Michelle Fortier Publicity Tuesday Tips – Elevator Pitch
Whether it’s a job interview, an audition or pitching your music, an elevator pitch can be a make or break for your career. Michelle Fortier Publicity Tuesday Tips – Elevator Pitch- gets to the heart of the dreaded Elevator Pitch. Let’s make it simple, easy, creative and fun. An elevator pitch is similar to the intro set up for the song you are about to perform on stage. Once you have an elevator pitch down, you can use it for a variety of purposes, interact and break the ice with industry persons and maybe land a gig or a new fan along the way.
Why an Elevator Pitch for Musicians
I was very, very new as a manager in the music business and attending my first conference about 12 years ago. Overwhelmed, scared to death to approach people and with very little knowledge of how to approach industry and interact, I set out armed with my musicians CDs, business cards, and showcase schedule. Little did I know I was to learn one of the biggest lessons of the business. Have an elevator pitch ready in 1, 2, and 5 minute lengths. Know your client and their work, be ready, and trim the fat.
What is an Elevator Pitch
I was feeling pretty good until I approached a DJ introduced myself and asked if they would play one of my musicians’ songs. We were standing and speaking near the elevators and it was obvious DJ was going to get on the elevator. We both got in and the DJ asked for the elevator pitch. Hmmm, I thought, what the heck is that! He must have read the panic on my face and said, “You know tell me what this person sounds like, who they are, what they do, genre and so on.”
I have to admit I stammered my way through the pitch, literally sweat my way through it. Your elevator pitch should be short, concise, fun and interesting. Find a way to put some flavour into your genre, add a niche if you have one, utilize your brand and be yourself. Your elevator pitch is often part of your bio.
An Elevator Pitch is not all about you
There are times when you know, you just know, the industry person may be acting graciously if you’ve stopped them. If they’ve just spoken or given an award, or given a performance of some kind, compliment and get to know them before talking all about you. Introduce yourself, mention the amazing speech, keep it real and be yourself. If they ask more about you, then feel free to give your pitch. Be mindful of the situation. If others are lined up waiting, be tactful and gracious and allow others their time with the person.
Not Interested in your Elevator Pitch
Chances are it really isn’t personal if they turn you down. So remember that the way you react now can determine how they will react to you another time. Maybe they are on their way somewhere, haven’t any room on the roster, booked for the season or airplay is filled for the month. Getting back to my personal story, I lucked out with the DJ in the elevator. The DJ very graciously took the CD, even though the DJ was unsure it would fit the program. I’ve had numerous successes and many stumbles and not interested replies, sometimes in that moment, months or years later and sometimes there seemingly isn’t any return. You made a connection and that is always gold. You should never be pushy or rude, persistence is a fine line and rudeness not only doesn’t get you anywhere, it will reverberate through the grapevine and the community.
Follow-up on your Elevator Pitch
So what happened with the DJ in the elevator, did the album receive airplay? On follow-up, (do this via phone, email, or card in the mail) I thanked the DJ for the elevator ride and assistance with the elevator pitch. The DJ, in turn, thanked me for a great CD, gave me a review and I found that the album was played more than a time or two. I ensure to this day that DJ gets CDs from my clients when I know it’s a fit for the show. I was very thankful and as a publicist able to promote the show in a blog and in a mailer that went out to many industry persons. So I also gave something in return. Maybe for you – you’ll promote the heck out of the show you are hired for.
Really, though, it’s about making connections, not necessarily getting hired or getting airplay. Getting things in return is a bonus. You already received the gold with the connection. It is still about honing all levels of your craft, including the business side of the of your career.