SINGER SONGWRITER WHAT IS YOUR “ELEVATOR PITCH”?
(An elevator pitch is an overview of an idea, product, service, project, person, or other Solution and is designed to just get a conversation started.)
Maybe you’re wondering why I’m writing this article. You’re not a salesperson, why do you need an Elevator Pitch. Well the truth is that you are a salesperson and you are trying to sell yourself. You’re applying for a “new job”, selling yourself or your songs to someone of influence.
Whenever you attend a songwriting workshop, conference or performance event, there is a great chance of seeing someone there that you feel might get you that record deal or first big song cut. And being the great networker that I’m sure you are, you will want to go up and introduce yourself and make a pitch.
By having put some thought into your Elevator Pitch well in to advance, you’ll feel more confident about what to say, what not to say, and how to make the most of your opportunity. Right now is a great time to start working on it.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD SINGER SONGWRITER ELEVATOR PITCH:
- Should be only 30-45 seconds in length. Time yourself.
- Introduce yourself by first name only
- If appropriate, say where you are from. (ex: I’m here today from Boston)
- Use their name.
- Be appreciative and complementary. Always be real and not cheesy.
- End your Pitch on a note that invites them to ask you a question or to make a comment that would allow you to respond.
- The ultimate purpose of your pitch is to initiate further dialog.
YOU: Hi, Ms. Music Publisher. I’m Steve and I’m here at the workshop today from Boston. I just wanted to say that you made some really wonderful points in your talk this afternoon. I especially enjoyed hearing your perspective on the proper labeling of your CD. There were some great points that I’ve never heard made before.
PUBLISHER: Well thank you Steve. I appreciate you saying that. What points stood out for you?
WHAT MAKES A BAD SINGER SONGWRITER ELEVATOR PITCH:
- Trying to give them a CD. Your goal is for them to ask for one.
- Talking only about yourself and in a manner that suggests that you are awesome and they should beg to hear your songs
- Telling them how many songs you’ve written. Quantity does not translate to quality
- Telling them you have written a hit song and you just need someone to believe in you.
- Making statements that show that you don’t understand the music business at all. LEARN IT! (ex. – I’m trying to sell a song)
- In Nashville, we have a terming that describes the act of being presumptuous, pushy, obnoxious and with CD in hand – we call that Gherming.
WHAT IS A GOOD DELIVERY OF YOUR SINGER SONGWRITER ELEVATOR PITCH:
- Smile, look them in the eye and shake their hand of possible
- State their name as you introduce yourself
- Make your 30-45 second pitch then shut up and give them a chance to respond
- Be humble but confident.
- If they simply say “thanks”, make one more short statement. If there is no good response then say thank you again and leave. Likely you’ll see them again in the future
- Assess your surroundings. If noisy, be sure you speak up. If the room is quiet and hushed, then you should be as well
AFTER THE PITCH :
Hopefully after you’ve delivered your Elevator Pitch, the dialog will continue. Maybe they will ask questions about you.
- Do not lie or embellish. If their BS meter goes off, the conversation is over.
- Never complain about the music industry or the people in it.
- If you feel compelled to name drop, make sure it’s very discrete. Never drop a name by saying something like, “ You know my friend ______, don’t you?”
ESSENTIALS TO HAVE ON STANDBY:
- Always have a business card with all of your information.
- Be sure your card has a link to where they can hear some of your music.
- Don’t lie or brag on your card.
- It’s a plus to have a quality picture of yourself on the card so when they look at it later they will remember talking with you. And if you pulled off great delivery of your Elevator Pitch, they will remember you positively and hopefully not toss it
- Have a CD handy but do not pull it out unless they ask for it. Make sure it’s well packaged and has all your contact info printed on it. Make sure your recordings sound as professional as possible. Amateur recordings can “end the game”.
You are a creative person, so I’m sure you will come up with some great ideas. By spending some time now working on your singer songwriter Elevator Pitch, you won’t be caught off guard if a great opportunity should present itself. Rehearse it in front of a mirror and write several different versions.
If you are attending a workshop where Ms Song Publisher is the guest speaker, do some research before hand. After you’ve delivered that great Elevator Pitch and the conversation has been initiated, you want to be able to follow through. A nice, knowledgeable comment goes a long way to keeping the conversational flow going.
Truth is, you never know when you might run into that person who can help you. Be prepared!
SUSAN TUCKER IS THE ARTIST PROJECT MANAGER AT KIM COPELAND PRODUCTIONS. SHE WORKS WITH ARTIST CLIENTS TO GET ALL THE T’S CROSSED AND THE I’S DOTTED FOR LAUNCHING AND PROMOTING THEIR CD PROJECTS. KCP KNOWS THAT FANTASTIC MUSIC IS JUST THE START TO A SUCCESSFUL CAREER.
FB – @producerkim