30-Second Pitch #BlogHer13

In April, I attended a conference for work (HDI). The first session I attended was about having a 30-second Pitch. You want to be able to capture your audience in the brief time you might have with them and make yourself stand out among the crowd. I’ll be using tips learned in that session to help me while I am at Blogher ’13 this weekend.

The strategy I used was put together by Dana Olson, IT guru. Her method is powerful, and I highly suggest you reach out to her if you want to hear the fine print details (she has a GREAT worksheet). No worries, if you are going to BlogHer (or any other conference for that matter), my description should give you the basics to put your own pitch together and be ready to meet and greet then start networking your way to meet your goals.

The first thing you have to do is consider your audience. In my case, I’ll probably have two different audiences this weekend—fellow bloggers and companies/brands that I could build a relationship with for reviews, promotions, and fun for this blog. For the purpose of this exercise, I’ll be sharing with you my strategy for talking to the brands (because if you’re a fellow BlogHer attendee, I want to meet you and wow you in person versus you knowing what to expect). So, who is your audience and what do you want to get from that audience? Be ready to include that in your pitch.

As story tellers, the next part should be easy—you tell a clear story. In that story, be sure to include your who, what, and why. Bonus points for including some stats and powerful words. Just choose carefully, don’t come off as bragging.

You want your message to be brief—that’s why this is called a 30-second pitch. Brands have thousands of bloggers waiting in line to get some swag, make a connection, or just be thanked for the last year of sponsorship. They don’t have time for every single 5 minute conversation. Make the pitch, prepare to just leave your card, and let them take the connection from there. (By the way, if you have a great hook, take the opportunity to ask if now’s a good time to spend some more time talking, and always thank them for their time and feedback.)

So now that you have the basics, here’s the example of how I’ll be introducing myself to brands, giving them my “who, what, why” and setting the tone of the next steps in our relationship.

Hi, I’m Becky Willis, working mom when the suns up and blogger when the sun goes down. My blog, ‘lil Burghers, is about how preserving the memories as I attempt to keep my kids, husband, and self happy and healthy. Readers come to my site to hear about parenting, weight loss, and life in Pittsburgh. In the last year, my blog readership has gone from a few readers here and there to 600 uniques a month. Since I clearly love to keep busy, I’m not done there–I am looking to double my readership in the next year, form brand relationships, take my kids to at least two new states, and run another half marathon. Through my blog, I hope to preserve the memories made while meeting these goals. Would now be a good time to talk to you about how you can help me meet some (or all!) of these goals?

What do you think? Does it describe me? Should I go back to the drawing board? I am sure I will not get this whole pitch in every time—there are some brands where it will make sense to talk about weight loss and others where it would help to talk about how travel and experiences are important to my family. It’s going to be a “feel it out” approach, and the best part of networking is that you have that opportunity to give them a little and keep the conversation going.

If you’re at BlogHer and want to see how this works for me, tweet me @mrsgregwillis to check in. Also, on the meeting other bloggers side—you will probably have a few 30-second elevator rides. Give your new friend 15 seconds of you, get 15 seconds of them. This isn’t all about you this weekend. Now let’s go network!

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Lean In, Jump On

Today was an extremely inspiring day for me on many levels. I’ve been reading Lean In both in anticipation of BlogHer and because my women’s group at work discussed it last month. I’ve learned it’s time to jump on the rocket ship and take the ride.

By the way, don’t let me fool you. I have many pages left to read–good thing I got my hands on a discussion guide. 

The day that I attended the Lean In discussion was not such a great day for my family. I was admittedly distracted and didn’t listen as well as I should have. My cousin (one of my mentors) sat beside me, both of us hearing a message that is amazing for women leaders like ourselves. But I truly think if we were to grab a cup of coffee (or peppermint hot chocolate) and really discuss it together, we’d learn that YES, we do have a seat on the rocket ship and are taking the ride.

So back to today. I’ve been waiting to talk to people at my company about our social media strategy and blogger outreach as part of my career path goals (by the way, if you don’t have an 18-month plan, get one). Today was the day I got to do just that, and now I understand the strategy a bit better. I’ve also taken a leap, jumping on that rocketship, and put myself out there as someone who can be of value. I let them know that I have skills and a desire to learn. Hopefully some of you will look to do the same.

At lunchtime, it was another gathering of our women’s group. This time, we discussed ambition and how not to lose it. One of the key things we talked about was having a network of people that support you. I couldn’t help but tear up a little thinking about my amazing network. There’s my cousin who is not only a mentor, a co-worker, a friend, a mother, but an all around loving and amazing person. There are my “wingmen” who help me through. My parents who are incredibly loving and supportive and have built a relationship with my kids. My family in PA and SC who have always been there for me, no matter what. There are the women on Twitter and in real life that I can turn to for advice (or to plan a cup of coffee with). I am lucky to have this network guiding my path and journey.

And then this evening I got to talk with two incredible women who are working on balancing marriage, motherhood, and busy careers. This was all thanks to someone else very important in my network, someone who has helped me in the blogging and breastfeeding worlds. (I can’t wait to share the story with you–you’ll have to watch out for my link to Life With Levi to find out more!) Thank you, Jen, for being a mentor and friend.

So tonight, as Greg and I get to enjoy some time together, I am not going to be able to stop smiling. I’ve leaned in. I’ve been offered a seat on a rocket ship and I got on. You can’t get to the stars without taking that first step–jump on. To all the women in my life who are wondering how we will ever do it all, stop worrying and just jump. It’s our time to shine and show the world what we’ve got.

Are you with me? Let’s lean in, jump on.

Lean In Rocketship Get on
Source: facebook.com/leanincommunity