Okay, bloggers! Here’s something we have all been asked before: “So what is your blog about?”
And this can be a surprisingly hard thing to explain, right? How do we tell somebody ALL the amazing things we write about, topics we cover, information we convey, stories we spin, photos we feature, sponsors we support, non-profits we talk about, new items we covet, favorite things we review, videos we share, lists we compile, activities we rank, tips we pass along, smiles we create, friendships we develop… all of this and more in just a sentence or two?
This is a very common challenge for bloggers. In fact, when meeting new people who blog, I often hear them stumble over their words trying condense all the fabulous things they write about:
“I’m a mom who blogs about how to save money, do meaningful family activities, dress like a stylish housewife, increase household efficiency, and what a great brand Publix is…”
“I blog about couponing, pets, nonprofits, photography, my kids, and the Tampa Bay Bucs.”
“Ugly sweaters. I blog about ugly sweaters. Oh, and about my dysfunctional family.”
See what I mean? It can be very difficult to formulate a powerful elevator pitch that compels people to want to know more.
So, Tuesday in the Starter Studio, we listened to Carol Ann Dykes of UCF’s Business Incubation Program talk about this very subject. Her presentation was entitled “The Non-Elevator Non-Pitch” and she shared some great tips on how to create an effective pitch for any business but it also applies to blogs.
She started off by saying she didn’t like the word “pitch” because the definition of pitch is to throw something at somebody and hope to strike them out. Definitely not what you want in regards to engaging them in conversation, right? So, Carol Ann encouraged the word “boomerang” instead, as in throwing it out there and hoping it comes back to you, creating an engaging conversation.
However, in order to be effective with the boomerang, you have to throw it in the right conditions. So the next time you want to explain what your blog is about to somebody (i.e. a marketing rep for a big brand), Carol Ann had the following tips.
Know Where You Are
Find the Right Context.
Carol Ann suggested to listen more than you talk – only tell them what is beneficial for them to know. Ask key questions. Then you will know when and if it is the right time to boomerang your blog at them.
Have a Hook.
Carol Ann’s best advice? Be a little mysterious in your boomerang so people want to ask you questions about your blog.
Increase the Heart Rate.
Be sure to touch on emotion in some way. In other words, add some passion into your boomerang to create that interest.
Be Short and Sharp.
This seems kind of obvious, right? But once again, if you look at some of the elevator pitches I’ve heard about blogs, this can be kind of difficult to do. Condense down to the main meat… you don’t have to tell somebody EVERYTHING you blog about right away.
Speak the Right Language.
Don’t memorize your boomerang and then use that exact same language for each person you meet – tailor it.
Ask for Help.
If you can plant the idea of needing something in your boomerang, all the better! Don’t be afraid to make that person ask you, “How can I help?”
The Boomerang – Have a Conversation
Be prepared and practice your boomerang.
Nothing is worse that being caught unprepared. Once you see your chance, go for it!
Ditch the teleprompter.
Carol Ann was right when she said some people talk like they are trying to remember a speech they wrote… they stutter around a bit trying to remember the correct words. So, her advice is not to memorize it but rather know your material so well it flows.
Always great advice. Once you’ve thrown your boomerang, listen carefully to what is said back to you.
No Story? Rethink the Idea.
Humans thrive on stories… it’s what makes up the fabric of our culture. So look at your blog and find the story there. Why did you start it? Who do you help? Make it meaningful.
So once you have the right conditions down, and you are ready to throw that boomerang, here’s some ideas on how to state it.
Your Words Count
So, this was the most interesting advice Carol Ann gave. She listed several different ways to craft your boomerang, so as you read through them below, try to create one for your blog.
What is an interesting word that sums up your blog?
Example for FLBlogCon: “Connections.”
Again, compelling is what you are aiming for.
Example for FLBlogCon: “How do you help somebody supplement their family’s income to put food on the table?”
By far the hardest but most fun to create. This will really get you thinking!
Example for FLBlogCon:
“If learning and connections are what you’re looking to make,
FLBlogCon can help whether you blog about how to dress, buy, or bake.”
The Subject Line.
How many emails have you sent introducing your blog to a potential sponsor? Probably a ton so you can see the value in crafting a strong subject line.
Example for FLBlogCon: “Inspiring, empowering and equipping bloggers”
Okay, so can you do it in just 140 characters now?
Example for FLBlogCon: “We educate and inspire bloggers, equip them with the tools to move from hobbyist to professional, and then work to connect them with brands.”
So, did you create your own answer for each of those prompts? Hopefully Carol Ann’s information will help us all get a little better at explaining what we do.
Note: FLBlogCon has been selected to participate in the second round of the Starter Studio, an accelerator for tech start ups. For the next three months, I will be sharing the things I learn with you. Here are my previous posts:
Let’s Get It Started!
25 Things I’ve Learned in Business