In my last article, I talked about two important bookkeeping things you should being doing during and after your first convention, which are keeping a sales sheet and a profit summary sheet for each convention. I also gave sample sheets that I use to help get you going! This time I will be talking about working on your sales pitch and having varying levels of it based on the people you are talking to.
FIRST, YOU NEED TO PRACTICE YOUR PITCH
Regardless if you wing it or have something planned ahead, you will find that with your first convention, what you say to promote your comic is a rather fluid process. It’s trial and error finding the right words to say, and the right length. It took me probably two solid conventions before I nailed down my pitch, and even now I’m still tweaking it to fit my needs based on who I’m talking to.
The thing to remember is, you have to be quick, concise and verbally grab their attention. You don’t have much time to bring them in, so saying a sentence or two is about all the time you’re going to have. If they show interest, you can expand on it more, but there’s nothing more embarrassing than to have a super long pitch and not being able to finish it before the person walks completely away from your table, leaving you talking to yourself.
There’s a thing called an “Elevator Pitch.” This site gives the definition of an Elevator Pitch as, “…an overview of a product, service, project, person, or other thing and is designed to get a conversation started.” The site goes on to say you have about 30 seconds to pull this off. Sadly, you will rarely have 30 seconds to talk to a person who passes by your table. You will be lucky if you have 5 seconds to be perfectly honest, 10 seconds tops.
My basic pitch is, “My comic is about a medieval warrior who has to get a job at a medieval fast food restaurant. He also fights goblins and ninjas on the side.”
My pitch tells you the theme, that it’s a comedy, and that there’s more to it than just the character working behind a fast food counter. Now depending on the circumstances, I may add more to it if they seem to linger or slow down to look at my table.
If there’s a parent with children looking at my table, I’ll add that it’s geared towards the 10+ crowd and that there’s no blood in it and only one cuss word, and that’s in the title. If someone picks up any of my volumes to look at, I then throw in that there’s a lot of extras, like concept art, episode sketches, trivia, commentary, etc. If they pick up any other non-comic book product on my table, I have a thing I say about that as well. Every item on the table should have a pitch of some kind, even if it’s a few words.
So you need to work on the core essence of your pitch, then figure out what you can expand on based on who you’re talking to and how slow the person walks by your table to let you keep talking.
In next week’s article, I will go into psychology 101 with understanding people who attend comic cons, so stay tuned!
How to practice your pitch for comic conventions by Todd Tevlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.