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Introduction to Pitch SitesWant great leads? Get ’em yourself.

The Leads Problem

Let's face it: you don't have enough quality leads. Most salespeople are left on their own, but even if you do have support from marketing, you end up with a mess of bad leads. The more junk you have at the top of the sales process,the less value you have at the bottom.

  • You're stuck finding your own leads, which takes too much time and effort.
  • Your website's messages are too broad; they're telling the company story, not yours
  • You know how to pitch yourself, but all you have is email and phone calls to do it.
  • It's too hard to get your individual offer out there and it's impossible to quickly test different approaches to see what works.
  • It takes weeks and a whole web team to get something simple online (and it costs too much.)

The Solution

To get quality leads, you need a totally new way to get yourself out there—a way to target the perfect customer with your clear proposition. It's time to step up your game: welcome to Pitch Sites. Crushpath lets you get your pitches and offers online instantly,then lets you use them to get your own leads in the fastest way possible.

What Are Pitch Sites?

  • They're custom web pages that belong to you, the individual salesperson.
  • They capture leads.
  • They're targeted; you can have one general Pitch to drive awareness and additional specific Pitches built around targeted buyer situations.
  • They organize the leads they capture into one place so you can respond,filter, and manage.
  • They get your name out there, your offer seen, and your network selling for you. It's as if your business card, Linkedin account, and PowerPoint had a baby.

How Are Pitch Sites Used?

Pitch sites drive general awareness of what you're doing, they generate leads directly, and they improve any of the marketing you are currently doing now.

Use them everywhere

  • You'll get a public URL for each pitch site, which you can name yourself.
  • You can add links to your Pitch Site from your email signature and online profiles (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc.)

Amp Up Your Outbounding

  • Send them to prospects (you'll really stand out from other salespeople.)
  • Include them in your email blasts.
  • Use them for follow-up (like a business card for the 21st century)

Get Discovered

  • Your can post your Pitch Site(s) on social networks so that your friends and your friends' networks can help you get the word out.
  • When people visit your Pitch Sites they can promote the page with a click and help you spread the word.
  • They're optimized to be search-friendly to help people find you.

How to Build a Pitch Site?

It's time to build yours. This document will help you create a kick-ass pitch. Start by building your general pitch (the one you can use everywhere).

The Goals of Your Pitch Site:

  • Potential customers should read it and say, "Ah! I haven't thought of it that way."
  • The first one should be something you can use for any type of customer (your other Pitch Sites will be more targeted.)
  • Your Pitch Site should be buzzword-free, and insanely clear.
  • It should make your competitors sick to their stomachs.

The HeaderThe hardest part of a great Pitch Site is the headline. It needs to be remarkable— something that people feel compelled to spread. That means it should be short, clear, memorable and provocative.

Headline

A good headline has a great hook, a narrow focus, jumps right into the story, and speaks to customers in a way that advertising and corporate messaging doesn't. Sound tricky? Here's how:

Your Hook

There are some tried and true ways to provoke people into taking action: fear, gain, being different, controversy, introducing something "new," and going below the belt (innuendo)—they're all great human bait. Remember: be specific!

Fear

Fear is one of the strongest motivators. Expose the risk that people face in missing the opportunity you are presenting them. Tricks in using fear- based headlines:

  • Make sure the consequence of not taking action is severe, but not exaggerated or you'll lose credibility.
  • Make your audience feel that the problem is relevant to them. Tell them why they should care.
  • Provide a specific action your audience can take to prevent the situation from happening
  • Make the solution feel easy to do.
fearimage1.jpg fearimage2.jpg

Gain

Promise success. People want to succeed, so paint a picture of what life looks like with your solution in place.

gainimage1.jpg gainimage2.jpg

Difference

Being different can be as easy as providing a new frame for what you're offering. People pay attention to things they have not heard before. Don't say what others are saying. Find the point of view that makes you different from the rest.

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Controversy

Be controversial. Be scandalous. People tend to avoid this kind of stuff, but it forces a choice and makes people take a side. If you can back it up, go for it.

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New

We humans love new things. We want to try them. Introduce something to provoke action. New is news.

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Sex

You've heard it before: sex sells. Sure, people pay attention to suggestive marketing, but they're not motivated by it unless you promise that sex appeal for your customer.

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Voice

You always want to sound like yourself. Never speak in buzzwords or corporate speak. It's boring, meaningless, and turns people off. They want to know the specific value you're offering, why they should care, and what it would be like to work with you. Most people use industry-speak instead of plain-speak and customers don't get it. Put yourself in your customers' shoes and think about what they want. Then communicate in a way that would make sense to them.

Focus

The headline should be short and situation-specific. It can't be too broad or it won't mean a thing. If you're a real estate agent who often focuses on medical office space, then leverage that focus instead of focusing on the broad story:

Example: "I'm the only agent who specializes in first-time dental and medical practices."

Length

Get rid of your first 5-6 tries. They'll be too obvious, broad, or buzzwordy. Most companies explain what they're about instead of focusing on what the customer wants. Break this habit if you want to seduce a reader with a headline.

Here's an example: our CEO Sam Lawrence wants the world to know:

  • Crushpath Pitch Sites replace long-winded phone calls and emails
  • Most lead generation is wasted effort
  • The Pitch Site puts you in charge of getting leads
  • Pitch sites give you a real edge

He doesn't list that stuff in his headline. He goes right for it: he implies all these values and shows personality by how he says something instead of only relying on what he is saying.

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Not only is it short and sweet, but also it packs a healthy dose of scandal and has a built in mnemonic device in that it rhymes. Provocative for sure. Be brave!

Recap

The headline for your pitch is the hardest part.

It isn't:

  • An advertisement—it's your story.
  • Something that would appear on your website or product—it's more specific.
  • What someone else would say.
  • Full of buzzwords.

It is:

  • Written in plain-speak.
  • Provocative.
  • About a specific value.
  • Written from a definite point of view.
  • Built around a need.

The Banner Photo:An image is worth a thousand leads.

For your banner photo, you want a picture that grabs attention. This means nothing generic; no meaningless business stock photo. The image should work with your headline and give it a punch. When the photo and text work together they tell a story.

Where to Find Your Photo:

  • Creative Commons licensed photos: many users on sites like Flickr, Photobucket, and Shutterfly, have chosen to offer their work for free under Creative Commons licenses. Finding these photos can be as simple as entering "CC flickr" into a search engine. Pay attention to the different licensing agreements, as most require attribution and some are unavailable for commercial use.
  • iStock: you can access a massive library of royalty-free stock photography on iStock. Purchase the rights to your image for as little as $25.
  • Personal photography: don't forget about photos you or your company owns. Perhaps if you're a real estate agent, it makes the most sense to use the banner photo space to display a property you're selling.

The AvatarLooking real means looking good.

The slicker your photo, the less approachable you look. Don't make it look like a high school class picture. Use your Linkedin avatar or just a nice candid (not looking right at the camera) picture of yourself. Don't forget that higher resolution offers the best results. If you want to take a photo of yourself, here are some rules.

Lighting

Stand as close as possible to a natural light source. If it's morning or evening, go outside. Photographers call dawn and twilight the "magic hours" because the light is great for shooting. If you stand outside at noon you'll get ugly shadows under your eyes and nose.

Background

Choose a background that is light in color and isn't busy. Don't stand directly in front of a wall or other surface; instead, try to put at least 4 feet between you and the nearest object behind you. Hopefully you'll be in focus while the background becomes blurred.

Framing

You want your head and shoulders to be in the picture. This is classic for a headshot. Rotate your body slightly away from the camera and tilt your head toward it. Have the person who is taking the photo (sometimes your other hand) work to fill at least 1/4 of the frame with your head.

Shooting

Take 15 and choose the best one. Try some looking at the lens, but careful not to look creepy. Open your eyes and smile. Take some looking away, too. Candid shots look best.

Cropping

When you have the one you want to use, open it with a computer program and crop it into a square (if this sounds confusing, don't worry, we'll take care of automatically fitting it for you.) Don't put yourself in the exact middle of the picture; instead, divide the area into thirds vertically and horizontally. Crop so that your eyes are positioned about where the uppermost horizontal "dividing line" would cross either vertical axis. See example of thirds below:

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The Pitch ProperPitch Sites are the Internet's equivalent of an elevator pitch.

You've heard of the elevator pitch. The concept is great, even though many are horrible. Pitch Sites are brief, compelling and clear, but never give that trapped- in-an-elevator feeling. Instead of wanting to take the stairs, customers will actually want to hear what you have to say.

The First Line of your PitchAnswer a question or question an answer.

The first line of your pitch should work with your headline. It's the second thing that people are going to read. Once you hook them with your headline what are you going to say?

Answer the question your headline raises. If your headline reads more like an answer, then the first line can be the question that takes the customer to the next step in qualifying. Think of them as two parts of one story.

The Pitch

Communicate a Big Problem

People buy solutions to their problems. If you sell something, you already know this. Where you place the problem is up to you, but make sure your pitch addresses the big problem that you solve.

You can add value by delving into the problems that your customers face. Big problems evoke an emotional response, they cause a debate, a disagreement on the solution, they're memorable, and they motivate people. The bigger the problem, the more people spend.

Keep Interest

All that work we did focusing on the headline works here too. The first or last sentence in any paragraph works just like a headline; excite people with one of the provocations: make them laugh; make them think; give them personality, and then use the rest of the paragraph to delve deeper. Keeping interest means being concise. Pretend you're paying $100 per word. That should help you cut the copy and keep things tight.

A Good Match

Some salespeople think every lead makes a good match. That's what got us into this mess in the first place. When trashy leads get into the pipeline, sales suffer. The clearer you are about what makes the right fit for your solution, the more qualified your leads will be.

This is also a space to show people what you can do for them. A good fit might be someone who wants what you've got.

Example: A good match is a company with 1,000 people or more, that needs an IT solution that's going to shave 50,000 dollars off their annual expenditures— without sacrificing quality."

(This is an optional section; uncheck the box if you want it to disappear.)

Offer and Sales Cycle

The optional sections "My Offerings" and "My Sales Cycle" can be customized to what you do. "My Offerings" is great for any situation that you sell into. You can rename the section to represent anything (e.g. "My Classes:" "Our Products:" "7 Things to think about).

Instead of saying: We discuss any questions you may have about our product, as well as provide additional informational materials that relate to your business type. Then we perform a cost analysis on your current payment processing methods.
Say: We have helped lots of businesses like yours achieve success so we can show you exactly how to double your ROI. Our cost analysis will show you exactly where you're missing out and it only takes a second.

(This is an optional section; uncheck the box if you want it to disappear.)

The Sidebar The sidebar of your pitch contains share buttons, stats, and other support for your pitch.

Share Buttons

Turning on share buttons allows people to easily share your pitch with their networks. When editing the share buttons section, click the icons to turn each sharing option on or off. A green check means it will display on your pitch site.

Getting shares is Pitch Site gold. The more remarkable and clear your pitch site is, the more it will be shared. Retitle the share button section with a direct call to action that connects to your offer.

Example: Tell colleagues about IT solutions for education Not hiring? Tell someone who is about recruiting services Tell your girlfriends about bachelorette party options

Make selections based on your business. For example, a limo driver who specializes in bachelorette parties probably doesn't need to make his page sharable on LinkedIn; however, for an IT sales rep, LinkedIn is an important avenue.

If you select email sharing, type in the email address where you want to receive inquiries. Choose a subject line so you know you've received an email from your Pitch Site.

Video

Adding video is easy. Just paste the YouTube URL and write a title for the section. If your company has created a video, you can put it here. If not, find a video that highlights the problem you solve. (This is an optional section; uncheck the box if you want it to disappear.)

Latest Updates

Here is where you can tell potential customers about your latest activity or even testimonials. Think of it as a place to show recent things you've done for customers.

Example: "Just helped a small business reclaim all of their data lost due to a fire. There are some things insurance just can't replace!"

(This is an optional section; uncheck the box if you want it to disappear.)

Stats and Badges of Honor

People want to see you've helped others achieve success. The badge of honor section is for photos of individual customers or logos of the companies you have worked with. You can find logos and headshots on Linkedin. You can also add links that direct people to other websites. (This is an optional section; uncheck the box if you want it to disappear.)

Promotion Now that your site is built, it's time to get leads. Here are some of the ways you can get them.

Email Your Pitch Site

Prospects

You already have a list of prospects, so send a short email to them with a link to your new Pitch Site. A short message will really stand out from those long- winded, marketing-generated emails they usually get. Just keep it short and friendly like this:

Example: "Hi Tom, Instead of a long email, I actually built this page for you. Can you let me know what you think? (insert link)"

Follow Up

What better recap than a short note and link to your Pitch Site? Maybe you've met someone for the first time or maybe it was a long chat. Either way, send a follow-up email and a link to your Pitch Site.

When People Search, They Find You (SEO)

Nearly all leads start by searching Google for a solution. You need to be there when they do. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. Search engines decide which pages to display based on an algorithm that scores things like keywords and links. While we've already built the pages to be SEO optimized, here are some things you can do to improve your rankings:

Keywords

Search engines find pages by looking for words on your page that people are searching for. This means that you want to imagine what your customers are searching for when looking for your product and include those words in the Pitch Site. You can even sign up for Google Adwords and search to see which search terms are strongest. There is a "sweet spot" for the placement of these words and the number of times they are repeated. Get them into as many of the headlines as possible. Hitting this sweet spot of about 3-5 mentions of the word (in real sentences) will get you the best results.

Linking

The more sites that link to your Pitch Site, the better. When a site has a lot of links pointing to it, it gains "authority" in the search engine world. That means it's more likely to rank in the top search results. This is why adding a link to your site from your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter profiles and email signatures is important.

Placed to Put Your Pitch

Email Signatures

Every time you send an email, you have the opportunity to pitch someone. Just create an email signature that includes your pitch URL. In most email clients, you can adjust your signature in the preferences section. Make sure people know what the link is, tell them "Check out my pitch here."

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Linkedin

You can get the double whammy on LinkedIn. Not only can you share it as a status update and get your whole network to ogle it, you can list it in your header for an extra link, and to make sure that people who view your site get to your pitch.

Sharing

To share your pitch as a status update, simply click Promote from the Pitch Site editor in Crushpath. A dialogue box appears with your URL, fields to enter email addresses, and one-click share buttons. Choose the in icon for LinkedIn. If you are not signed in to LinkedIn, enter your login information. Confirm share.

Adding Your Pitch to Your Contact Info

To put it in your Linkedin profile click the profile tab, select edit profile from the dropdown. Select Edit Contact Info next to the folder icon. Find websites and click the pencil icon. Enter your Crushpath Pitch URL in one of the three fields and click save.

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Facebook

Sharing

To share your pitch as a status update, simply click Promote from the Pitch Site editor in Crushpath. Choose the f icon for Facebook. If you are not signed in to Facebook, enter your login information. Confirm share.

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Adding Your Pitch to Your Contact Info

From your Facebook profile, click about beneath your header. Click the pencil icon in the contact info box. In the field for website, paste your Pitch URL. Click Save.

Twitter

Sharing

To tweet your pitch site, simply click Promote from the Pitch Site editor in Crushpath. Choose the bird icon for Twitter. If you are not signed in to Twitter, enter your login information. Click the tweet button.

Adding Your Pitch to Your Contact Info

From Twitter, click the gear icon in the top right corner. From the dropdown, select edit profile. Paste your Pitch URL in the field for website. Click Save Changes.

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When to Post:

Research suggests that weekday mornings, and just after lunch are the best time to share on social networks. At these times, many people are getting to work and returning from lunch, so they usually do a scan of their feeds.

How to Ask for Shares:

Asking people to share your pitch site is perfectly acceptable. When you post on Facebook or LinkedIn, you can let people know that you want them to share with their networks. On Twitter, you can ask for a RT (retweet). Asking people a question makes this easy:

Example: "RT if you know someone in IT that needs love.

Get Help from Marketing.

Remember all those materials and campaigns that Marketing creates? Maybe not. So go chat with them and tell them that you'd like their help inserting your Pitch Site URL as many places as possible. Talk to them about how to use your page to get more leads.

If Marketing Can't Help, Try Online Advertising.

If you want to get even more eyes on the Pitch, there are lots of places across the web where you can buy CPC (cost per click) ads. By signing up for these and setting them to take people to your Pitch, you'll be able to drive even more traffic. Some to try: Google Ad Words, Facebook Ads, and LinkedIn targeting.

Twitter and Facebook both give you the option to pay a small fee to promote your tweets or updates. Promoting on Facebook is as easy as clicking promote (found below a recently shared update).

To promote on Twitter, click advertise at the bottom of the left-hand sidebar from the Twitter homepage. Once you set up an account, you can promote a Tweet that contains the link to your Pitch site.