I grew up on The Beatles. That was my time. Your musical influences may include the incomparable Beyoncé or Bruno Mars or Drake or Coldplay or Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood. For the purpose of this discussion it makes no difference who you idolize musically. [I promise I’m gonna get to the point—and, yes, it has to do with personal promotion—so stay with me.]
I have a friend who at one time was ‘all that’ in the music business in Los Angeles. I’ll call him “H.” This was in the late 1960’s. At the time H was in his late-20’s; a producer/engineer/owner in one of the most prominent studios of the day and, as a result, he owns several platinum and gold records earned working with some of the biggest acts of that time—acts, I will add, that you would recognize today.
He told me the story about being young, single, successful and living in the Hollywood Hills when he was invited to a party. He shares with me that he knew he was a big deal; he had the house, the new Mercedes—you get the picture. Bling was bling back then, too!
H arrives at the party, leaves his car with the valet and is greeted at the door by the host who then turns and introduces him to Paul McCartney who is on his way out the door.
I asked my buddy, H, “What did you say?” He tells me he was in such awe that he didn’t say a damn thing after “Pleased to me you.” He told me his chin dropped to his chest as he watched Paul McCartney walk away while thinking what do you say to someone who genuinely impacted your entire life and career?
The point? This was that elevator pitch moment. It HAPPENS! Had he been ready he might have been able to create a business relationship; ask him to drop by the studio; speak to his accomplishments to include the names of those recording artists he had worked with who Sir Paul would have recognized (Yeah, I know. He wasn’t Sir Paul, yet. He was just plain-old-Beatles Paul back then.) He wasn’t prepared. H was living inside his own head thinking that if HE knew he was such a big deal certainly everyone else did too, right?! WRONG! Here I go again getting up on my soapbox: Your Work Does Not Speak for Itself. You Do!
Besides not doing any business (which, contractually, he may not have had a shot at) H didn’t even get to talk with the man who to this day STILL sells out venues worldwide.
The idea here is for you to seek out and maintain, top of mind, that one ‘universal accomplishment’ that you would want to share given the opportunity. Practice it. I’m not kidding. Think about what you would say, without stuttering, if you ran into _________ (fill in the blank with the name of the person, no matter their profession, that you would most like to meet who could move your career) and play it over in your mind. Turn off your phone and music while driving sometime and think this one through. BTW, if you believe that you have 1 minute to ‘elevator pitch’ that’s a crock! That’s just plain bad information. (Take a minute and time it. Longer than you thought, huh?! Now try talking for a solid minute and be impressive.) The reality is more like 15 to 20 seconds; 30 max. Be succinct. Make it count.
P.S. I know EXACTLY the question I will ask Sir Paul when I ‘meet him.’ It’s a great question, and for what it’s worth, it so good it will also work when I meet Bruno Mars or you!
To your success!