Marketing for Seniors. Should You Memorize Your Pitch?


Here are some things I learned to memorize long ago. Try them. See if you can add a few words.

  • My country tis of thee…
  • Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow…..
  • My name is Ozymandias, ________________g of ____________gs.
  • We the people………………………………..

How did you do? I bet you did just fine.

What do these ancient memories have to do with the title of this post? Read on.

Well, as I mentioned on my last post, I have written a book.  Now I’m expected to market this book. Actually I should have been marketing my book for at least the past ten years, but I couldn’t because I was too busy writing it.

So, along comes Rosie-Come-Lately to the new world of Marketing and Promotion. Ten years ago, I learned the words, elevator pitch. I needed to “pitch” my book  (to an important person) in the time it takes for an elevator to go from the third floor to the first floor.

So, let’s just pretend I get into an elevator with Ms. Gatekeeper of  the Biggest Publishing Company. Ahem! I curtsey to her, bow my head, kiss her toes, and cast my eyes downward, with reverence. Of course she doesn’t know I have been stalking her, and have planned this elevator pitch like Eisenhower planned the invasion at Normandy. I have thirty seconds to tell her what my book is about.

She says, “Good Morning.”

I say, “I have a book.”

Then Ms. Gatekeeper says, “Oh please tell me about it.” Actually she says “Oh sh–! How do I find these people?”

Then, I lick my lips and say, “My book is about (we pass the third floor) and then I (we pass the second floor). “Oh yeah,” I mumble, “I forgot to say it’s a memoir, and, and, and (she walks out of the elevator doors and into her waiting limo). I stand there in the lobby, trying to catch my breath.

So, I go back home and practice rewriting my pitch. I have written at least 4356, drafts of this one paragraph pitch. Book writing is a cinch compared to writing and delivering an elevator pitch.

I write another copy and this time, instead of stalking Ms. Gatekeeper, I decide to take it to my own unique audience, my fellow seniors. There is a Senior Fair here in Rockland County New York where I live. I go from table to table pitching my story and offering to speak to groups of seniors about some of the themes in my book that we all share. Again, because I am nervous, I flubber all over myself, can’t get the words out, and feel like a total failure.

Amazingly, they all want me!!! I think there is something about my words, “For Free! No Charge!” that ingratiates me with my tribe.

Every day in this book publishing trip, is a learning day for me. Now, I have decided that the key to delivering my pitch is to memorize it. Yeah sure. So I print it out, stick it on the fridge, and start memorizing it, sentence by sentence, word by word. I walk around my kitchen trying to memorize and make my morning coffee at the same time. Mistake. The milk goes in the dish cabinet, the spoon goes in the fridge, and the pot is turned on before I put in the coffee.

Long ago, I could memorize, thanks to my dear teachers.

Now it’s a different story.  I’m sure if you are a senior and I ask you to finish this sentence, you will be able to do it. “I remember what I did fifty years ago, but I ___________________________!”

Of course, you got it right!

So. as a public service, I’ll save you the trouble of listening to me fumble my way through my pitch.  I invite you to read it here…for free!

Here’s my elevator pitch for my book.

“My book Still Playing in the Dirt is my memoir that begins in my childhood and continues to today. Each chapter is about my search for serenity in the world of nature.  My problem, however, is that most times instead of finding serenity in the outdoors, I have found stress, usually due to my own ineptitude. If you are looking for a serious guide to camping, fishing and birdwatching, this book is not it. However, if you are looking at how a woman uses these nature experiences to make us laugh and cry about the common concerns we all share like belonging, parenting, yearning, and aging, then— this is your book.”

Like the kindergarteners who starts school on the first day with his name, address and phone number printed on a  card , safety pinned to his first- day- of- school shirt,  I am going to carry  a card with my elevator pitch on it, but for sure, I will use large print.

Thanks for riding the elevator with me.

How to Gain Weight and Exercise Your Brain at the Same Time!

Photo Credit: Boogies with Fish via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Boogies with Fish via Compfight cc 

In my earlier post, I said my brain was frozen during the summer.  But only part of that was true. So let’s move on to the subject of Neurology and the Brain.

As The Nothing Expert, I am qualified to write about the brain because I have one. Now that I have your attention, let me just say that my brain does not work like the brain of a millennial. I cannot multi-task. I’m lucky if I can do one teeny, tiny task at a time, and then for mental reinforcement, I munch on some chips, and dip.

In 1955 in our fourth grade class, I wrote the script for a puppet show, and then I decided that someday I would “Write a Book.”

When I was sixty, I started my book, and it only took me ten years to write it.

Then millions of people told me “Ha. Ha. You cannot publish a book without a platform and billions of followers. Get a platform.”

A platform means followers, billions of followers, even some from outer space.

And so, I put the book away, and decided to seek followers, on Facebook, Twitter, and on this blog.

Along the way I met some very wonderful people and I have enjoyed their blogs, comments, and our shared conversations. I still don’t get Twitter, and I’m past the point of caring how I screw up on Facebook.

But I have not been a good girl this summer. I have failed to write in my blog and I have failed to comment on other people’s blogs. I beg for your forgiveness, if you are one of my followers.

That’s because I have been working on my book, again. You cannot just write “The End,” on your last page and then say “OK World, Come and get It!”

Actually, I have been learning how to publish the book. Now if we break that up into steps, I would say that publishing a book takes about a zillion steps, all of them new for an old broad like me. And I can only concentrate on one step at a time, or I will get frazzled, eat too much, and gain 25 pounds of flesh, in my thighs.

So, who had time for writing? Not me.

Also, I never mentioned the book because somewhere in the zillions of publishing pointers, there was a warning on “shameless self-promotion.”

So, I am going to try to do the unheard of “Walk and Chew Gum” at the same time. In the coming weeks I am going to work on a few more steps, all at once! Along the way, I will tell you more about the book, but I will try to do it in a way that isn’t shameless self-promotion. 

Now where is that butter pecan ice cream? I’m spent.