Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's Your Elevator Pitch?

Have you heard this expression before? An elevator pitch is a statement you make in response to the question, "What do you do?" Imagine that you are riding in an elevator with someone who asks that question, and you'll get an idea of how long you'll get to answer that question. We're not talking about going into your whole bio. If I started with "I graduated from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland ...", half the elevator would have gotten off before I finished, and the other half would have fallen asleep.

The first rule of the elevator pitch is then, keep it short. You don't want to lose your audience before you're done.

The second rule: be clear. The only way you can do this is to practice the pitch. Say it out loud. Say it in a conversational manner. Don't sound like you're giving a speech. What are you? What do you do? Are you a lawyer who is a partner in a firm, who takes dance lessons for fun, teaches French in night school, and is secretly writing a young adult novel? Only you can figure out what you want to put out there. You'll decide what you want to say based on who you are speaking to.

That brings me to the next rule: know your audience. Most of the time, you'll have a slight idea of the background of the person who is asking what you do. In the above example, that person may have an elevator pitch about being a lawyer, that he would use in some occasions, and a separate one about his novel that he would use in others. Don't be afraid to create a few elevator pitches. Just be sure they are specific enough to have some meaning and be interesting to the person you are talking to.

I've come up with my elevator pitch, what about you? Of course your elevator pitch can change as you change; it can always evolve. Here is mine:

I am an artist. I design jewelry and paint, selling my creations on the internet and at small shows. I also run a non-profit -- our local art society. We have over 100 members, and we provide exhibit opportunities and mentoring. We also donate art to our communities and award college scholarships to young artists.

What do you think? Are you an artist who is not afraid to say "I Am An Artist"? Or "I Am A Writer"? If you'd like to post your elevator pitches as a blog comment here, I'll post them in a later post. Why not get them out there? Who's with me?

Here's one of my latest jewelry creations. I've gone back to my roots -- working with metal. My camera recently broke, so I just got a new one and am back in business taking photos and posting them to my blog.

Here's my latest painting. I haven't thought of a name yet.

I'm looking forward to hearing your pitches.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I won an Award

Thanks to K.C. Woolf, way over in The Cotswolds, England. If you don't know where that is, look it up. I actually do know, because my brother-in-law visited there, and brought me back something for the kitchen that says "The Cotswolds" on it. It looks like a beautiful area.

Anyway, K.C. is a writer, and I stumbled upon her blog and have enjoyed reading her. You can check out her blog here.

She has bestowed upon me this award.

Thank you so much! As a stipulation of this award, I need to write seven things about myself, then pass the award on to someone else. So here goes.

1. I've visited Scotland three times, and absolutely love it there. I have a knack for coming during warm and sunny weeks. When we last visited, the first week of April 2001, it ended up being the warmest week of the year, warmer than the coming summer months. We love it there, and always do a lot of hill walking, which is like mountain climbing to this Florida girl.

2. My new favorite sport/hobby is stand up paddleboarding. I have no pictures of me doing it to show you, because we're always out getting wet while doing it. Our favorite is to do it in the rivers, where it's calm and relaxing. Our whole family has gotten into it. We haven't bought our own yet -- it's just easier to rent it right on the river. Here's a picture of someone else doing it.

3. I love alternative music, and music is a big part of my life. That means that I listened to The Clash, Modern English, and Duran Duran during college. Moved into the whole grunge scene with Pearl Jam and Nirvana. And rock to The Killers, The Airborne Toxic Event, and Muse now.

4. I have a degree in accounting (didn't like straight accounting), a degree in baking (discovered you can't make much money at it), and now run a local arts group.

5. I'm a movie nut, although I don't get out to watch many movies. I can tell you about different actors and what they've been in and who they've acted with.

6. I love to cook, especially desserts. I can crank out four kinds of cookies in one day, or a dessert buffet for 50.

7. I'm probably a bit Attention Deficit Disorder-like. I jump from interest to interest. But I like to say I have a Renaissance Soul.

I now bestow this award onto Sandy at Food and Fond Memories. Her blog is filled with recipes, travel, and great stories.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Let me Gripe for a Moment

Recently I mentioned someone in my blog, giving them a good shout out, some promotion, unsolicited. This was someone whose blog I read and enjoy. I emailed her a note to tell her about my mention, giving her a link so she could check it out. Here's the gist of what I got in response:

"Thank you so much for your kind note. Believe me when I say all my emails mean so much to me. However, I am just too popular to truly read all my emails, and certainly to even respond to them, so I'm just giving you this standard reply. Thanks and come again."

Really? Then why do you list your email address in your blog? Do you like being so popular that you don't have time for anyone?

O.K., I'm done now. My next post will be all rainbows and unicorns. I promise.