Just like any successful entrepreneur you will need to practise your ‘elevator pitch’ – that is, the way you explain your work in 30 seconds or less. This is an important skill to master even when you are in the early days of building your community and generating curiosity in your author name, and brand, and website.
You might even benefit from an early purchase, distributor, or professional publisher, because of your effective and memorable 30-second pitch!
- Communicate what the story is in the time it takes to hop into the elevator at ground, and explain it to a person before they hop out at the 6th floor
- Leave it short and sweet and leave the people wanting to find out more
- Hand out your card with your phone number and website if asked
- Ensure your website is optimised with keywords, relevant and repetitive information and regular blogging activity (search engine optimisation), so if someone searches your name or the title of your book, they will find you.
So as an example, here is what I would say to someone if they asked me what I do:
“I’m an author. I write Joanna Becker books for children to improve their health and understanding of life, but unlike a lot of kids’ books where the parent can understand the moral of the story, and the main message sort of goes over the kid’s heads, I make it easy for kids with Q and A’s, bright illustrations and interaction. One is called Dusty’s Wonder Bug, and another is Max’s Bright Fly. Yes, they do have a lot of fun with it.”
Often a listener will reply with a compliment and also a question.
Brainstorm the kinds of question you may receive after you explain your bio, and be prepared with a simple and confident reply you can deliver with a smile (and hopefully also your business card).
For example, I often receive the question, ‘Are you a teacher then?’ to which I can reply:
“No, I’m not a teacher; I’m a professional writer.”
Remember – a great conversation will often leave the other person wanting to know more. Don’t aim to fill in all the gaps and be overly generous with making them feel comfortable. Finish with an awkward silence, as I have above (instead of “lovely to meet you!” or “how about you?”).
By finishing with a simple short sentence and full stop, they will feel like they need to speak again.
They will often talk about you to the next person they run into.