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If that question—”What do you do?”—sends you into a remarkably accurate impersonation of a deer in headlights, you’re not alone. Here are a few ideas for creating a perfect pitch, whether it’s for you, your project or a business.

INVESTIGATE what is of value to your existing and past clients by asking yourself the following:

How would you describe the benefits of working with you?
What is your favorite problem to solve?
Who is your ideal client?
The idea is to find out why you are particularly good at what you do or how your business works.

PAN FOR GOLD. Now that you’ve collected your research, go back through and find out what stands out. What words, ideas or even feelings repeat? You’re now identifying your core message. If you get stuck, go through your feedback from clients or testimonials.

LEAD with the benefits. “I [solve x problem] for people who [y]” instead of, “I design x for y or z.” A good pitch makes it easy for your ideal client to know you are right for them and for the folks who aren’t your potential clients to refer clients to you.

FOLLOW these real-life examples, drawn from people I’ve worked with:
BEFORE: I’m an interior decorator for architects.
AFTER: My passion is creating elegant, functional design for architects within budget and ahead of deadline.
BEFORE: I make it affordable to look good by building client’s identity from the ground up.
AFTER: My passion is helping small businesses look good, because their success is built on more than a logo!

CONGRATS! You have investigated, that means that you are telling the truth, so you won’t be bragging. Because you’ve looked for gold, you’ve identified the images and themes that are “sticky” and fun for you, and will be interesting to others. Since you lead with the benefits, you have succeeded in making your pitch all about THEM, not you. You got feedback, so you know you are telling a compelling story, people LOVE stories. Way to go. Now, get pitching!

Dyana Valentine looks closely at and works intensely with clients who are truly ready to make their projects happen and their businesses grow. Learn more about her and how she can help you get your PitchPerfect! on

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