Pitch Ideas: A Time-Saving Template

Pitch Ideas: A Time-Saving Template

Need to pitch ideas? Pitcherific is very clever. It offers a simple, free pitch template you can use, right in your Web browser. And, to ensure that you’re not taking too much time on it, there’s a timer too.

What’s a pitch?

A pitch is a sales tool. It’s a presentation. It can be as short as an elevator pitch, which takes a minute or two, or it can be a huge, glitzy presentation.

I like Pitcherific’s tool, because it outlines the basic elements of a pitch: your hook, the problem faced by your audience, your solution, and the “close”, which you should think of as the “call to action.”

When should you pitch?

The short answer: do it more. I work with writers and marketers, and very few (think one in a thousand) do enough pitches. I include myself in the group too. We know that we should pitch more, but we just don’t.

An example. I was browsing the Web, researching a project, and came across a company which sells popular products. This company has been in business for a couple of decades. I thought, “wow, this company would do well in Australia.” Then I went on with what I was doing.

An hour later, I remembered the company. I went back through my browser history so that I could find their name, and send them a pitch email. Your pitch doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be a simple email message, or it can be a complete presentation.

Give Pitcherific a try. Disclosure: I have no connection with the company, at all. I just think their template is very useful. Pitcherific will help you not only to create pitches quickly, it will also give you confidence.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Evernote Fan? You’ll Love the New Web Clipper for Chrome

New Web Clipper in Chrome
New Web Clipper in Chrome

Evernote can save your business. Seriously. I’ve had two experiences of things going badly wrong, and both times Evernote allowed me to keep working. Firstly when a hard drive and multiple backups on my primary work machine failed, and then when my cable modem died.

In both instances, everything important was in Evernote. I didn’t miss a single deadline.

I’ve written about being an Evernote fangirl before, when Evernote added Reminders. Hint to Evernote – a Dashboard, please:

There’s one other thing I’m hoping Evernote will add: a Dashboard. Ideally, notes with certain user-created criteria would be added to the Dashboard, so they’d be easy to find.

Fingers crossed. :-)

Evernote keeps getting better

I use Evernote every day, all day, on all of my devices. It just works, so I love it. There’s another thing to love too – the Evernote company. They work with other companies which makes their product better, and they give you things you didn’t even know you wanted.

I’m grateful that Evernote works with companies like LiveScribe and Zengobi, for example. I record interviews and chats with students via Livescribe, and everything goes into the relevant Evernote notebook. Zengobi produces Curio, my all-time favorite creativity tool, and Evernote/ Curio integration means that I can drag notes right into Curio idea spaces.

And re stuff you didn’t even know you wanted, Evernote has just updated its Web Clipper for Chrome. The Clipper now does much more.

You can save articles in different formats. From the Evernote blog:

  • Article: Clips the body content of the page, including images, links and styles
  • Selection: Clips the text and images that you highlight
  • Bookmark (NEW): Creates a note containing a snippet of the page and the URL
  • Simplified (NEW): We brought in features from our Clearly extension to strip the page of all distractions for easy reading and clean clipping

The Simplified format is stunning.

Markup your documents

Evernote’s brought Skitch into the Chrome Web Clipper, so you can mark up your documents before you save them. That’s a huge time saver. No need to go into Evernote to mark up docs in the app.

Don’t use Chrome?

Safari’s been my default browser for years. I keep Chrome open, so I can open Trello boards in tabs, to refer to them throughout the day, but Safari is my workhorse. I’ll need to switch that around.

If you’ve never used Chrome, give it a try. You’ll find it has some great add-ons, including add-ons for SEO. If you’re a Gmail user, Chrome also allows you to use Streak, which calls itself “CRM in your Inbox”, and that’s exactly what it is. If you have customers and sell, you’ll love Streak. (I’ll need to do a write up about Streak at some stage; it’s a gem.)

Evernote just got even better. Who knew that was even possible? Try the new Chrome Web Clipper. You’ll love it.

, and on Twitter: @angee

Smart Word Processing With Quip: Words Anywhere

Quip: smart word processing

Want a super-easy way to collaborate with others on your documents? Say hello to Quip, the social word processor: it combines document creation and editing with messaging.

I’ve found Quip very easy to use in the early stages of working with clients. If a copywriting client wants to see headlines I’ve developed, or the text of an ad, I just type the client’s name in the Sharing box, and I can invite him to share the document via email or text.

Quip will never replace the Reviewing Pane in MS Word however. It’s not meant for long, complex documents. Your mileage may vary, but I couldn’t imagine working on a long sales page, or (shudder) a book proposal in Quip.

Everyday documents however, are fun to create and work on. If you’re collaborating with someone on a blog, you can share your notes, draft posts, and thoughts easily.

No collaborators? You can use Quip as an word processing app on your desktop if you wish, or on a device. I find Quip a struggle to use on my phone, but it’s perfect on the iPad, where you have a larger keyboard.

Quip on iPad
Insertions in Quip on the iPad

As you can see in the above image, on the iPad you just hit the Insert button, and you can insert a table, a mention (someone’s name), a link to another document or folder, or a link to a Web page.

If you hit the Paragraph icon to the left of the Insert button, you can add a heading or a list to a document.

My favorite feature in Quip is the Chat tab. If you’re working in a browser and someone sends you a message, you’ll see it immediately. You can chat back in the chat box, or in the relevant document.

Create as many folders as you need

Quip’s divided into three main areas: the Inbox, the Desktop, and the Editor. On Quip’s Desktop, you can add folders. I’ve created folders for each client, and I have a “home” folder, for personal documents.

You can drag your folders around on the desktop to order them, and create sub-folders as well. If you want to archive a folder, just drag it into a folder you’re using as an archive.

It’s worth mentioning that you don’t need to be online to use Quip. If you’re using it on a device like your tablet, you can send messages, create documents, and edit existing documents. Everything gets synced as soon as you have a connection again. Quip has the smoothest sync I’ve ever seen. Work on a document in the browser on your desktop, then check your phone, and changes are synced almost instantly.

Quip Basic is free for up to five users, and you can share folders. Quip Business is $12 per month per user for up to 250 users, with an Admin Console, and more.

What I like about Quip

Almost everything, especially Markdown – any word processor which lets me use Markdown gets my vote.

What I don’t like

Getting documents into Quip is limited to copy and paste.

Also, there’s no HTML export that I can see. You can get your docs out by printing them, and by saving them as PDFs. Why no HTML export? You’d assume that that would be easy, since your docs are created in Markdown.

Sigh… there’s always a weevil in the gingerbread… ;-)

, and on Twitter: @angee