We’re joining 10,000 other bloggers around the word in a 31 day challenge to “Build a Better Blog”.   It’s not too late to register if you’re interested. Be sure to head over to http://www.problogger.net/archives/2009/03/25/31-days-to-build-a-better-blog-sign-up-here/

Be sure to head over to the SMCLA Facebook Group and join the discussion with all of the other SMCLA folks participating in the challenge.

Day 1: Write an Elevator Pitch for your Blog.

I headed over to the National Social Media Club’s website to remind myself of the collective mission of all SMC clubs around the nation.  (If you haven’t joined yet, you really should).

The SMC has four core missions:

  1. Expand Media Literacy
  2. Share Lessons Learned Among Practitioners
  3. Encourage Adoption of Industry Standards
  4. Promote Ethical Practices through Discussion and Actions

I decided that the SMCLA blog’s Elevator Pitch has to marry these missions with the “needs of the target audience”.  In this case, the target audience is considered SMCLA members or prospective members, and anyone nationally or worldwide who would like to benefit from the work done by SMCLA and its members.

So, without further adieu, here’s the new elevator pitch for SMCLA:
Social Media Club Los Angeles expands media literacy, shares lessons among practitioners, encourages adoption of industry standards, and promotes ethical practices through discussion and actions.

And because I felt the need to condense it to 140 chars, here’s the Twitter version:
SMCLA expands media literacy,  shares lessons, encourages adoption of industry standards, and promotes ethical practices within social media.

Did we hit all of the challenge goals?   See for yourself below.  I think it’s a good start!

  • Solve a Problem or Need – I’m a big believer in developing blogs that fulfil real needs and solve problems that people have. The problem need not be a big one (like World Peace) but you should be attempting to create something that people need on some level. Communicate this in your elevator pitch.
  • Define Your Audience – who is your blog for? Who are you attempting to attract? IF your blog is targeting a certain demographic or type of person (and it may or may not) – include this in your pitch. If your blog is for teens, don’t develop a pitch for grandparents – target the reader you want.
  • Be Clear – don’t leave people second guessing what you mean or interpreting jargon – make your elevator pitch crystal clear.
  • Keep it Short – People have limited attention spans and capacity to absorb lots of information. Get to the point, eliminate unnecessary words and make it punchy!
  • Stand Out – be willing to use humour or powerful imagery to grab the attention of those that hear your elevator pitch.
  • Be Intriguing – your elevator pitch is unlikely to ‘convert’ people to read your blog all on its own – but it should entice them to learn more. You don’t need to say everything in it – but attempt to write something that is still in the mind of those who hear it long afterwards.
  • Be Energetic but not Hyped – you convey more than just dry information when describing your blog – but you also convey what YOU feel about it. This is important – if you ‘pitch’ someone with language and a voice that is dry and uninspired you’re unlikely to convert anyone into a reader. Show people that you love what you’re doing, that you’re passionate and that you care about your topic. But don’t go too far and hype it up beyond what it is!
  • Consider Using a Question – people are wired to answer and engage with questions. Ask them, even just rhetorical ones, in your pitch and you’ll hook people in.
  • Be Ready to Expand Upon Your Pitch – at a recent conference I had someone come up and give me what seemed like an elevator pitch about their blog. It worked really well, they got me interested – so interested that I asked them to tell me more. The problem was that they didn’t really have much else to say about their blog. See an elevator pitch as a conversation opener – something designed to lead into further interaction with people. You don’t have to say it all in your initial pitch – but you should be ready to say more if people are interested.