lub manager, a booking agent or a talent buyer, they are going to want to know that fast summary of who you are. So what is the one liner? What is your tagline or fast description of your sound? Who do you sound like and who has influenced you?

    Quick, punchy and informative. Cover it quickly, give them the liner notes and then they will come back and ask for more if they are interested.

    The What

    Now if you are looking for some kind of deal, an agent or manager, a distributor or some kind of opportunity, you are going to add on to the who you are and add the what you want.

    NOTE: Do the best you can to avoid the 'uh's', the 'umm's'. These are called filler words. They make people look ridiculously unprofessional and all the other noises or extra words people use when they are uncomfortable or insecure. Work to avoid them.

    After you have presented who you are, go to what you want and what you are looking for. Be precise. Explain what you want. I cannot count how many emails I have received with plenty of 'the who,' but none of 'the what.' I couldn't tell if they were looking for a producer, because all I got from them was a long winded explanation about the ba! nd and nothing else.

    Above all, get right to the point, make them want to know more.

    The Why and The How

    The last part is 'the why' and 'the how,' which is best used at your discretion. Explain why they want to give you what you are asking for and how it would benefit them.

    Always remember that whatever you are asking for in some ways is a donation or investment to your band, what you need and what you are looking to get. Why would someone want to invest or donate their time, skill set, product, people or efforts in you? What will you bring them in return? Answer that quickly and you will be light years beyond most.

    At the same time, you might not even get to the why and the how. It might be for a later conversation. Be a good judge of character. Let go when you are losing someone; ride with it when you have someone's attention.

    Conclusion

    Organize the elevator pitch when it comes to you, your sound, what you want, why should have it and how you should go after it. Of course things are going to be more detailed and elements will be long and complex, but on that first impression, get the information out in the fastest, strongest and most organized manner that you can. Then leave the extra details for the next conversation or the questions. Whether you are looking for money, a label, distribution, investors, donors, management or anything else, it is going to come down to that first pitch and first impression.

    Lastly, have those same bullet points be the opening sentences and opening lines for your physical items as well. Think of the one liner information being the opening sentences that will draw people deeper into the paragraphs you have written.
    Know who you are and how to explain it quickly to others.
    Know what you want and how to explain it quickly to others.
    Know how you can benefit others and explain that quickly too.
    Prepare to answer questions with quick answers.

    These tools will keep the interest of the person with whom you are and give you a better shot at getting exactly what you are going after.


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