Forget The Elevator Pitch: Tips to Guide You Away from the Automation

Forget The Elevator Pitch (#ForgetTheElevatorPitch): Tips to Guide You Away from the Automation + Radiant Rumble Blog

Ever wondered what it would be like to walk up to someone (or vise versa) and sell them you ITAL without an elevator pitch? To avoid the blank stares, heavy pauses and typically long-winded answers? I think that’d be a win-win for everyone involved, don’t you?

Granted, the coveted Elevator Pitch has helped many, and provided opportunity when the pitcher wouldn’t otherwise have know what to say… But there is also bit of undeniably awkward, stuffy, possibly robotic verbal and physical action that accompanies an elevator pitch. To avoid this and still make a deal is every business owner’s dream.

Well, I’m not here to say that the elevator pitch doesn’t have its place, or that it is null and void.

What I am saying, however, is that an elevator pitch can help refine your awkward, stuffy and nervous pitch into a more polished off the cuff conversation. Then, and only then can you move on to the next step: Forgetting the Elevator Pitch (#ForgetTheElevatorPitch)

#ForgetTheElevatorPitch + Radiant Rumble Blog
This doesn’t mean to forget the entire process you went through, or to forget what you learned in creating your pitch; it just means to toss the actual pitch out the window.

But then there’s the question of what to do instead, right?

And you’re probably wondering why in the world I would tell you to just throw your perfectly crafted pitch away, correct?

What it all boils down to is one thing: being you. @rrcreates

Not the you that was made to force out the words of a rehearsed line (or paragraph) that goes by the name of “Elevator Pitch”.

No, the you that sat down, pen in hand, time ticking, in order to create that pitch. The dedicated you. The you that loves your business, wants to see it succeed. The you with communication skills, creativity, likability… That’s the person your prospects want to hire.

The only downside to this? Putting forth that you – the one that wrote, scribbled and scratched your way to character and lessons learned – only comes with practice.

Just like teaching yourself to form and memorize your own elevator pitch, you have to teach yourself how to use those same set of strategies (stay calm, fight the nerves, and just be yourself) in front of prospects – only this time on the spot, not from memory.

The only way you’ll ever gain the right customers – the ones you want, the ones that will respect you – is to be honestly you in front of them. They’ll expect nothing less than their first impression, remember that.

With all of that being said, you do need to be professional, and you can’t toss everything out the window…

To #ForgetTheElevatorPitch, below are a few pointers I put together (based off of creating an actual elevator pitch):

+ Forget run-on sentences.
How many times have you been asked, “What do you do?”, and then you blurt out your elevator pitch and it turns into dead silence afterwards? Giving away the whole shabang right away doesn’t do any good. It doesn’t leave the prospect wondering, which means they don’t want to ask questions. When this happens, the pitcher may be awkwardly awaiting a response, and the listener is wondering what to say or ask… based on the huge load that was just dumped on them. Awk. Ward. Leave room for questions, wonder, and interest.

+ Forget the complicated.
I’m a graphic designer, so when people ask me what I do, I say just that. Of course I could say a few other short variations of that, but why should I when those three words have been working? People usually express some sort of interest, whether by asking me where I work or what type of things I design. Either way, that’s all it’s really about. Cultivating a business relationship, or getting the word out about you and what you do, is pretty similar to a friendship: it can’t be rushed.

+ Forget the awkwardness.
This helps when thinking about what to say, how to say it, and when. When you forget the elevator pitch, it’s more about finding what you have in common with the person/people you’re speaking with rather than how much information you can shove down their throats. Not that all elevator pitches are terrible or stuffy – some people are actually really great at them – but they can be awkward if all you’re thinking about is how to get them to buy from you.

+ Forget the chase.
Don’t worry about scoring some huge (or tiny) deal that same day. Use the three pointers above, have a nice conversation, get their contact info, and do not think about how they could benefit you. Don’t chase them. If you strike up some sort of bond or something in common, contact them another day and bring it up. Start another conversation. Pretty soon, you’ll learn how you can help them, and maybe how they can help you, too.

This whole #ForgetTheElevatorPitch thing isn’t a new concept, it’s just not as commonly searched for as, “elevator pitch ideas”, or “elevator pitch tips”. BUT you can help me change that! (Haha, just kidding!) I will ask, though, that If you liked this post, go ahead and share it! Pin this for future reference. AND get more to your inbox, sign up here.

Oh, and Happy Easter! And April Fool’s Day!

Forget The Elevator Pitch: Tips to Guide You Away from the Automation

What I’ve Learned from the Most Recent Schwan’s Brand Evolution

Schwan's Brand Evolution + Lessons To Learn From It + Radiant Rumble Blog

Growing up, I lived in a neighborhood that Schwan’s food trucks frequented. I remember the distinct yellow truck, with the schwan on the side, and the “swooshy” font that spelled the name. I remember when it would drive by, seemingly every week, and when it didn’t come for what felt like forever. I also remember the excitement that came when it would stop in front of our house, and the “aw, man!” that occurred (out loud, too) when it would pass us up.

At times I thought the Schwan’s salesmen just came up to the door, asking if we needed anything, and other times I knew they were delivering an order my Mom had made. Either way, I always wondered why they didn’t stop every time I saw them. I wanted what all kids scream for… Ice cream!

I know that perceptions of time and actuality of events are sometimes skewed in memory from childhood to adulthood; however, one thing I’m certain of is that I viewed the Schwan’s truck as THE ice cream truck of our neighborhood. I think I remember an actual ice cream truck in our neighborhood literally once or twice, music and all. But Schwan’s? They were a childhood staple. They were considered the best, and I’d take the Schwan’s truck over a regular ol’ ice cream truck any day. Call it advertising to the true customer peeking out the window!

Fast forward to today (I’ve moved a few times since my childhood neighborhood), and I hadn’t heard of or seen a Schwan’s truck in years. I had wondered what ever happened to them, but honestly chalked it up to one of three things:

1) They went out of business.
2) Their trucks weren’t running around anymore because home delivery was a lost art.
3) They just didn’t sell well in the area I lived.

It really had never occurred to me to look them up!

Then one day, a newly branded Schwan’s truck pulled out of a neighborhood ahead of me while on my way home from work. I literally said out loud to myself, “Is that a Schwan’s truck?!” I was honestly surprised. Seeing that truck definitely brought back some great childhood memories, and a certain sort of pride that they’re still around – possibly making other children’s days brighter with ice cream, just like when I was little.

I immediately noticed a new truck design, and a new logo. Then MANY thoughts arose:

Why the new brand? They even changed the actual Schwan image on the logo. With the detailed wings. And the “shwooshy” font. Why change what was, to me, such an iconic symbol? What. The. Heck. And is that a different yellow, too?!

As soon as I got home, I Googled “Schwan’s trucks”, and found their new-to-me logo and truck wrap design, along with their matching website. I analyzed it, then decided to find the old branding and trucks from my childhood memories, and conducted a comparison. It was different, but it definitely was not the same.

Then the thought crossed my mind that even I have undergone my own brand evolutions, in the much shorter-lived life of my company. In all reality, every brand has to change at some point in order to live in this highly competitive world of capturing the consumer’s attention – and gaining results from that attention. It’s not that I expected them to stay the same so much as keep the nostalgic feeling created for me when I was a child.

Digging deeper, I found that Schwan’s was more than the ice cream truck I remember as a child; they actually own some well-known brands that are available in local grocery stores. I also learned that they’ve definitely had their ups and downs over the years. But the one thing that remains the same with the new look? Schwan’s is dearly keeping the tradition that brought them to life in the first place: Home Service Food Delivery.

Schwan’s wasn’t trying to create a new brand for itself in order to lose the customers it once had and follow a different path. Schwan’s rebranded in order to keep the loyal customers, and gain new ones, all the while forging the same path within the same market they had been serving since that life-changing delivery in 1952.

Of course, there have been other designs of the brand since opening Schwan’s Dairy in 1948; however, the branding I’m referring to is the two most recent renditions. If you’re wondering what the big deal is, see the transformation below.
Schwan's Brand Evolution + Radiant Rumble Blog

There are definitely lessons to be learned from this evolution:

#1. Relevancy requires effort and change.

#2. Traditions and values worth keeping require clear focus and determination.

#3. Great people equal great processes and products, which equal great results.

Schwan’s obviously wants to keep its doors open, doing the same thing they’ve always done in process. This new brand just means that they saw the need to update their image in order to stay the course, and it was most likely reluctantly done on some level. Letting go of the past and trekking into the future takes guts, but it’s admirable when done correctly.

If you’re older or don’t feel the same nostalgia from Schwan’s that I do, you’re not going to get the fact that I was pleasantly surprised with my findings. The Schwan’s brand definitely has reason to be proud of where they started, to where they are today, and why it matters to constantly “work hard, help one another, grow in every way, be enthusiastic and have integrity in everything that you do” (Marvin Schwan). Schwan’s probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for that mindset.

Now… Ice cream, anyone?

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What I’ve Learned from the Most Recent Schwan’s Brand Evolution

Type Tips (Typography Tips for the Non-Designer)

Type Tips (Typography Tips for the Non-Designer) Infographic + Radiant Rumble Blog
Have you ever wondered if you’re using typography correctly?

As a creative person, designing with typography is something that has come naturally to me. As a designer, it was something I learned about during my time in college.

But I realize there are a lot of people that don’t know much about typography and the correct way to use it – from within simple Word documents to the design of a business card. Before you leave, hear me out:

Typography is an art form all on its own; it even has an anatomy, if you can believe it. Typography also comes with a specific set of rules that don’t have to be followed, but your type turns out much nicer (most of the time) when they are followed. There are exceptions to the rules, but that’s another post for another day.

For those that need a refresher, and those that just want a quick overview, this infographic gives all of the basic information needed to create anything using typography. Be sure to Pin and share, and if you want, let us know what you think!!
Type Tips (Typography Tips for the Non-Designer) Infographic + Radiant Rumble Blog

Type Tips (Typography Tips for the Non-Designer)

Is Your Brand Getting The Point Across? (How to Perform a Brand Breakdown)

Is Your Brand Getting The Point Across? (How to Perform a Brand Breakdown)
Branding looks different for everyone. Whether in the same field or completely different parks, your company’s mission is never the same as the next. That’s really the beauty and downfall of branding: it can be whatever you want it to be. Whatever. This can also play a factor in why a brand does or does not succeed. Sometimes a brand is brought forth in creativity, consistency, and cohesiveness… and sometimes it is brought forth in absence of creativity, consistency and cohesiveness.

Because of this, the question may arise, and often does, as to why some have a hard time getting their brand across to customers – and the public in general. The answer could be many things – from competition, to marketing strategy, to budget. However, the answer could also be much less complex than you might think. The answer to your branding woes may just be one breakdown away. @rrcreates

“Why is my brand so hard for people to get?”

“Why can’t I or my employees speak clearly about my company?”

“Why is everything that is created for my business so hap-hazard, not consistent?”

If you find yourself asking a variation of the above questions, you may need to break your brand down. A Brand Breakdown is just that: getting to the finest detail, asking honest questions and putting a microscope on your brand in order to get to the bottom of what makes it tick and why. Performing a Brand Breakdown is not necessarily fun, but it can be extremely rewarding. If you’d like to examine where your brand currently resides on the scale of effectivity, look no further, your Brand Breakdown awaits…

Try to honestly answer and address these questions and statements. If you do make time to address this, results will follow – and if you do it now, they’ll come sooner rather than later.

DO THIS: Mission Statement
What is your Mission Statement, Company Creed, or whatever you’ve decided to call it (besides tagline, this is deeper than that)?

+ Convey why your company exists, thus converting customers and employees into believing what you have to offer is both reasonably needed and wanted – all in a very specific, yet relatively short statement.

If you can’t clearly state it on paper, or say it in 60 seconds or less, you’re either confusing, boring, or otherwise losing the attention of your audience and potential customers. One way to know whether your brand is getting the point you want across, is to…

DO THIS: Survey Non-Customers
Survey non-customers, people you don’t know, about their thoughts on your brand. The grocery store or your favorite coffee shop will work great. The people you ask may not have a clue when it comes to branding terminology or technicality (they may not even be your target audience), but they are the general public that will be viewing your brand, so it needs to be clear to all, target audience or not.

TIP: Keep to those questions that ask for a specific answer, for example, the less specific “Do you like my brand?” vs. the more specific “What do think my brand lacks?”

+ Insight into those that are not your target market, and even those that are, helping you cater more to your ideal customer

+ Valuable, honest feedback from real people, in real time, that have no emotional ties to you or your brand

DO THIS: Survey Customers and Employees
Survey your own customers and employees about their thoughts on your brand… Yikes! This one could be a bit more difficult to swallow, but it could do so much to push your brand further. Current customers and employees bring a perspective from your side of the fence. They see more of what you see and know more of what you know, so their answers will hopefully be more intuitive. However, they may or may not be completely honest, and it may be hard to hear what they have to say. Just keep telling yourself, “It will be beneficial!” For additional help with this, check out this blog post on the 5 Best Ways to Get Feedback from Your Customers.

+ Knowledge of what your customers and employees actually think of your brand – good and bad

+ Ability to learn what you’re doing right and wrong with your brand, and to put a plan in place to get the desired outcome

+ Break the ice, so you can continue to survey on a regular basis (this goes for non-customers as well)

DO THIS: Survey Yourself
As you may have realized, what you know about your brand isn’t always what you convey, or how others view it. Ask yourself two questions, in this order:

Q #A. “What do I think of my brand?”
Q #B. “What do I want others to think of my brand?”

Feel free to add more questions as you see fit, but these are the main two that need answers. I recommend full sentences, as well as to write down one word per line. Be descriptive in the way of qualities, attributes and characteristics.

+ Written proof of what you want for your brand
+ Actionable content for future goals

Why does your brand exist (or want to exist), and what role do your customers play in that?

+ Reminder of why your brand exists and what you’re working towards
+ Actionable content for future goals
+ Possible revision/addition to your Mission Statement

Brand Breakdown: Getting to the finest detail, asking honest questions and putting a microscope on your brand in order to get to the bottom of what makes it tick and why.
Radiant Rose Creates has been at it for a while now, and to tell you the truth, it’s really never-ending. Between new things happening, additions to the company, heading different directions than we thought a year before, and honing our craft… a brand is never really complete. It’s always evolving, always adapting. Radiant Rose and Radiant Rumble will always hold true to the essence of providing valuable products and radiant content, but it’s nice to shift a bit with new ideas and further education.

If you need any help or guidance, you can always shoot us an email. Branding is hard, which is why companies like ours exist – to help you out! Thank you for following along and sharing with your friends. Give us a piece of your mind, if you’d like, cause we sure would!

Is Your Brand Getting The Point Across? (How to Perform a Brand Breakdown)

9 “Effective Time” Habits I Formed to Make My Small Business Efforts Stick

Owning a business is hard.

Marketing a business is even harder.

Trying to do it all and have a life… Well, that’s just ludicrous.

Not to say that it can’t be done, or that I’m not trying, but one thing I’ve learned from starting a business, and then a blog, is that it’s all about the “effective time” you put in.

Effective Time: Time spent producing the intended or expected result. + Radiant Rumble Blog

I’m not always the best at that. I work and write and dream in hopes of putting stuff out there that’s awesome and helpful and prosperous, but it doesn’t always turn out that way.

When I first started Radiant Rumble, I was gaining so much ground because there were deadlines and goals moving at what felt like lightning speed. That was definitely effective time spent. But now that the launch is over and everything is “back to normal”, the blog is another thing that piles up along with all of the other stuff that needs effective-time-spent.

Don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t and won’t go back. I love having a blog. I hope it will one day help others in similar situations as myself. I hope it’s helping you now. But in the midst of the rest of the business to-do’s, it’s hard to add more to the list, especially when the only one ticking off the things on the never-ending list is you and me.

With that said, there are some habits I’ve come to form, accept that they’re needed, and grow to appreciate in this journey of growing a business. They’re pretty awesome, and have helped in ways I never expected.

I will say, however, they aren’t fool-proof or some magic formula. They’re just what I’ve found that works to keep me focused and creative. They may or may not work for you, but it’s worth a try – as stated before, it’s all about the effective time spent@rrcreates

My 9 Effective Time Habits

#1. Writing More Down
Simply put, if I have an idea, I write it down – whether on paper or a not on my phone. This is great on the fly, or to remember full ideas instead of half-thoughts. This has also been known to produce more ideas as I’m writing the initial one, so it’s made for a very productive habit.

#2. Emailing Articles to Myself
I have folders and subfolders within my email box, so if I find something and don’t have time to read it, I’ll send it to myself for later. If it’s urgent, I’ll put “READ TONIGHT” in the subject line, because I know I’ll be checking my email that evening and will see it as important. I can then Pin it, or file it away into one of my inbox’s folders for easy access.

#3. Saving Stuff
As mentioned above, I love saving emails, pins, articles, etc., as reference or inspiration. Everything has a category, folder, subfolder, tag, board, etc., so that I can easily find ideas at a later date. If it’s on a piece of paper, I either consolidate it all within a document or email, or take a photo of it to categorize. I then chuck the hard copy because I like to be organized; loose notes/papers just pile up!

#4. Getting Away from the Computer/Office
As hard as it may sound, it definitely helps to take a break every so often – whether it be for a few minutes or a day. Stretch, go outside, read a few pages of that book you’ve been “reading”, whatever it is that will help you clear your mind and get you back into the game. The only catch is that you have to actually do it, which can get hairy when you’re “in the middle of something” or you “have to get this done asap“. Still yet, the answer is Nike’s philosophy: Just Do It.

#5. Personal and Professional Routines
There’s a time to work, and a time to take a break. Finding the balance is hard, because having a business consumes your every thought and action. However, learning to schedule time wisely is something I’ve been working on, and it’s very beneficial when done right! Still a work in progress, but it’s not as annoying as it used to be to step away for a bit. I don’t have a “hard schedule”, but I do have a routine. Hard schedules, in my mind, put me into a box to where I generally freak out if my day doesn’t go as scheduled… lesson learned for another day… BUT, a routine allows for daily things, work things, husband things, food things – all those things that make up a day – yet I don’t have to follow it to a “T”, like with a “hard schedule”. Routines are flexible, schedules are not.

#6. Interaction with Followers
It’s hard, and can even be annoying sometimes, to have to get online to chum up to people you don’t know. However, that’s not the same as actually interacting with people you think genuinely may be interested in what you have to offer, and vise versa (some of the best advice I’ve gotten with social media so far!). Something not genuine is only spinning your wheels at something not genuine. In the end, it’s a dead end road. @rrcreates Be intentional. Be effective. Be genuine. The rest will come with time and lots of patience!

#7. Setting Monthly Goals
Seems like a no-brainer, but if you’re like me, you may have set yearly goals and then stopped there. You may have set monthly goals, but not consistently. You also may have gone half-way through the year and realized you haven’t done anything to bring your company to the next level. I’ve been guilty of all of those things. But one choice can change it all. This past October, I started setting monthly goals for the following month about a week or two in advance. And it’s helped tremendously. I never get everything done (call me a wannabe over-achiever), but I at least try. This habit has allowed me to actually work towards something every single month. When it’s time to schedule goals for the upcoming month, I’ll add new goals, and maybe bring on some previously un-touched goals to try to tackle for the following month. With this goal, I know three things:

  1. I’m pushing myself every month instead of staying stagnate or wondering what to do (I’m definitely a list person!). Goals written, for me, means goals getting ticked off the list.
  2. I’m making progress, written down, to look back on, learn from, celebrate, and move forward with. Motivation and confirmation, all in one.
  3. I’m moving forward, learning, and getting better at what I do.

#8. Breaking Down Goals
Writing down goals for the month, year, week, doesn’t mean anything unless they are broken down into actionable steps that can be accomplished one by one. This year, I made yearly goals (see my top list) and then every month I break them down into actionable steps. This way, I’m making small victories month by month to accomplish my overall goals at the end of the year. If the monthly goals don’t align with the yearly goals, I either put them aside for later, or add them at the bottom of the list to possibly accomplish that month – but they aren’t as much a priority. I need to be working towards those yearly goals in small increments, so doing something that’s not working towards them is just a distraction – however good or awesome that goal may be. If it’s super awesome, however, you be the deciding factor of whether to add it to (or replace another goal) on your yearly list.

#9. Organization
This goal not only pertains to my business, but life in general, because they intertwine so much. It’s on my list to clean my desk every Friday – clear the clutter and throw away the trash. This, I know, is the one that falls to the wayside the most, but that’s okay. When I created this list of “Effective Time” Habits, it wasn’t because I always do every single one; it was because I know they all work together to accomplish the same end: Moving Forward. When I don’t get all of them done, I can take a step back and figure out why. Or I can let it go, because next week is a new week and I can clean my desk then (haha)!

Now you know what I’ve been doing since starting the blog, and also why I don’t always clean my desk! It’s definitely something I want to do, but it’s not as important as setting goals for the following month… definitely have to pick your battles sometimes!! When figuring out what habits to adapt, find the ones that mean the most to you, and work on those the hardest. If you want to make them happen, you’ll generally have more motivation and energy to do so.

Thank you all for reading and following, I really do appreciate it. I’d love a tweet or a Pin, comment or a follow!

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9 “Effective Time” Habits I Formed to Make My Small Business Efforts Stick