1. Pitching Your Story
If you are familiar with startups, you may already know the concept of pitching. In a nutshell, sharing the story of your business idea either in speech or presentation format with various sets of the information under a specified time limit is pitching.
In the case of social media, what matters is a quick pitch that can be delivered in under 30 seconds and covers the following:
- Why do you do what you do? — The purpose
- How do you do it? — The benefits
- What do you do? — The solution
This is primarily inspired by the theory of the “golden circle” by Simon Sinek. You may look him up to learn more or check out this Ted Talk.
The best part is that you can use a short pitch to sell an idea or product to your clients or end consumers and even share what you do for a living in a very impressive way.
Creating this captivating story is an art form and will surely feel like a daunting task. So let’s break it down in the next sections.
2. Understanding Purpose
Your purpose is your “why”, it gives you or your brand a direction to move towards. It gives the perspective of what is important and what needs to be prioritized.
Identifying your purpose is simply to create a clear and compelling sense of why you do what you do.
A purpose is an aspirational reason to exist which adds value to people while inspiring them.
It also helps align the internal teams to a common purpose and becomes the guiding light for every decision made — strategy, content development, marketing, etc.
A study conducted by Jim Stengel, former P&G global marketing director, on data collected over ten years and across 50,000 brands, found that companies with a purpose focused on adding value to human lives grew three times faster than their competitors.
Make sure your purpose is real, believable, and inspires trust. You must walk the talk.
3. Identifying Your Purpose
Most of us do not start any initiative with a purpose in mind and that’s OK. Most accounts make the mistake of focusing only on the “what” in the bio and in all the content. It’s a common mistake because initially we only know what we want to do.
Below is a step-by-step approach to find your purpose:
- You already know what you want to do.
- Ask yourself why you want to do it.
- Does the answer add value to human lives and desires? If not, go to step 2.
- Does it excite you and motivate you? If not, go to step 2.
- Give it a week, it still excites you? If not, go to step 2.
- You have the “why”, the purpose.
Remember it’s not set in stone. Whatever you have at the end of the week, just go with it. You can always come back to it. It can be short and sweet or a statement. Let’s look at some examples:
- IKEA: “To create a better everyday life for people.”
- Tesla: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
- Airbnb: “Belong anywhere.”
- TED: “Spread ideas.”
4. Defining the Value-Add
The idea behind any kind of initiative, be it personal, social, or business, is to add value to people’s lives either by enhancing it or fulfilling their purpose or desires.
Value-add is the outcome of actions you take to fulfill the promise of your “why”. Remember the key is to communicate the benefits (outcomes) your audience would realize.
Use the steps below to get to a crisp value proposition:
- Think about what would happen if someone uses your solution.
- Make a list of whatever comes to your mind. The more the better.
- Identify the ones which communicate your unique approach. What makes you stand out from other similar providers and gives you the competitive edge.
- See what fits well with your “why”.
- Keep the one you like the most.
- IKEA: To offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.
- Tesla: To prove that people didn’t need to compromise to drive electric — that electric vehicles can be better, quicker, and more fun to drive than gasoline cars.
- Airbnb: Where people can live in a place, instead of just traveling to it.
- TED: Dedicated to researching and sharing knowledge that matters through short talks and presentations.
5. The Final Pitch
It’s all about messaging and the idea is to follow the golden circle.
- First, tell people why you do what you do — this inspires people and will help you relate to your early adopters. They become your fans and feel like they are part of your journey.
- Second, tell people how you add value — what are the benefits people get out of what you do. This gives the opportunity to get buy-in on your products and services from your audience.
- Third, tell people what you do — If the first and second are compelling enough, your audience will not think much about it. They will have enough trust to support you in every endeavor.
Let’s look at a complete example of how to create a pitch from my own recent experience:
“I want to sell a course on how to gain followers on Instagram.”
“Because the world needs more creators and I want to help them grow their audience.”
“By providing 500+ hours of research and experiments in easy to consume frameworks.”
“Instagram course suitable for beginners.”
After wordsmithing, the final pitch is:
As the world needs more creators, I want to help creators grow their audience by providing hours of research and experiments in the form of executable frameworks suitable for beginners.
The beauty of creating a pitch is manifold:
- It gives direction to all the following activities and decision-making.
- It gives direction on the design, content strategy, and execution.
- Above all, it helps to create a mission.
Instagrumpy's mission: To help one million creators grow their audience in the next five years.
Don’t be in a rush. It is a process and takes time, but if you create a pitch before embarking on your social media growth journey or any other business for that matter, it will increase your chances of success.
Remember, this is a powerful tool and with great power comes great responsibility. So make sure you do not cheat your audience and always strive to add value to their lives. After all, it’s all about win-win.
Recap: To craft a great pitch, follow these steps.
- Identify your purpose.
- Explain how you will add value.
- Create a compelling message.
- Repeat the process to hone your message.
Based on what you read above, try creating a persuasive story and if you feel like getting feedback, then just post it in the comments.