Nashville Loves Food ad campaign
Marketing and Branding

The power of an elevator pitch!

By Sheri Oneal

I am getting a late start in the new year but I have some great things lined up for 2014! Last year while attending a morning Chamber event I was caught off guard when the host asked that we go around the room and give our 30 second – 1 minute elevator pitch. I have been teaching a business course at Nossi College of Art to young budding professional photographers for several years. The elevator pitch is what I have my students master because I do believe it is the most important part of a business so seemingly this would be a very easy task for me. That being said we don’t always practice what we preach and I was a bit caught off guard. As the people around the room began speaking one by one I became extremely nervous the closer it got to my turn. Honestly I can hardly remember what I said when I spoke but I remember my last few words being “I am a Visual Storyteller.” As they finished up and allowed the guest speaker to talk my nervousness subsided and I quickly forgot about the experience.

At the end of the event as I was headed to the door several people came up and introduced themselves asking for my business card while mentioning that my pitch intrigued them. From that one experience I was able to arrange two coffee meetings just because of my elevator pitch. Jeff Halliburton (printing sales consultant) at Lithographics, Inc. was one of the people I was able to meet with and he offered me the opportunity to develop an imagery series of my choice for Lithographics to use in a print promotion. This would eventually become a trade collaboration called “Nashville Loves Food” with Lithographics, Inc., art director Joe Smith (Art Dude Creative) and social media consultant Melissa Corbin (Corbin In The Dell).

In my original meeting with Joe and Jeff we brainstormed ideas of what we could do, as a creative I wanted to do something interesting where I could meet new people and capture interesting personalities in unique locations with my photography. We wanted to center around what Nashville was really good at outside of music. FOOD was the definitive choice! With all the press Nashville is receiving from media sources like CNN,  The Food Network, The New York Times and Food & Wine Magazine we felt that showcasing local farms and artisans was a perfect fit. From farm to table became our plan and over the course of several months our project grew wings!

This year I will continue my “Made in America” series but it will be linked to the “Nashville Loves Food” project. I will introduce you to the local farmers and chefs I had the opportunity to work with and share the imagery from those visits. Soon I will kick off with the first story and I look forward to your comments!!!

Nashville Loves Food

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