Archive for Elevator Pitch

11 Types of Blogs To Generate Web Traffic and Please Your Readers

There are more different types of blog posts than I can count on my fingers and toes. Tone of voice is important, too. For example, if you’re writing for a business audience, should you use humor in your blog posts? Will your readers think you aren’t serious?

The question you first need to ask yourself, “What is the objective of this article?” If you’re writing to entertain, then it’s OK to use humor. And, yes, business people like humor, too.

When writing about a serious subject such as unrest in the middle East and its implications for business, though, humor would be out of place.

I’ve concluded that many posts fit into the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How Come formula that I learned in journalism class that guided me as a business reporter. See if your posts answer at least one of these interrogatives. It will help to give your blog focus.

The Blog Post List

1. How to. People always want to learn how to do things better, faster, cheaper, safer. How-to blogs appeal to every demographic. Want to learn how to mow your lawn? Head over to Consumer Reports.

2. Promoting a Cause. You may feel passionate about a cause. A particular passion of mine is women and heart disease. I could make the case about why my readers should join the Go Red campaign to educate women on the risks of heart disease.

3. Analysis. In this type of post you can demonstrate your expertise by including your own opinions and those of other experts – linking to authority sites also boosts your SEO. I wrote one recently entitled “The New Leadership Paradigm: Rule by Community” that described the spontaneous formation of new communities of leaders made possible by the power of the Internet. This type of post is also called a Roundup.

4. Reviews. What’s your field? Has an expert written a new book you can review? I just downloaded the Kindle version of Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book “The Thank You Economy” and will write a review after I read it.

5. Q&A. This a great way to conduct an interview with a guest. You can make life easy for readers who don’t like a lot of dense copy. Also, it’s more personal. I interviewed Pat Weber for three blogs that I posted on the elevator speech. She interviewed me for her site and then we decided to turn these posts into an ebook, “Repairing the Elevator Speech to Burnish Your Personal Brand,” which is available to new subscribers of Write Speak Sell.

6. Entertainment. Some blogs are simply meant to entertain. They can be about serious topics – like a lack of service that I experienced at Home Depot in a post “Don’t Forget to Bring Your Own Saw to Home Depot” but written with humor with the primary purpose to entertain your readers.

7. Promotional. You may have a new product or service that you feel the world can’t live without. Write a post – but don’t be too sales-y. Remember that the reader is always asking “What’s in it for me?”

8. Lists. Like this one on blog posts. How about a list of what you consider to be the best books on leadership, or recipes for apple pie?

9. Inspirational. Posts that ask people to be better citizens, to follow their passions in life, to tap their inner spirit are examples of topics that will hopefully inspire your readers to action – and make you feel better, too.

10. Problem/Solution.  A demonstrated winner. I wrote a post a while back “Why Can’t WordPress Tutorials be Written in Language for Regular People? I received a lot of comments and I was most gratified by this one, “This was so helpful!!! I’ve been trying to figure this out for almost 24 hours!!! …LOL.”

11. Instructional. I recently wrote a post entitled “How to Insert the Name of Your Website into Your LinkedIn Profile” that received many thank-you’s. So simple, but many LinkedIn users don’t know how – just take a look at some profiles.

Do you have a favorite type of post? What have I left out?

An Elevator Pitch Can Kill You from the Top Floor Down

In this post with Pat Weber* Business Sales Coach for Introverts and Shy, Pat answers more of my questions about what makes for a good and bad elevator pitch.  Collaborating with Pat on this project has been a dream — and to quote Humphrey Bogart’s famous last line from Casablanca, “… I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”  For my take on elevator speeches follow this link to where Pat interviewed me. To learn more about how Pat and I began our collaboration on LinkedIn, tune in to our discussion on Free Webinar Wednesdays: “Success Stories From the Trenches.”

"Patricia Weber"

Patricia Weber

Do some pitches warrant a full explanation?

[tweetmeme]It’s annoying when people say, “Because what I do is somewhat complicated, … ” and then they suggest it’s best to have a one-to –one meeting.

Hey buster. If YOU can’t explain it for me to understand before I buy it, what’s going to happen if I need help after you have my money?

Should a person start with his/her name?

Starting with the very unattractive, “Hi, my name is Wendy,” makes me feel like I’m at an AA meeting – yes I have attended a couple of those and I mean that with all respect. Your name, unless it’s Bill Gates, Oprah or the like is relatively unimportant in an introduction intended to get people’s attention. Start with a question, startling statistic or one problem you solve. When we meet people in meetings or events, they both bring in their minds the events of the day as well as get distracted by the entire goings on around them. Break their preoccupied thoughts.

If these pitches they all sound the same, how can I be a referral partner?

A BNI networking group is intended to extend your marketing reach by making your chapter members aware of what you do or offer so that they can be part of your sales team. While a few might be prospective clients you don’t want to pitch them the same way. Does it really make sense to make the same pitch to both of these audiences? Like would you pitch your boyfriend the way your pitch your father? Come on. Have a prepared and refined introduction, which appeals to the specificity of the audience.

What do you think about using titles in a pitch?

Don’t tell me your fancy title! I could give a hoot. Tell me what problems you solve and for what group of people. Really, which peaks your interest more, “I help people do a better job with saving and spending their money,” or, “I’m a financial planner.” What about, “I help employers hire better employees faster,” or “I’m in job placement.” I don’t know; maybe it’s just me. I want that elevator to stay in motion.

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*Leading and inspiring introverts in business with coaching, training and eBooks, to live genuinely for the most success and fun. Business Coach for Introverts and Shy, Patricia Weber.

Killer Elevator Pitches Are Out to Get Us

In this post, I continue my interview with Pat Weber* Business Coach for Introverts and Shy who discusses her ideas about what makes for good and bad elevator pitches.  For my take on elevator speeches follow this link to where Pat interviewed me. To learn more about how Pat and I began our collaboration on LinkedIn, tune in to our discussion on Free Webinar Wednesdays: “Success Stories From the Trenches.”

Why do people often sound, and actually say, they are unprepared with their introduction?

"Patricia Weber"

Patricia Weber

[tweetmeme]Even when someone says, just take 30 or 60 seconds to tell us about you, most people are unfocused and tend to ramble. About 75 to 100 words gives a person that 30 seconds. Double it for 60 seconds. People don’t even seem to have one variation let alone 6 or 7 focused variations roll off their tongue.  What’s so difficult about preparing? It’s professional, respectful and much more magnetizing.

And that elevator pitch that has no end to it’s up, or down? We’ve all either done this at one time, before we learned better, or we’ve all heard it!  It’s the person who even after that friendly buzzer or Feng Shui type of chime, keeps droning on to fit in that one more thing about them, their company, their service, something special. Push the STOP button, please.

Why DO people admit they are unprepared?

Worst offenders for me are people who are attending a networking meeting and likely know they will need to introduce themselves and say something like, “I’m not fully prepared with my introduction but I’ll start with…” Do us all a favor and just sit down. Say, “pass.” This is one of the lamest excuses and totally shows either disrespect, lack of preparation and – there goes that first impression.

I notice few people look at me when giving their pitch. Is eye contact passé?

This irritates me to no end. People either look down at – nothing! Or they look all around the room never landing their eyes on anyone. I think it comes from not understanding effective public speaking. I encourage people to do what I learned starting as a sales manager speaking to my team: give your audience the attention they deserve by looking at each person, in the eyes, about 10 seconds at a time before you move to the next person. Those 10 seconds is usually a phrase or thought – you DON’T need a timer!

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*Leading and inspiring introverts in business with coaching, training and eBooks, to live genuinely for the most success and fun. Business Coach for Introverts and Shy, Patricia Weber.