What is a Fractional Executive

Apr 7, 2022
What is a Fractional Executive
Repost from Connie Kwan (Product Maestro)
Original post: https://newsletter.productmaestro.com/how-to-become-a-fractional-executive/

Bolster Intro:

We started to build Bolster two years ago, just at the onset of remote work, because we believed that we could offer CEOs a new way to scale themselves, their leadership teams, and their boards. The inclusion of on-demand work at the executive level has been core to our brand promise since day one. And in the two years since our inception, we’ve seen a meteoric rise in the number of people who consider themselves “full-time fractional.”

But there are still a lot of questions, misconceptions, and normalization that needs to take place as fractionalization becomes more mainstream. One of our Bolster members, Connie Kwan, who runs a popular newsletter Product Maestro, wrote an excellent article last week for her audience about how to work on your elevator pitch when kicking off a fractional career. We’ve shared an excerpt below, and you can read the full writeup here.

What is a Fractional Executive? 🍰

Fractional executives work as part time leaders for startups to medium-sized businesses. These businesses are usually seed to Series A stage. At this early stage of a business, there’s not always enough work or budget to hire a full time executive. By hiring a fractional executive, startups can gain access to talent that they couldn’t otherwise afford. A fractional executive provides just the right amount of leadership to guide the company at this critical early stage.

Unlike a consultant, a Fractional executive does more than simply give advice. They stick around to ensure their plans are put into action and continue to help grow their clients’ business down the line.

Fractional executives fill crucial C-suite management roles such as Chief Product Officer (CPO), Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), and more.

These individuals come loaded with previous experience, having typically filled one of these roles in a full-time position during their careers.

So, if you’re considering becoming a fractional executive, the first thing you need to do is to get your elevator pitch right.

Why do you need an elevator pitch? 🛗

As a fractional executive, you are meeting at least one new potential client a week. You’re also sharing your pitch to even more potential clients that you may never meet directly. You’re selling your services at a higher scale than if you took a full time position. Thus, having an ironed out elevator pitch will save you time and bring you more business.

How to write your elevator pitch ✏️

Your elevator pitch should be compelling, memorable and highlight your unique offering. Since you are seeking executive positions, you are up against the best of the best. An elevator pitch allows you to introduce yourself and deliver your value proposition.

Your elevator pitch needs to include these elements:

  1. Your Focus Area 👑
  • What types of companies do you work with? Industry? Size? Founder profile?
  • This answers your audience’s question of “Are we the right fit?”
  1. Your Special Sauce ​​🥫
  • 2 things that make you stand out; 1 related to your expertise, 1 related to your passion
  • This answers your audience’s question of “Do you have what I need?”
  1. Your Credibility 🏅
  • 1 example of a client “just like them” that you helped

Before you go and write your own, it’s probably helpful to look at some examples.

3 examples of great fractional executive pitch ⭐

The best way to create a great pitch is to study other great pitches. Looking at fractional executive profiles is the best place to start. To find the best profiles to show you, I reached out to Bolster, a fractional executive network that I’m a part of. They shared a few top profiles in their system. To find out why these profiles stand out, continue reading here.

-Connie Kwan, April 7, 2022.