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Last Updated: September 21, 2020

Originally Posted: September 2, 2020

Pitching: How to explain what we do in a clear way

What is pitching?  In it's simplest form, it's explaining what we do.

Of course, the better our pitch, the better the reaction we get.  The simpler our pitch is, the easier it is to understand.

In this blog post, I will share some frameworks available online to improve our pitch.  They are from fantastic people with different business backgrounds.  

Can you explain what your business does in 1 or 2 sentences?

The number mistake I see founders making is they can't explain what their business does.

The best founders can explain in 1 or 2 sentences exactly what their business does.

They can explain it to a customer, their mother [...] they can explain it to anyone of any level of knowledge about their industry, [...]

They can do it without stumbling.

-Michael Seibel, Y Combinator

How clear is your pitch on your website?

I have personally looked at thousands of Thrive Themes websites, and very often, I am left unclear about what it's about.  I am not sure about what they do, how it could help me or someone else.  

Here's an example of a pitch where we have absolutely no idea what this business does:

We build strategic solutions with seamlessly rich granular thinking.

Buy One Today

Do not use jargon like this

So in this post, I have curated a list of resources that should help you check your own pitch and improve it.  

Of course, your pitch is not the only important thing.  We have to take into account the ads, the niche and the interactions after someone becomes a lead.  

But this blog post will focus specifically on the pitch.

Why 99% of businesses fail at pitching?

1. We do not work on it enough

The way to work on it is by doing it.  In real life, we can pitch our ideas or our business to another human and see their reaction. Online, we can publish our ideas in a written or video form.  And we can ask people what they think of it.

Y Combinator's 7 Questions

Kevin Hale from Y Combinator shares 7 Questions your visitors ask themselves when they land on your website.  

Y Combinator helps startup companies.  AirBNB and Stripe are two notable companies they have helped through their program.

Watch this video with Kevin Hale:

Watch this video with Kevin Hale

99% of time I look at people's websites [...] and there is no sentence [...] that let me understand what it is this company does.

-Kevin Hale, Partner at Y Combinator

The 7 questions are:

  1. What is this? 
    What does this business do?  
    Can your mom understand it?

  2. Is it right for me?
    Will it work for me?

  3. Is it legit?  
    Is the design decent?

  4. Who else is using it?
    Do they have clients?

  5. How much is it? 
    If it's free, what's the catch?

  6. Where can I get help?  
    Is there a human behind this?

  7. What is the call to action?
    What is the next step if I am interested?

Mike Harris with the Key Person of Influence

Mike Harris, who founded 3 multi-billion pound businesses, helps small-business owners refine their pitch.  Here's a video and a summary of his pitch architecture.

I've listened to thousands of pitches, [...] less than 1% left me interested.

"If you can't pitch, nothing works."

-Mike Harris

Here are some of the gems.

  1. Don't be boring.
  2. No business jargon.
  3. No technical jargon.
  4. Simplify it.
  5. Be clear.
  6. Be unique.  Have a product nobody else has or focus on a particular niche that you understand better than everybody else.
  7. Don't sound weird at the beginning.
  8. No silly claims.
  9. Show that you are excited about what you do.
  10. Show that you understand how tough your potential client problem is.


  1. Clarity.   A great answer to the question "What it is you do?" leaves people interested, excited and inspired.
  2. Credibility.  Why people should listen to you?  Why should they care?
  3. Relevance.  The niche for whom it is for.  Your visitor needs to understand the how hard the problem you solve.  
  4. Believability.  What is the solution?
  5. Grounded Enthusiasm.  

The Futur: Branding Basics

The Futur has a very popular Youtube channel with tons of information on design and branding.

In this video, they talk about what a good brand should have.

Building trust.

  1. Ability.  Are they able to deliver?
  2. Benevolence.  Do they care about me?
  3. Integrity.  Have some values.
  4. Identity.  How does it looks?
  5. Communication.  How do you talk?

Other items you can add or fine-tune

  1. Add videos.
  2. Show your product.
  3. Show the number of clients you have helped.
  4. Show examples of results you have created for clients.
  5. Tell a story about your clients.
  6. Tell your own story.
  7. Show proof of your results.
  8. Talk about the status quo.
  9. Talk about your own goals as a business owner.
  10. Tell when the service can be delivered.
  11. Build a sense of urgency.
  12. Build a sense of exclusivity.

Improve your pitch over time

" [...] You’re also pitching to get feedback and some of your best insights will come from your critics."
Daniel Priestly
Author of Key Person of Influence

Getting additional help

  1. Bookmark this page and keep improving the way you communicate online and in person.
  2. Show your website to other people (or verbally pitch to them) and ask their honest opinion. Ask them to describe what you do, what problem you solve and who it can benefit.  Improve your pitch over time.
  3. Have a look at our accelerator where you will be able to test and refine your pitch.
  4. Write to us to find out how we can help.
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About the author 

Denis Ethier

Thrive Themes Conversion-Focused Designer and Consultant.

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