Why Less Is More When Pitching Your Fractional Practice

Tom White
May 20, 2024
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Why Less Is More When Pitching Your Fractional Practice

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It did what all ads are supposed to do: create an anxiety relievable by purchase. — David Foster Wallace

Most geniuses—especially those who lead others—prosper not by deconstructing intricate complexities but by exploiting unrecognized simplicities. ― Andy Benoit

Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest. —Leo Babauta

I’m Tom White and I write g̶o̶o̶d̶ well.

I work as (ghost)writer, editor, and researcher on behalf of founders, funders, F500s, and fractionals; helping them write the right words for pitches, decks, product launches, and presentations. 

If words are knives, I am their sharpener, honing them so they cut through a very noisy internet.

Luckily, this is a skill everyone—not only wordsmiths, but also numerati—can pick up. This piece will start high up at thirty-thousand feet and introduce some rules for writing before showcasing the power of a framework I call the 4Cs. Upon article’s end, you will leave equipped with the tools and training to turn potential clients into kinetic ones.

Let's Begin

In today's frantic digital bazaar, one commodity reigns supreme: attention. If you can't seize it in seconds, you've struck out before the game’s even begun.

For fractional experts peddling their wares amongst the overstuffed stalls, lucidity is lifeblood. 

Put more literally: can you chisel a convoluted message into clear, concise bullets? 

If not, prepare to be buried beneath endless verbal landfills: mudslides of bloated emails, jargon-choked reports, and rambling DMs asphyxiating every inbox.

Here’s the sad truth: people don't read anymore. High on dopamine, they hop, skim, and jump from one stimulating snack to the next. So make it bite-sized or be ignored. If it takes more than a few choice words to articulate your unique value, you'll become a casualty of attention warfare.

Lingering in minds requires a new sort of Madison Avenue alchemy—compressing high-voltage ideas into phrases so charged that they sear into neural pathways.

Consider a few classic taglines from today’s juggernauts:

  • Uber: Everyone's private driver.
  • Stripe: Increasing the GDP of the Internet
  • Google: Organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful.
  • Amazon: The Everything Store.
  • Anduril: Reboot the arsenal of democracy.

Put simply, short, pithy darts go right to the brain's bulls-eye. That's the mark at which fractional leaders must take aim. 

Why? Because, for better or worse, you're not unique. You're one of a million fractional operators chasing the same big fish in a school overflowing the seas. Generic pabulum won't cut it—clients will swim on by, mouths sealed shut. Because, unfortunately, even if you’re not communicating well, others still are.

No, you must articulate your worth clearly and comprehensively—its every ridge, crevice, and contour mapped and committed to instinct.

Let's Get Specific

Consider a few basic, macroscopic rules that will take your word and phrase from drab to fab:

  • Show, Don’t Tell: Use concrete examples and anecdotes to illustrate your points. I worked with X to design Y and Z which led to an uplift in $AM and B%” says a lot more than "I am a great designer.”
  • Use Active Verbs: Active verbs make your writing flow dynamically. “I 10xed revenue” > “Revenue was 10xed by me.”
  • Don’t Hedge Your Bets: Make strong, confident statements. Avoid phrases like "I think" or "I believe," which can undermine credibility. This is poker and you have pocket aces—act accordingly and go all in!
  • Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS): Avoid jargon and complex language. Bukowski said it well: “An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”
  • Ask "So What?" After Every Sentence: Each sentence should propel the reader forward. If a sentence doesn’t contribute to your main message or answer the reader's implicit "so what?" question, reconsider its inclusion. Try to understand: What do they care about? What is the biggest problem they're facing right now? What are their hobbies?

Zero in on your razor's edge, then atomize your value into a few, concentrated truths.

Let’s zoom in closer and go from abstract theory to applicable practice with the 4Cs.

  1. Clear: Avoid ambiguity, be direct, and use simple words/sentences.
  2. Concise: Be Brief.
  3. Cogent: Logical Flow: Ensure your writing follows a logical, relevant sequence. Each point should naturally lead to the next, building a cohesive argument backed up by data, examples, or testimonials.
  4. Comprehensive: Be thorough by covering your bases and anticipating questions.

Never forget—you're no mere vitamin peddler proffering rose-tinted placebos. You sell painkillers.

Sure, clients sense their anxieties and pangs every waking hour. But they've gone numb, inured to these signals. It's your job to isolate the sharpest aches first; only then can you formulate the perfect intervention. Master that dark art—serving not vitamins but vital painkillers—and you'll forge powerful client bonds.

Yet, expertise dilutes in a vacuum. Because the game's not quality alone, it's quality multiplied by distribution. Without eyeballs, impact decays into irrelevance on dusty studio shelves.

The path is arduous. It is simple, but not easy.

It demands the ruthless mental hygiene of a peak-performing stoic—an unflinching commitment to slicing away all inessential layers until only the essence is on display.

This is the great struggle of fractional life: distillation. The untrained eye dismisses it as crude minimalism, but true virtuosos recognize its profound complexity. Crafting crystalline simplicity is grueling, mind-bending work—the rarified art of smelting ideas into dense, polished gemstones.

"If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter," quipped Pascal, capturing the difficulty of concision. The most penetrating truths feel almost harsh because of their stripped-bare economy of language.

But this is the secret code of sticking in minds: ruthless minimalism. 

Less really is more. 

Extraneous language just creates noise pollution that clutters valuable neurological real estate. So strip your message down to its most concentrated, distilled, and purified form through rigorous chiseling. You are both the marble and the sculptor; don’t be afraid to chisel off some intellectual love handles. Though painful, your client (and bottom line) will thank you.

Be brief. Seize attention. Get it done by knowing yourself, knowing your niche, and killing your darlings. 

Remember—clear, concise, cogent constructions catalyze comprehension. 

Need help writing the right words? Drop me a line:

And if doing fractional work sounds exciting to you, or you want to learn more, check us out at We've got plenty of live jobs from startups looking for senior-level fractional talent.

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