By: Dennis Bates
Who are you?
That was a question a speaker asked at a writers’ conference I attended last week. His topic was marketing, but by the time he finished his series of classes, I was certain that his question was relevant to much more than marketing.
Who am I?
Many authors have web pages and a good many of them start out the same way: Welcome to my web page. The speaker contended that rather bland first line bores a lot of people and they move on to other pages before they even look at the second sentence of our page. If that’s true then a lot of us are wasting our time and money.
The purpose of a web page is to draw people in and get them to stay and read what you have to say. If you sell books from your web page, as I do, you want people to take a look at your books and perhaps buy one. If you write a blog like this from your web site, you want people to turn to it and read it.
You want potential readers to read your first sentence and say figuratively, if not literally, tell me more. Your second sentence should lead to the third and so on, but a reader won’t go anywhere if you don’t draw them in from the very beginning.
The speaker suggested that our first sentence should tell the reader in a compelling way who we are and why they might want to listen to us. Before we can tell a reader who we are, we have to be able to answer the question our self, briefly and in an interesting and compelling way.
If we have only 10 to 15 seconds to tell somebody something that makes them want to know more, how are we going to do it? The world and the people in it move too fast these days to give us any more time than that. Perhaps they shouldn’t be, but the fact is, they are.
In writing circles that’s called the elevator pitch line. It assumes you are riding in an elevator with the agent or editor who can change your writing forever, get you published and on the way.
You have from the first floor to the third floor to tell that person one or two short sentences that will make them want to know more about you and your writing projects.
What will you say?
Less is more. The same thing applies to our web pages, and I think to our Christian witness. To develop your elevator pitch to witness to others, you need to first know who you are and who He is. What does He mean to you? Then you need to know what you will say about that, keeping in mind that the first sentence is the crucial one and even after that less is more.
You have just punched the elevator button for the third floor and you are headed up. You have 15 seconds at most. Quick. Who are you? What will that say about Him?