How Three Super Successful Women Pitch Themselves

By Lauren McGoodwin

featured photo via wit and delight

If you’ve ever sat down to think about a personal pitch — maybe before a job interview, a public presentation, or even a family event — chances are you probably found yourself getting bogged down in the little details.

It’s easy to default to describing yourself like this: “I’m [name], I am a [occupation] for [place] and I specialize in [skill], [skill], [skill], and [skill].” It’s also easy to see why going that route can feel predictable at best and yawn-inducing-snooze-fest at worst.

Good pitches do a few things: they’re succinct, they’re genuine, and they make it perfectly clear what you do and why you do it. But the best pitches take it a step further — they inspire delight. That’s why today I’m showcasing some of mine and the Career Contessa team’s favorite women’s pitches and breaking down exactly what makes them special. These women prove that once you know the rules of personal branding, it’s time to start breaking them. The result? Major “I have to know her” moments. You can also use this free personal pitch worksheet to create your own pitch.

photo via fashionista

Emily Weiss, CEO of Into the Gloss and Glossier

Her Pitch, Three Ways:

“I’m the Founder and CEO of Glossier. What that title means changes from day to day, but I essentially work with the areas of the business that need my support and input most. One day that could be approving selects from a new campaign, the next I could be working closely with our COO discussing plans for our next fundraiser. But aside from that day to day, my role is really to picture the future for Glossier and make sure the team is on track to get us there.” (via Byrdie)

“Customers are the king and queen makers of brands today. We’re just starting the conversation. I feel like I am a conduit, and that is it.” (via Vogue Magazine)

“It’s not about one person being the rule-maker tastemaker. That’s not how people are shopping anymore. Women are discovering beauty products through their friends, full stop… I wanted to create a brand whose sweatshirt you wanted to wear.” (via The Cut)

Why It’s Great:

See a trend here? It’s humility. Weiss has always focused any interview she gives on the customer first and Glossier as a brand second — which might sound familiar to any Glossier loyalists reading this. Remember the brand launched with the motto “skin first, makeup second?” No matter who Weiss speaks to, or how she varies the description of who she is and what she does, she never loses sight of how essential the Glossier girl is. That means asking customers for insight constantly before rolling out products, and keeping her focus on how her brand can appeal to them in an authentic, favorite, worn-in sweatshirt kind of way.

photo via the globe and mail

Bozoma Saint John, Chief Brand Officer for Uber

Her Pitch:

“As the chief brand officer, my primary responsibility is to create and navigate the brand of Uber, externally. So it’s really about assessing what the brand is today and then figuring out a way to connect what is emotional and human about the brand — the drivers and riders and the cities that we’re in — to our customer. So [I’m] coming at it from both ends, from both a human standpoint to connect those emotions to the end user, as well as being an example myself for company culture. The way I behave, the way I interact, the way I live in my life is going to be as important as what I do in my daily work. I’m part of the community and the culture. So I’m going to be a part of what is going to be the future of what the company looks like… I want to impact the environment for the women working here and for myself. We want to make sure women feel empowered, safe, and excited about their work. And being a change agent means being fearless. Uber will never be the same after I leave.” (via Glamour Magazine)

Why It’s Great:

If reading this didn’t give you goosebumps, there might be something wrong with you. Especially given the recent turmoil at Uber, Saint John recognizes that she needs to address the issues head-on. (In another interview with Variety she referred to herself as a “change agent,” which we loved as well.) This is a pitch about rebuilding trust, but also rehumanizing the brand she’s overseeing by putting herself into it fully. We love how straightforward she is about the issues, how determined she is to alter Uber’s future, and that she ends on a powerful, unapologetically empowered note—“Uber will never be the same after I leave.” Because why shouldn’t she talk herself up in her pitch?

photo via the new york post

Whitney Wolfe Herd, CEO of Bumble

The Pitch (Her’s):

“Through all of this pain and struggle, I still had an itch inside of me to create. And I missed the feeling of creating all day and building and seeing something grow and engineering it to grow and market it. And so I sat down and said, “I can start something right now, and I can have an impact, and I can change what I hate that I see in the world. […] I said, “I always wanted to text the guy first. I always wanted to go after what I wanted in terms of if I saw a cute guy in class, I always wanted to talk to a guy, but I was never allowed to because society and my friends said no.” So I said, “We’re going to reverse engineer this…and this will change the dynamics of how we connect. This will put the ball in her court.” (via the How I Built This podcast)

The Pitch (Bumble’s):

“While women have been trained to play hard to get, to be demure, we’re telling men to be aggressive and go after her. But in order for him to get here, he has to figure out how to push through rejection and unfortunately, when someone experiences rejection, it can breed aggression and aggressive behavior. It makes you insecure. I’ve been rejected before and it made me insecure and there have been times in the past when I’ve said something mean as a result. It’s just a natural human instinct to be like, ‘I didn’t like you anyway.’ …The nice thing is, if a woman is making the first move, that dynamic evens out.” (via Refinery29)

Why It’s Great:

For starters, Wolfe knows her audience: women. Both her personal pitch and her pitch for Bumble focus on speaking directly to them, without dumbing down the real talk. That often includes allusions to the low points in her career (the pain and frustration she felt after Tinder, when she was the focus of unwanted, and sometimes negative, public attention but also, more recently, her own experiences with work stress and anxiety). She’s also quick to home in on the issues we’ve all put up with whether that’s male aggression in the dating world or inappropriate comments in professional settings (cue Bumble Bizz). She’s not afraid to talk about the icky stuff, the tough stuff, and the “why is this still happening?!” stuff. And the result? You find yourself trusting her fully, and you’ll trust whatever she’s selling, too.

Are there other women out there that you love who give a great personal pitch?