30 Seconds to Seal the Deal

Three types of winning pitches

One of the most important tools in your marketing kit is your 30-second pitch. By the time you finish a ride on an elevator, you should have sealed the deal. Here are three types of winning pitches and ways to woo potential fans, managers, agents, labels and other artists.

elevator pitch words on touch screen interface1. The comparison pitch

This is the most obvious pitch. If you work in a particular genre of music, such as rock, and you’re trying to sound like other bands out there, simply list a number of bands that your band sounds like, and if possible add a twist.

“We’re in the same vein as the Foo Fighters, The Killers and Kings of Leon, only we have female lead and backing vocalists.”

2. The genre description

If you’d rather not compare your band to other bands, focus your pitch on your specific genre — the category with a shared set of conventions that your music belongs to — and provide additional description that gives people an idea of what’s unique about your music.

“We’re a British, three-piece alternative rock band that writes antiwar songs and supports various political causes.”

3. The genre blend

Want to be a renegade and forge new ground in an otherwise saturated industry? To stand out from the masses, make music that brings together the best of more than one genres. Create your own genre mix.

“We’re a jazz metal band that layers melodic jazz vocals over a metal guitar and drum foundation.”

Provide stats about your fan base

No matter which pitch you choose, start your pitch with your band name and repeat it at least once. Be sure to wrap up with any impressive statistics about your ability to sell-out venues or your sizeable fan base on social media.

“Taser Haters are a five-piece noise-pop indie band based in Chicago. We have a strong local following, sell-out small venues, and Taser Haters have more than two million friends on our Facebook page.”

After your pitch, always have a business card-size card with your band’s name, website and social media sites that you can hand to a potential convert.

Keep it upbeat

Whether you make your pitch in an elevator, bar or on the street, try to make a lasting impression — in a good way. Shock value is fleeting, and being annoying or lacking confidence won’t seal a deal with anyone.

Pitches to avoid:

  • We’re like drone metal on crack, and we usually just wing our set list.
  • We sound kind of like Mars Volta with some Jay-Z hip-hop over top, only we’re not even half as good as either of them.
  • Our lo-fi indie band is usually so late to our gigs that we never get a sound check.
  • Our lead singer is kind of a junkie, but it’s no big deal.

To win new fans — and gigs — pitch don’t bitch, and you’re golden.

Tamara Halbritter is a San Francisco Bay Area freelance writer and editor who develops content for music, transportation and green industries.

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