Some call it their brand message. Others call it an elevator pitch or ‘go-to-market positioning statement.’ At Onboardly, we’ve appropriately named it the two-liner and it’s our secret ingredient in #StartupPR.
Every month we bring on new startups and work with them closely to create killer content strategy and wicked PR strategy. Get them from 0-90 in three months and we do so effectively. How? Because we have the ultimate three month process. When startups come onboard, we immediately get to work on editorial schedules, blog strategy, user acquisition tactics and on the PR side; go-to-market positioning and crafting of PR assets (media kit and press releases.)
But no PR strategy is complete without a killer set of two-liners.
The Two-Liner – what is it?
You’ve more than likely heard of the elevator pitch – if not, may we recommend this post? We consider the Two-Liner to be the shorter, tighter, written version of the elevator pitch.
It’s small but it’s packed with a punch. It tells, in two lines, who you are and what you do. Or similarly, what is your product and how does it work. The ‘go-to-market positioning statement’ as it’s called elsewhere identifies your position in the marketplace. Where do you fit and why.
It’s insanely telling and extremely effective.
Where is it used?
We first crafted the two-liner to use when pitching the media. We realized that we needed a quick, snappy blurb about the startup that would catch the journalist’s attention. This is why these guys are awesome and this is how they’re rockin the market.
We then realized the two-liner made a great header and sub-header for media advisories. Again, because the two liner successfully identifies the problem and the solution in two sentences. It not only makes a great title but if effectively written, it can pull the reader in to read further.
Eventually, we realized that the two-liner wasn’t just useful in terms of PR strategy. It can be applied to every day situations for any startup founder or employee. It became the condensed version of the elevator pitch, averaging 10-15 seconds in length when spoken slowly and clearly in conversation. The perfect answer for the quick “what does your startup do?” question one might encounter in line at a Starbucks or when exchanging a quick conversation at the dry cleaners.
What’s in it?
Though it is limited to two-lines, a well-written two-liner has all the important information one needs to know about who you are and what you do. If your product is your central focal point, then what your product does and how it delivers. And it all goes back to the age old problem solving method. What is the problem and how are you the solution?
Let’s look at Onboardly.
What do we do? We offer content marketing and PR strategy for startups. How do we do it? We offer a startup-focused three month process that gets our customers noticed, secures early user traction and acquires new customers.
An option for a two-liner for Onboardly could be:
Startup offers content marketing and PR strategy for startups. Onboardly offers startup-focused three-month process that increases customer’s visibility, secures early user traction and acquires new customers.
The key is brevity and selection of the most important facts about your startup or product. For some of you, two lines may seem too little to ensure effective messaging. Let us assure you, if done properly, you can squeeze a lot of relevant, key information into two sentences with the help of some commas. But always ensure that the information you feel is relevant will be relevant to the media and your market. What do they need to know to make an educated decision to adopt your product or service.
Who is it for?
As we said, two-liners are great for media advisories, press releases and in general day to day conversation. But who should they be targeted to? And are personalized and/or targeted two-liners necessary?
The answer is yes.
Before you even begin to craft two-liners for your startup, identify the market you will be speaking to. If your startup or product appeals to a variety of markets or types of media outlets, adjust accordingly. We call these verticals.
By identifying the individual verticals your startup speaks to, you can properly craft effective two-liners that will be relevant to said verticals and have an impact. For example, if you’ve developed an e-commerce fashion app that’s stylish and innovative, your verticals may be; fashion & style bloggers/media and business technology media. When pitching the fashion & style verticals, your two-liners should focus on the fashion and stylish aspect of the app where as when pitching the business technology media, you should focus on the app’s innovative technology.
By identifying and personalizing two-liners by vertical, you’re increasing efficiency and ensuring that the two-liner doesn’t fall upon deaf ears. As with all aspects of market positioning, always take time to establish verticals.
In the Future
Once you’ve created your killer two-liners, always make sure to adjust and refresh as your business model changes or you add new features. Even finalized two-liners should be considered a work in progress if your startup plans to evolve and most definitely whenever you consider re-strategizing or re-branding.
For more information on how to craft the perfect two-liner or how to execute a flawless media push, check out our Startup Play “How to Get Featured by a Major Tech Blog” over at StartupPlays.com.