Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pitch Yourself With a Soundbite

It's all about the headline, isn't it, gentle readers? As our connected society spends more and more time online, it's all about conveying your message, complicated as it may be, in the least amount of characters.

If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense.
And, no, your MatchGirl's not just talking about Twitter.

Think about newspapers, tabloids and those trashy magazines you just can't help but pick up when you're waiting in the checkout line. Why do you pick those up? Why are you drawn to flip through them. It's the headline, of course.

The same goes for our digital world. The Tweets that are most clicked on draw the reader in - they make them want to click the link. Your MatchGirl experiments with this all the time. She will send out the same link several times a day, with a different "teaser" or headline to draw you in. And while I'm still figuring out that formula, it's a great experiment to see what tweets are opened versus how much time is spent on those posts. (If I find a perfect formula, I'll be sure to let you know.)

Now, let's get to the soundbite.
Think about what you know about the Republican presidential candidates.
Think about what you know about the demands of Occupy Wall Street or even the Tea Party Movement.
Or, to be frank, anything that's happening in the news right now.
For the most part, unless you've done some research and due diligence, what you know about this stuff has come to you in soundbites - quick and pithy, 30 seconds or less.

People are the same way.
What you know now about your friends, it's all on Facebook, or Twitter, or LinkedIn. It's the soundbites they are choosing for themselves - it's the face they put out to the world. It's the few moments of the best of them that makes you want to read further into their lives.

And the same is true in your job search. We've talked here about the 2-minute interview and we'll keep talking about it. Practicing your pitch - whether your trying to sell yourself or your product - is the best way to get your story out there. People's attention spans are short, and no it's not due to social networks or Mtv, it's because people are, most of the time, really busy trying to figure out what will be best for them. Not you. It's because they have their own agenda. It's because while they're talking to you, in the back of their minds, they are making a grocery list, or going through their agenda for the next day... even if they are paying attention (OK. Not always, but a lot of the time).

So, practice your soundbite. Think about the 30 seconds of your elevator pitch that you want people to remember most. This is your moment to shine. And most of the time, you don't get much more than that. Just a moment.

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