Author: Bonnie Harris

[caption id="attachment_3499" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Courtesy of Tourism Panama"][/caption] I got an email from a reader last week who was frustrated  the media wasn't responding to her pitch. Believe me, it happens to us all the time at Wax so I feel your pain! Often, it's not because the pitch is bad. Usually it's because a) the market is cluttered   b) it's hard to differentiate between you and your competitor or c) you're pitching too "big" of a publication or show to start.  I have to admit that sometimes it's because it's just not a very compelling pitch. In this post I'm going to give you a short homework assignment to uncover the REAL story behind your business...the one the media might  be looking for. Too often, people try to pitch the features of their product to the media. This only works if your product is one of a kind (think pet rock). You may think no one else makes something quite like yours, but in the eyes of a jaded editor, there are tons of products just like yours. I was pitching a new fitness DVD a few years ago and the editor at Health magazine told me she'd received 400 new fitness DVD's..just that month! So you can't write a pitch that focuses on the greatness of your product. You have to pitch the story behind YOU,  behind the product itself, or how the product relates to current events. Here are some great examples of pitches that sold tons, but focuses on the story not the product:

Like a lot of little girls, I was absolutely horse crazy starting at about the age of 6. I took horseback riding lessons, I loved burying my face in the nape of their neck and I even didn't mind mucking out the stalls.  My father was a doctor and so we had some means -  I begged him for a horse. He promised me when I turned 16, he would buy me a horse. That's the danger of a promise. People might remember that you made it.

If you run small business or you're a consultant or salesperson, you've had "that client". You know, the one that turns your stomach into knots when you see their name pop up on your phone screen. The last two years have been tough for many small businesses, and mine has been no exception. I've taken on smaller pieces of work, gone outside my wheelhouse and even put up with some abuse in order to keep Wax Marketing going and to preserve the indepedent lifestyle I have built for myself.  A couple months ago I had to take a stand however with a couple of my clients. I told them I wasn't sure their business was good for my business. And we parted ways.

The number of posts on Beth's blog this week convinced me that finding inspiration and promoting creativity in our work is something we're all interested in. How many times do have my editorial guidelines beautifully laid out, clever themes to follow and great photos but then I sit down and BLANK - there's nothing flowing. I've been fortunate to work with many writers who simply don't have time for writer's block - one MPR reporter comes to mind - who have taught me some great ways to keep moving when you have to write on a deadline. Here are my favorite ways to get back in the writing saddle:

Whether you’re a writer or not, finding the time to sit down and write is hard, especially if you're running your own business.  Finding  inspiration for writing can be even harder. If you aren’t a writer by trade, you do have the opportunity to decide exactly when and where you want to write for your blog – but there are some things that can help you prime the pump.

There are about as many interviewing techniques as there are people who conduct interviews. Everyone is different, so that provides opportunities for us to learn from one another. I hope to offer a few ideas of my own for your consideration. Some of these ideas might seem a bit odd. That’s okay, because it’s the odd stuff that gets us thinking, and if it works to our benefit, then it quickly becomes perfectly normal. So, let’s look at what some might consider odd interviewing techniques. As odd as they may seem, they can help us make a nice match between our enterprise and the candidates who make themselves available to fill positions we have to offer. Better yet, perhaps these techniques will help you find someone who can make their own position within your firm, even if you don’t have an opening. Does that seem odd? Yes? Okay, then let’s discuss that as our first of many interviewing techniques.