elevator pitch

Make people remember you with an effective introduction

Have you ever felt tongue-tied when asked to introduce yourself and describe your work? Or maybe you ramble on in a way that doesn’t accurately describe what you do?

As a creative who does so many amazing things, it might be incredibly difficult to put your work into words in order to give your audience that “aha” moment and make them want to learn more.

There are many occasions where you’ll be asked to describe your work – or answer that dreaded question: what do you do? These include interviews, parties, networking get-togethers, conferences, or even meeting a friend of a friend for the first time.

The goal? You want the right people to remember you.

There are ways to practice talking about your services and talents that will open doors and engage the people you are talking with in an exciting way.

First, you need to remember: You are the only person in the world who does exactly what you do in your unique way. We want to help you make sure you tell the right story when people ask, in a clear, succinct, and compelling way.

First, let’s explore an example:

We met an artist at an opening. She had recently moved to New York from Florida, so we were discussing that, since it's a big life move. Sarah, our new acquaintance, impressed us when we asked her, "What kind of work do you make?" And she answered, "I am a sculptor who makes works from recycled materials, especially those small plastic bags that newspapers are delivered in."

Immediately, we were intrigued, asked her more questions about her work, and made it a point to look at her website the next day. Had she just said, "I am a sculptor" the conversation might have drifted off to more social things, or perhaps ended. So, the point here is to be very specific because each and every one of us is incredibly unique.

Make someone remember you. How do you do that? Create your perfect elevator pitch in five easy steps:

1. Say what you do: I am a______________________________. (designer, writer, illustrator, programmer, etc)

2. Now write down the three most important things that you do as a (designer, writer, illustrator, programmer, etc) and cite proof points why your work is important or unique.

3. Now figure out: What do you want your work to accomplish/What is your goal?

4. Distill the above three points into a short sentence or two: this will become your introduction, or pitch. You’ll want to end up with a simple statement like: I am a _____________ who (does this unique thing.)

5. Remember, you are talking with someone else, so engage them. Hopefully your pitch is so compelling that they ask you follow-up questions! Make sure you have a business card on hand to give them in case they want to learn more.

Here are some tips to consider as you practice your pitch in the mirror and to your dog, cat and best friend before you take it out into the real world:

  • It should explain what you do, clearly and succinctly: Who are you? What do you do?
  • It should be no longer than 20-30 seconds, which is about the time it takes to ride an elevator.
  • The pitch should be addressed to THEM not to YOU. To successfully engage in conversation, remember it’s about storytelling, not fact-reciting.
  • It should be comprehensible to even a kid.
  • Say it with confidence.
  • Be memorable.
  • It needs to be compelling and sound natural in person. (It’s beneficial to write it out and memorize it, but you don’t want to end up sounding like a robot.)

Why is your elevator pitch important?

  • You want people to understand what you do and remember you. It’s an opportunity to create a mental picture for your audience when your work is not in front of them to experience first hand.
  • You are creating an opportunity for an opportunity, which getting tongue tied will not provide you.
  • In a social setting, you would like to be able to engage in meaningful dialog with someone without rambling.
  • You want to add value to your community.
  • Because it’s an opportunity to represent your character as well as what kind of work you do.
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Good luck! Let us know what your success stories are after you’ve written out and practiced your pitch!

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

What you say matters: learn how to nail your elevator pitch!

Sometimes, talking about your work as an artist or creative professional can be excruciatingly hard. This month we're exploring Community Building: what it takes to meet new people and open the doors to opportunity in a natural, genuine way.

Trust us, when we first started Kind Aesthetic it sometimes paralyzed us when we had to pitch our work to someone. The reason why? Because it was new and didn't make sense to us, yet. And that notion of believing in your work, understanding what your work means to you, why you do it, and what effect is has on your audience will lead to effective ways to summarize your work for networking purposes. Without clarity surrounding your unique story, it's going to be hard.

Having both learned from personal experiences and having witnessed so many amazing people sabotage an opportunity by stumbling on their words, being incoherent, or not giving their work enough credit, we knew it was time to take action. So, we developed a DELVE Workshop on the topic of the elevator pitch.

We got the chance to work with a big group of amazing artists at the Transcultural Exchange Conference in Boston this past February. We walked them through an exercise, and admittedly, not every person was a believer at first. We asked them to write the answers to some simple questions: What does your work look like? Why do you make it? What is it about? What inspires you? Artists were wondering how these words would translate to a verbal pitch.

The beauty behind this simple exercise is that EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the room had a unique answer. So, everyone's elevator pitch was going to be different off the bat, right? WRONG!

The first few tries were full of artists saying things like:

I am a painter who works in New York City.
So? Who cares?! There are a million of you. How are you unique?

OR

I make colorful oil paintings about the environment.
Better, but not quite, because that woman in the brown shirt over there just said the same thing.

We just kept digging and pushing and finally, most people had an aha moment where they realized that they could summarize what they do in one sentence in a clear way, by describing their work visually and adding a brief statement about the conceptual drive or subject matter behind their work. They had just written it all down at the beginning of the workshop. The goal of your pitch is to be specific enough to be memorable and open doors.

The true test was getting up and practicing how to talk about their answers to their peers. How do you translate these big concepts and visual work into a short pitch? It's NOT easy but this exercise is vital to opening up doors of opportunity.

The results of the workshop were:

  • each artist spoke their elevator pitch at least ten times in a row to different people, which meant lots of practice and getting over that anxiety fast
  • each artist left with a stronger sense of how to talk about what they do and why they are unique
  • many people exclaiming: "this was the best workshop of the whole conference!"

Interested in hosting a DELVE Workshop for your group? We cover everything that artists and creatives need to best communicate their work: talking about your work, writing workshops, personal branding and more! We're here to help so feel free to get in touch!

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

RECAP of DELVE Webinar: Verbalizing Your Practice

We held our first free DELVE Webinar on November 2nd! We are happy that so many of you were able to join Andrea for the opportunity to get focused on how you talk about what you do.

For those of you who missed it, you can see the entirety of the webinar in the video below, technical difficulties and all! Since the slides didn't advance during the webinar feel free to download them here. We'll get it right for the next webinar.... and stay tuned for the next one. Sign up for our mailing list to be the first to know about it!

Join Andrea from Kind Aesthetic for a free webinar for artists and creative entrepreneurs that offers actionable steps to help you find the best way to explain what you do clearly, concisely and confidently.

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

I don't know how to explain what I do. Hint: write first!

Is that a familiar thought that runs through your head? Join the many artists, creatives and small business owners who are so busy and have trouble seeing how others see their work. It's really hard, and there is no shame in that! So, let's work on it.

Here are tips to get your tongue untied and your networking skills into shape:

1. Write it all out first. Make three short lists:

  • I do this/my services are... (what do you want to be paid to do?)
  • I work for... (who is your ideal client?)
  • I am unique because... (what unique qualities does your work and professional history have, and how are you different from your competition?)

These are the three points you need to hit when explaining what you do. Don't just say you're a painter. Tell us what kind of unique painter you are. Don't just tell the crowd that you are a designer. What kind of design and where does it thrive?

2. Practice. Once you have your pitch down that explains what you do and why you are unique, you have to practice it until it feels natural. Practice it in this order: in the mirror, on your pet or a bird outside, a family member, a friend... and then take it out on the town.

3. Understand your audience and curate your experiences. We know you may be so creative that you act, paint, sing, cook and write, and you have done this all professionally while fashion modeling. But all of these skills may not be relevant to your target audience. Who are you talking to? Gear your pitch towards them so that they will remember you and want to hire you. They don't need your whole life story... unless they ask. And even then, curate your story.

4. Know and understand that you are indeed unique. It's absolutely true.


Good luck everyone! Remember, if you need help with this, let us know. We developed the DELVE Toolkit just for this purpose: to give you the confidence, marketing materials and know how to spend less time worrying about telling people about what you do and more time on your work. BONUS: we're currently having a sale through 10/15/15. Take advantage of us! We are here to help. Email us to set up your free 20 minute call to see if we are a good fit.

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.