by Guest Blogger, Lena West
I just love to see business-owners using technology in effective ways - especially online technology (my bailiwick). Ahhh, it does warm the cockles of my heart. (Hey, I'm a geek, whaddaya want?)
I was introduced to Laura Allen of 15secondpitch.com by John C. Havens of PodcampNYC (where I'm speaking in April). You see, Laura's "thing" is helping people to create smokin' "elevator pitches" - what she calls your 15 Second Pitch.
Now, Laura is smart ( I know this because I've spoken with her and I had the pleasure of meeting her when I recently spoke at the 2007 Small Biz Summit), she fully realizes that she can't (and probably has no inclination to) work with everyone so, she's taken the time to develop a great piece of online software that steps people through creating their very own 15 Second Pitch - using Laura's framework but without her direct help. Amazing.
There are four layers to 15secondpitch.com...and you know layers mean strategy. My favorite word! Let me break it down:
Layer 1: This is the 15 Second Pitch application itself. It helps people to create their own 15 Second Pitch.
Layer 2: To create your own 15 Second Pitch using the software at the web site, you have to create an account. And, when you create your account and are finished creating your pitch (with photo and mini-bio), you are automatically added to the 15 Second Pitch community, which means that anyone - whether they have an account or not - can see your finalized pitch. So, when Laura generates traffic for her own web site, she generates traffic, albeit indirectly, for you and your 15 Second Pitch profile. Other people who create their 15 Second Pitch get to read your profile and you theirs.
Layer 3: But, you might be asking what's in it for Laura? Well, she has a live "test bed". She can clearly see which sections of the 15 Second Pitch people have the most trouble with and weave that tidbit of knowledge into her work with clients and her own "pitch". She can also see what types of people actually finalize their 15 Second Pitches and this probably helps her to refine her target market. If she knows, for example that financial advisors tend to complete their entire profile whereas dog trainers, do not, based on deductive reasoning she can see which group is more serious about having a pitch that works and as a reuslt would probably be more serious about working with her. And, you just can't know enough about your target market. Which brings me to...
Layer 4: Now, Laura's got this great software, this community of interesting people, she's got a bead on who's committed and who's not so committed *and* she can use this information to reach out to people with profiles who could use her "golden touch" to make their pitches even more snappy. Basically Laura has created a built-in lead generation, weeding, nurturing and conversion tool - and it's all automated. How smart is she?
While Laura says it was no easy feat to get this done but, that's par for the course with anything worthwhile. She didn't let the "getting it done" stop her. Laura is not a tech expert. She is a businessperson who recognizes the power of the Internet and technology and decided to do something about it. She's also someone who didn't allow the fear of "big bad technology" to derail her business' growth.
What are YOU doing for your business online? (Hint: An ezine doesn't cut it anymore.)
What is it that you *really* wish you could do online but don't think you have the "technology know-how" to even think about it - much less actually do it? Seriously, I really wanna know.