Blog Contest Week 2 - Your Perfect Pitch

As promised in my previous entry for this contest, here's an update on my progress for the goals I outlined in Week 1. It was a bit of a struggle for me with the "Daily 5" this past week. One reason was because it was Christmas, but the bigger reason was because of the situation with our cat. The short version is our cat had been declining in health over the last few weeks and this week ended up being his last. My concern was more for making him comfortable and knowing that he was loved than it was for my own goals. Next week though, I think the goals will be a good distraction to help keep my mind off of missing my little buddy.

I was able to make some progress towards the re-design of my web site. And since Week 3 is about optimizing your site, I'm actually planning on having that goal completed by then. But for now, let's get started with Week 2 - Your Perfect Pitch.

The point of this chapter is to really help you maximize your online and offline branding, to create your own Unique Selling Point, to create something that will give your potential audience a context about you. I remember back a few years ago when I was trying to do the band thing, trying to explain to people what we sounded like. We said the typical "we sound like us" statements that so many artists say. We didn't want to be pigeon-holed into sounding like someone else. We didn't want people to think we sounded like other bands, we wanted them to think we sounded like us! Looking back at it, how foolish we were.

Humans like context. We like reference points. We like what we know. And back to my old band for a second. People are going to think what they want to. I wonder how much more effective we could have been had we had a more clearly defined strategy in place, if we would have had our "Perfect Pitch". No point in wasting time on "what if's" at this point so moving forward...

The book gives some examples of some of Ariel's client's pitches to help us get a jump start on the process. Then there was an exercise to fill out. The first part was to list out the genres that you typically play, which for me was Rock, Metal, Hard Rock, Pop-Punk and Alternative. Next was to write down all the artists that people say I sounded like. My list included the following: Sevendust, Slipknot, Foo Fighters, Breaking Benjamin, Daughtry, Nickelback, Metallica, Pantera, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani.

Next was to make a list of artists (and authors or famous people) that have influenced me. I pretty much stayed with just artists and the list included Sevendust, Mark Tremonti, Foo Fighters, Paul Gilbert, Dream Theater, and Joe Satriani. The next step was to come up with a list of feelings and vibes that I want my music to convey. The list consisted of the following: intense, emotional, anger, sadness, rage, joy, melancholy, powerful, epic, melodic, brutal and rhythmic

The next part of the process was to go back over the first steps and choose my favorites and from there, create a few words or sentences that sum me up. I chose the following as my favorites: Sevendust, Foo Fighters, Joe Satriani, intense, powerful, melodic

Now it was time to write out my pitch. And to help test it out, it was suggested we log on to I created a profile there and walked through the wizard that the site had for creating your 15 second pitch. Another term I've heard used to describe this is the "elevator pitch." Heard that term at least a dozen or so times at the TAXI Road Rally. So after going through the wizard to create your pitch, you're then shown the pitch and given a timer so you can test it out.

My first effort, which used the wizard, ended up taking me about 22 seconds to say, and it didn't feel natural. The site is geared towards businesses, and while being a musician is a business, the wizard seemed like a fill-in-the-blank kind of process. I'm sure for other people it probably worked wonders, but for me, it just didn't seem to be a good fit. But one thing it did help me realize was what NOT to do :-)

I continued to use the site and edit my pitch on the profile page I created, skipping the wizard altogether. Then I would use the timer function to see how long it was taking. After a few attempts, I finally came up with something that I felt good about. Something that I felt I could stand behind. Something that was 100% me. And just what is my Perfect Pitch? Let me tell you...

Imagine a steel cage match between Sevendust and The Foo Fighters with Joe Satriani as the referee.

The next step was to start implementing this pitch on my online and offline branding, starting with my web site's home page, myspace page, facebook page and any other social networking sites I use. Since I'm a non-performing artist, I don't really have a lot of offline branding that I'm doing, so I don't really have anything to focus on there but I have added it to my myspace profile, facebook fan page, twitter account and my web site.

Coming up for next week is Chapter 3 - Optimizing your website. The plan is for me to have my new site all finished and rolled out at the time that I post the blog for Chapter 3, probably a week from today. Actually, let's make that a definite. One week from tonight I will post the review of Chapter 3 and will go live with my updated web site. Now I gotta start planning out my Daily 5 to make sure I get it done!

Until next time...


Kelly Greene said...

Great post, Barry. I've had my pitch down for a while now, but something you said triggered a revision for me. Thanks for the unintentional help.


Big Blue Barry said...

Thanks Kelly, glad I could help :-) And since I posted that blog, I got an email from one of my old roommates from college, who's pretty much my #1 fan (other than my wife) and he actually had a suggestion for me regarding my pitch. So... I'll be making a slight revision to mine as well.

Unknown said...

Hey Barry,

I'm on Ariel's Music Success judging panel, and I just wanted to stop by and say hello. Keep up the good work!

I am also sorry to hear about your cat. I know how hard that is.

Sending you good vibes,


Big Blue Barry said...

Thanks for stopping by Carla!

- Barry