The Connection Between Mission Statements and Elevator Speeches
The Mission Statement for Cygnet of the Ozarks Publishing
Over the past several weeks I have been thinking about and developing the mission statement for my business which I call Cygnet of the Ozarks Publishing.
The mission statement is important because it tells the purpose of the company. On the surface, I might have wanted to say that the purpose of my publishing business was “to make money writing and selling books”. However, I have learned that in order to do this, I need to have a mission that includes why readers would want to read the books that I write. Without including the readers as part of the mission, I am not likely to be able to sell any books.
Therefore, I had to figure out why readers would want to read my books. Since most of what I write is fiction, entertaining the reader is an important component to my mission.
Entertainment, however, isn’t all that I think my books do for others. Therefore, I look at the other aspects of the books that I write. Since my books are Christian in nature, encouragement and inspiration are also components of what I consider are part of my publishing mission.
My fiction books are also historical in nature. One of my desires as a writer is to educate. This is also the case in regards the nonfiction book that I have written as well.
The mission of Cygnet of the Ozarks Publishing is to write, publish, and market books that entertain, encourage, inspire, educate, and enlighten. “The Books Folks ‘Swan’ to read.”
I have discovered the value of determining elevator speeches in regards, not only to the business, but also in regards to each of the books that I write. The term “elevator speech” came about when individuals find themselves in an elevator with a prospective client and they have just two minutes to pitch their product or idea. This concept has been extended to giving a one or two sentence explanation for what you do. The goal of the elevator speech is to get the individual asking questions about you and what you are doing.
When someone asks me what I do,I say, “I am the publisher at Cygnet of the Ozarks Publishing. I write, publish, and market books that entertain, encourage, inspire, educate and enlighten. I write “the books folks swan to read”
.After that answer I often get a slightly more specific question. “What kind of books do you write?” My answer, “I write both nonfiction and fiction. I have written a nonfiction gardening book called Simply Vegetable Gardening and I have a Historical Christian Romance series called The Locket Saga.”
This answer usually leads in one of three directions depending upon the listener’s interests. If the listener is interested in gardening, we might start having a vegetable gardening discussion. If the listener is interested in writing, the listener will start talking about wanting to write a book and will ask me writing questions. (If the listener is local, I will recommend that he or she attends our writers group and give that information.) The listener may ask me about The Locket Saga. I would tell the listener that I have three books published in the series with plans for more. If the listener starts asking me what each book is about, then I would use more elevator speeches. I practice each of these short answers regularly so that I do not stammer and can give an intelligent answer.
What is Simply Vegetable Gardening about? “This book is about tips and Strategies for producing a successful organically grown vegetable garden of a gardener with more than 40 years of experience.”
The Locket Saga about? This series is about a locket that gets passed down from bride to bride in a specific family lineage. It shares the family’s struggles, failures, and triumphs.
What is When God Turned His Head about? It is a Historical Christian Romance based in Colonial America in the 1750s, Drusilla Codman is accused of her husband’s murder.
What is Soldiers Don’t Cry about? It is a Historical Christian Romance set at the beginning of the American Revolution. A young couple is on opposite sides of the American Revolution. She is a Patriot Spy and smuggler and he is a British Officer.
What is A Coward’s Solace about? This Historical Christian romance, set at Valley Forge in 1777-1778, is about a young man who is seeking revenge for his Lenape wife’s murder, but instead discovers love, a family, and God.
Elevator Speeches for Future Books in the Locket Saga
Not only do I have elevator speeches for the books that I have already written, I have them for books that are in various drafts. Not only will I be able to state these answers confidently when someone asks what each of my books are about, but it provides a mission statement of sorts (theme) for the book as I am writing it. It definitely keeps me on track when writing each book.
What is Sailing Under the Black Flag about? This Historical Christian Romance is about a boy who becomes a man before his time when he joins an American privateer during the American Revolution.
What is In the Shadow of The Millpond about? A Historical Christian Romance during the Whiskey Rebellion in the frontier town of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania of the 1790s about a young woman who searches for the murderer so she can free her best friend and lifelong crush.
The next two books are little more than ideas, but I have elevator speeches about them as well.
What is The Anvil about? “It is a Historical Christian Romance set just before the turn of the 19th century about three families who go into the wilderness where years earlier, their ancestors were killed. A young man and a young woman discover what they are made of as they build a life in this wild hostile environment.”
What is I Have Never Had Writers Block About? I Have NEVER Had Writers Block (I’ll teach you how you too can avoid it too!) Proven strategies to avoid writer’s block that I instinctively knew and can teach others to do the same.
Other Uses for the Elevator Speech in the Business Plan
The mission of each elevator speech should reflect the mission of the mission statement. By writing these elevator speeches and including them with the mission statement, we make sure that this is true. As we look at these elevator speeches, we see that they do indeed reflect the mission statement of this business plan. Each one of those descriptions relate to the overall business mission in that it demonstrates the fact that the books that are published, written, and marketed at Cygnet of the Ozarks Publishing does entertain, encourage, inspire, educate, and enlighten. “The Books Folks ‘Swan’ to read.”
In addition, these speeches can and should be used in product descriptions that show up later in the business plan. I will write more about that in a future post.
Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .