Create your musical elevator pitch:
Learn how to introduce yourself and get new people interested in your music before they even hear you. Tell them why they should care about you!
You need to be able to describe yourself or your music or your band using words, whether you are speaking to them in person or writing on your webpage or in an email….
You introduce yourself at a social occasion. After telling someone you are a musician or song writer, the first question is always “Are you in a band?” and the second is “What do you sound like?”
- A potential fan lands on your website, how do you catch their attention so they listen to your music instead of bouncing away?
- A potential fan sees a link to your music in their social media feed, how do you get them to want to click on it? (read Get More Social Love For Your Songs)
- How do you describe your song writing or your music to someone when you are first introduced?
- How do you get a journalist interested in covering your next show?
- How do you get a music industry influencer to respond to your email or phone call?
- While you are being interviewed, expect to be asked to describe your sound….
So, instead of improvising an answer and messing up that opportunity…
(I am writing on this topic because I’ve done this an embarrassing number of times)
Let’s figure out what you should say!
In business, the answer is called an Elevator Pitch or a 30 Second Pitch (wikipedia article). The name comes from a hypothetical situation: imagine you step into an elevator with a music influencer… you have 30 seconds to describe yourself and your sound, only one chance: GO!
According to the research I’ve read, when you are introduced to someone in person you have less that 30 seconds to make a first impression… and the first impression is the one that sticks, regardless of what happens later. On the internet that time drops to less than 8 seconds… I believe that most people decide to click a link before they have finished reading a full sentence of description. Take note of how you make clicking decisions the next time you check your email or surf the web.
How to communicate who you are (in 30 seconds or less)
4 Pitch Points
Your pitch needs to be:
- Something they can relate to
- Something unique and interesting
- Open enough that they want to hear more
What do you sound like? What can you say that someone can remember… how can they put a useful label on you so they have a frame of reference?
Why they should care:
Both unique and interesting… what is different about you?
In business, this is referred to as a Unique Selling Point. How are you different than everyone else? Why listen to you? What do you have that no one else does? What is special about you?
This is the start of a conversation:
Ever take part in a group conversation and someone drops a conversation killer… everyone is left looking at their feet, feeling uncomfortable? Not really what you are looking for when introducing yourself. At the end of your pitch, they should be asking themselves or better yet asking you: “How do I get some of that? Where can I listen to you?”
Not only do you want to spark interest and have them follow up, but you want them to be able to repeat it to someone else. If they forget about you, what’s the point?
How to craft your elevator pitch:
Start with some brainstorming… go get a pen and your song writing notebook. I’ll wait….
Now, write as many answers to the following questions as you can. Don’t edit yet, write everything you can think of without judgment.
- What are you trying to say or do with your music? (Spend some time with this one!)
- What style / genre do you play?
- Who are your musical influences?
- Who do you want to sound like?
- What musicians / bands / vocalists / songwriters do your fans compare you to?
- As a song writer what songs and song writers do you listen to for inspiration?
Your personal life
- What are some of the important / influential events in your personal life?
- What are some of the important / influential events from your personal life that have affected your music?
Your musical life
- What are some of the interesting events or milestones in your musical career?
- What are some of the important / influential events in your musical career?
- Who is your target audience?
Now mark / underline / star all the points you think are the most interesting or important. Focus on your sound, this is what most people are usually interested in. Save the other good stuff for your bio or for talking points once you have a conversation rolling.
- Review the list of 4 Pitch Points above
- Cut out half of your ideas to keep this short and to the point
- Start putting them together and see what you come up with
- Write a few versions
Show it or say it to somebody you trust and then revise it some more
(If you aren’t sure who to show it to… type up your best ideas and click here to email me, we will go through it together and come up with something that rocks. I’m here to help:)
To help you get started, here are a few of my elevator pitches, I have different ones depending on the situation and who I’m talking to:
Song writer – I write songs about positive personal transformation… my love songs are about finding the right person, my angry songs are about changing the situation instead complaining….
Notice: I don’t write self absorbed, lost love crying songs or complaining songs, those markets are already saturated. My characters are interested in getting better instead of being stuck, which is the same growth I expect from myself 🙂
I don’t pin down my genre or writing style because I write in several, but that’s for further into the conversation.
My sound – I sound like Chris Cornell or Dave Matthews if they were happy
I often only mention one, but both have distinctive sounds. Happy isn’t usually associated with either of them, so the conflict between the ideas works like a good song writing prompt, it causes my audience to wonder how the clash will be resolved… got to go listen to find out!
My day job – I’m an elementary music teacher… I’m the fun teacher, and the biggest kid in the room and the kids all know it.
Kind of makes you want to try it out and it makes the days go by faster when I’m having fun too!
epicsongwriting.com is a blog to help songwriters figure out their failure points, get unblocked and to write awesome songs… check it out and subscribe if it is helpful!
- Brainstorm your pitch
- Edit your pitch
- Test your pitch
- Rehearse your elevator pitch in front of a mirror, then with friends.
- Once you feel comfortable and relaxed with it, start using it on new friends, new fans and music industry contacts.
- Update it or add to your pitch whenever you get good ideas
Bonus Action Step
After you deliver your pitch in person… ask them about themselves. Find out who they are and what you might be able to do for them (instead of working on what they can do for you). Be relaxed and genuine. They might not be conscious of it, but people pick up the cues you are sending. If you are being or thinking about yourself, they will notice!
Additional reading from the web: