I've worked with startups for five years. I've never seen so much selling – and I was in advertising. I've struggled with the language entrepreneurs sometimes use when they're pitching their value proposition to investors and prospective users. I thought of that this morning when someone asked me to take a look at their new site.
Here's the thing. What does it take to be interesting? Pretend you're at a dinner party and someone asked what you do. No jargon allowed. Try to make it interesting. Talk about it without insider language that shuts people out. The jargon doesn't add credibility, it just sort of makes peoples' ears glaze over, as my friend Mimi puts it.
Discover your story to make what you do interesting. Whoever you are, whatever it is, whether you're an individual or you're talking about a product or a company, it always starts with three things (parsing Simon Sinek): what do you do, for who and why would we care?
Yesterday I was at a pitch competition that Microsoft Canada put on for the launch of their Surface3 tablet. There was a great energy in the room as the founder of Raise Your Flag bounced onto the stage for a pitch that drew us all in to their story of transformation. In less than five minutes, he'd not only nailed what they were doing, how, for who and why we'd care – he made it interesting, with 5 slides I didn't even look at. And walked away with the $10,000 prize.
Keep it simple and you've got the start of something interesting; something that's relevant and more inclusive to a broader audience. Just be like a mantra and Inspire, Inform and Invite.
Brenda van Ginkel
Every brand that is making a difference to people or the planet deserves to stand out and be noticed. I write about creative direction and brand strategy for entrepreneurs and those supporting them, packaging concepts with messaging for growth and audience engagement in a crowded, noisy digital space.