What Is a Pitch? Why Do I Need a Pitch?

A pitch isn't just about sales. A pitch is a way of telling your story. More than that, your pitch should be authentic and tell your story in a way that compels others to learn more about your brand and your business, but also shows your excitement about your products and services. If you are truly excited about your business, that will show. You cannot fake genuine enthusiasm.

You need a pitch because a good pitch will engage your audience and make them want to do business with you. Your pitch will help determine whether you get media placement, customers, and possibly investors.

When you create your pitch, think about your audience first. You can send your pitch to the media, you can send your pitch to investors, or you can tell your pitch to your customers. In each case, you might provide a slightly different version of your story that is tailored to that individual audience. The story you send a media outlet might be about how your business is unique in the marketplace or creating a lot of jobs or doing something great for the community. Alternately, the pitch you deliver to investors should be about the profit in your business, the size of the market, and how you plan to capture that market.

Once you've identified your audience and the key points that you want to cover, you should think about the situation. Talking about your business in person is totally different than in writing. In writing, your audience has access to the entire message, but may only choose to read part of it. Or, they may choose to read the message again and again. If you are writing a pitch letter or email, convey as much relevant information as possible, but keep the message short enough to keep your reader's attention. 

If you will be meeting with someone in person, it's still important to consider the situation. Will you be at a dinner party or a business meeting? Will you have ten seconds to talk to the person or will you be presenting all day? Don't dilute the message just because you have a limited time. Put the most important information upfront, knowing that your audience may get pulled away or lose interest during a lengthy presentation. If you have all day to pitch, you can get into the details of how and why your method or product works so well.

You might come up with ten different versions for different situations and scenarios. That is fantastic. Create as many versions of your message as you need in order to reach your audience.

Then, practice them. Talk to people about your business. Meet with people about your business, and write pitch letters. Every time you practice your pitch, you'll get better at delivering it.