My 60 second pitch – what was I thinking?

So, I went networking for the first time as a copywriter. 

I knew I was going but, for some reason, it only occurred to me about 5 hours beforehand that I’ve never even thought about creating a “60-second pitch”.

Shit.

Actually, it wasn’t that hard. 

Truth is, when you know what you do (I mean, what you REALLY do) and who you do it for, it’s pretty easy to talk about yourself.

The trouble starts when you try to sell yourself as the “…for all occasions” guy. That’s when you start running off on tangents, mumbling and resorting to shouting words that vaguely relate to your business.

Get a clear idea of what you do and who you do it for and you’re 63% of the way there.

Anyway, here’s what I came up with. I’ll follow up with some comments on what worked well and what I’ll improve on for next time.

“Hi, I’m John, from Insert Gag Here. I write words that make money.

I’m a copywriter.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been reading an advert and found yourself nodding along, thinking “Oh my god, has she written this to ME?”. Before you know it, the mouse is hovering over to the “BUY IT NOW” button as you think, “I REALLY need this…NOW!”

Well, the odds are that there’s an evil genius like me, who’s spent time carefully crafting that advert to get that exact response.

A lot of business owners I work with don’t like selling or pitching. They have a “thing”, and they know that they need to sell it, but… but they don’t have the hundreds of hours spare to learn how to sell it, or they just don’t want to. 

They’d rather just get back to their “thing”. That’s the fun bit.

Good copy allows you to do that.

Get your words right and it’s like hiring the best salesman ever – he’s always there, always working – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

So that’s what I do. I create words that bring your customers closer to “yes” – words you can use on your website… in your emails… on your Tinder profile… anywhere.

Words that will generate you more leads, more sales and more money.

I’m John, from Insert Gag Here and I’m a copywriter.”

————————————

So, that’s the pitch. Time for the good/bad/shite bit…

“Hi, I’m John, from Insert Gag Here. I write words that make money.

I’m a copywriter.”

Simple opening. I tell them what I do. It provokes a little curiosity (hopefully)

I could argue that I should have specified who I do it for, but I made the decision not to, as that would reduce the curiosity.

Note I don’t lead with “copywriter”, as this is something that not everybody has a grasp of. Some people think it’s about content, others will think “copyright” and start asking me what the keyboard shortcut is for copyright symbol, so they can add it to their posters.

‘I don’t know if you’ve ever been reading an advert and found yourself nodding along, thinking “Oh my god, has she written this to ME?”. Before you know it, the mouse is moving over to the “BUY IT NOW” button as you think, “I REALLY need this…NOW!”‘

“I don’t know if you’ve ever…” is a less challenging opening than, “you know when…”. It’s a good copy tactic – don’t give them something they can answer “no” to. If they answer “no”, their next thought is “well, this clearly isn’t for me” and they’ll switch off.

(To be fair, at most networking meetings, 98% of the members are probably “switched off” during the pitches anyway…)

Regardless, even if you haven’t read an advert like that, you’ll still (hopefully) come along for the journey, or be able to imagine what it’s like.

Also, I tried to act this out as if I was the one reading the advert and frantically clicking the “BUY IT NOW” button, rather than just saying it.

Sadly, unless you were there, you’ll have to imagine me doing this.

(onlookers were seen to remark, “Is he alright? Is he fitting? Does anyone have an EpiPen?”)

“Well, the odds are that there’s an evil genius like me, who’s spent time carefully crafting that to get that exact response.”

Time. Crafting. Genius. Exact. Response – powerful words, but not said in an “oh, look at me, aren’t I fucking awesome?” kinda way.

This shit doesn’t happen by chance. It takes work and skill.

Oh, look at me. Aren’t I fucking awesome?

“Most of the business owners I work with don’t like selling or pitching. They have a “thing”, and they know that they need to sell it, but… they don’t have the hundreds of hours spare to learn how to sell it, or they just don’t want to.”

Again, reduce the challenge aspect – “Most of the…”, not “I only work with…”.

I like the idea of using “thing” – while it’s so vague that it could mean anything, it’s also specific enough in that if you asked most business owners what their “thing” was, they’d be able to give you a clear answer.

“Business owners” is a tad too vague, though I wanted to use it for the first meeting, just to see if it still struck a chord. It did. I got three people wanting to meet with me afterwards (one photographer, one web guy who optimises sites for other businesses, and one who worked in recruitment), so “thing” may work.

Also, I’d add another sentence to the “don’t have the hundreds of hours spare to learn how to sell it” stack, as I think that would help highlight how hard this shit is, and position me as an even easier alternative.

(Idea – “they don’t want to spend 18 hours a day posting content on LinkedIn and missing their kids birthday party because someone told them to post at EXACTLY 16:17…”)

“They’d rather make sales while focusing on their “thing”. That’s the fun bit.”

Gives them the idea that they CAN make more sales without having to do any selling. 

“Good copy allows you to do that.”

Clear, unequivocal and genuinely true.

Will change this to, “Good copy does that for you”.

“Get your words right and it’s like hiring the best salesman ever – he’s always there, always working – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – without a toilet break.”

An analogy to drive the point home. Most businesses can appreciate what a good salesman would do for their business, but could never afford to actually hire one. Good news – you don’t need to.

“Toilet break” was a stab at humour, though I think I’ll probably change it to “stealing supplies and photocopying his arse at the Christmas do”.

Probably not.

“So that’s what I do. I create words that generate you more leads, more sales and more money – words you can use on your website… in your emails… on your Tinder profile… anywhere.”

A final clear statement of the benefits, ending on a light gag, so it’s not too pushy.

“I’m John, from Insert Gag Here and I’m a copywriter.”

I use “copywriter” her, unlike in the opening, because I’ve just rammed the “make more money” point home in the previous sentence. If they haven’t realised how I can make them money by now, saying it again won’t help.

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I need a lie down after that.

Want to share your 60-second pitch?