Monday, October 19, 2009

What a 30-Second Commercial Can Do For You

DALLAS (KERA) - In one of our recent Economy segments, we offered tips on the 30-second elevator commercial. We offered counseling if you who wanted to send us your own. A listener stepped up, and here's what happened. KERA's Bill Zeeble reports

Bill Zeeble, KERA reporter: For Dallas native and commercial art director Heather Ezell, this economy has taken a toll.

Heather Ezell: My situation is, I was laid off a year ago, & started my own business.

Ezell is confident she's good at what she does - helping clients advertise and market their products. But she admits she's not so good at marketing herself.

Ezell: I'm rotten at this. Most friends tell me. Heather - you can't sell yourself, girl.

So after hearing KERA's story, she emailed her job pitch for a review by Scott Peek. He is an experienced trainer of these personal, 30-second commercials. He says the goal is to start a conversation that could connect to a hiring manager and a job you want. Ezell's first try, he says, didn't offer enough specifics. He says the pitch should always start with your name and what you do.

Scott Peek: The second thing you do is you want to talk about the value you could bring or have brought to clients. The third thing you do then is how you would do that with future clients. The fourth one is where you want to do your work and the help you need.

Here is one of Ezell's first attempts.

Ezell: Hello, I'm Heather Ezell and I'm an art director and I specialize in branding and strategy. I brainstorm potent, creative marketing strategy to expand opportunities for my client's business. I mentor everyone involved throughout a project fostering a healthy enthusiasm for their new direction, and most importantly, results. I want to work with businesses big or small that have an appetite for effective ideas which stretch creative limits and wake up their audience.

Peek praises Ezell's commercial. Now he says she needs to include another element.

Peek: Giving the person you're talking to a way for them to help you. What are the areas of help
Ezell help that you can give me?
Peek: Yes, yes.
Ezell: And how do I ask that?

Working together, Peek and Ezell conclude small, young businesses in Southern Dallas, near Ezell's office, would be her ideal clients. She's now working with a specialty medical company and wants to build on that.

Ezell: And their primary goal is to get in front of surgeons. To get their message across. That's a hard nut to crack. And so I'm working with them to go in a bunch of different directions to get in front of surgeons.

Ezell reworks her script, this time adding that client information to the end.

Ezell: For example I've worked with a company called medCAD, and their goal is to reach surgeons. I work with them to go in very unusual directions, to get in front of surgeons to get their message across.

Scott : So what help do you need?
Ezell: I need help finding those different small businesses that have a little bit unusual need in their marketing.
Peek: So let's take this further. So if you had a target area, what geography would you be targeting first?
Ezell: Downtown and Oak Cliff.
Peek: See how the conversation starts?

The whole session between Peek and Ezell lasted about half an hour. Ezell says she now feels more prepared to sell herself.

Ezell : I'm going to take what I learned here. And obviously refine my statement. So that it is a conversation when I state it, it is a "Hi how do you do," ...and this is what I do.

Peek gives his student high praise. Ezell is feeling ready to go, hoping these new skills lead to more people who could then lead to good job prospects. Bill Zeeble KERA news.
Bill Zeeble (2009-10-19)

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