How to Craft Your Perfect Elevator Pitch
Whether you’re meeting a friend for coffee, going to a local networking event, or hanging out online on social media, you need to be armed and ready with a killer elevator pitch!
What is an elevator pitch?
Well, it is not a sales pitch for your product or service. But it does sell you by telling about how you help people achieve a goal or overcome an obstacle. An elevator pitch is, as the name suggests, a description short enough to spark someone’s curiosity in the time it takes to ride an elevator. You want to leave them clear on what you do, interested in learning more, and aware of the next step they need to take to get what you offer.
As an entrepreneur, you have to sell to survive. But if you’re stuck in the mindset of stereotypical sleazy sales tactics, it’s time to break out!
I love sharing all the things I learn while building this savvy design business. Everything I learn I owe it from other people whom I learned from. I hope by following me online I will be able to create the same impact others did with their free resources.
6 steps to crafting an effective pitch.
Reframe your thoughts and stop feeling like a sell-out. Let your value shine with a pitch created to impress!
Who you are.
Start with one sentence or phrase that tells people who you are. Are you a consultant, writer, designer? This one is pretty straight-forward!
What you do.
Look at your mission statement and use it as a starting point. Write a sentence or two that not only state what services you offer but show the value you bring.
Who you serve.
You hear it all the time. Who is your ideal client? A commonly used adage in business and marketing says, “When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.” This simply means that if you don’t know exactly who your business ideally serves, you won’t have the laser-sharp focus necessary to market your business to success.
And if you can’t clearly state who you serve, how will anyone know they need what you offer?
In your pitch, name a few defining characteristics of your ideal client, what their pain points are, and how you serve them. Illustrate how their life or business can improve because of the value in your service.
What makes you unique.
What do you have that no one else does? What sets you apart? The industry term for this is your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP. Less official phrases include, “Superpower” and “Secret Sauce!” Your USP might come from your experience, either personally or with previous clients. Maybe you have a unique process or strategy with a proven track record of success.
Put your personal superpower front-and-center in your pitch. Make sure people know why they would choose you out of all the other qualified entrepreneurs in your field!
Put it together.
With your summarizing sentences in front of you, it’s time to combine them into a compelling pitch that shoots straight to the heart of your potential client.
Remember. Keep it short! You are trying to pique interest. The last thing you want to do is bore a possible client with a long speech that they can’t relate to!
There are a few pitfalls to avoid when crafting your pitch, and most of them can be sidestepped by serious editing. Keep the following tips in mind as you read, edit, and reread your work in progress.
Cut out industry jargon.
Don’t assume everybody knows the ins and outs of your field. A buzz word loaded with meaning for you may muddy the waters for your conversation partner. If someone needs to figure out what you are even talking about, you’ve already lost them. Keep it clear and to the point, in words anyone can understand!
Don’t apologize or make excuses.
Someone approaches you at a friend’s party and asks the question: “So, what do you do?”
You start by shrugging and saying, “Well, it’s a bit complicated…”
You lost them. Don’t make excuses! Confidently speak your mission, purpose, and success. Avoid words like might, maybe, or possible. Be accurate and bold in your presentation of what you do and who you serve. And don’t ever apologize for it!
End with a call to action.
Your potential client needs to know how to start working with you if they connected with your pitch. Concluding with a question can move the conversation from information to action. Asking, “So how do you solve X problem in your business?” leads them to think about how you might bring value to them. Prepare two or three relevant questions at the same time as you’re writing your pitch.
Keeping business cards with you for in-person meetings, and having a link ready for networking online, are also great ways to keep your services top of mind, even after you’ve parted ways.
Practice, practice, practice!
Practice speaking your pitch out loud. Practice with your friends and family. Tweak as you go, and continue practicing until making your pitch is as effortless as brushing your teeth!
Practice in front of the mirror. Notice your facial expressions and body language. You want to be confident and comfortable. It will feel silly to practice specific movements and voice inflections, but the results will be worth it! When you meet your next potential client and you don’t even have to pause to form your sentences, you’ll know your practice paid off.
If you are spending your time online in social media networking groups, you can still practice different approaches to dropping your pitch in comment threads. Pay attention to the wording used by the original poster or previous commenters. Introduce your pitch with relevant answers or thoughts. Leave a link where appropriate so people can reach out if they are curious about working together.
Editing and revising your elevator pitch is a process that never truly ends.
You should plan to revisit it every month or two, and any time you are taking the next big step in your business. It will continue to evolve as your business grows and changes.
Keep reviewing your current version so the next time someone says, “So, what do you do?” you’ll be ready with a compelling pitch that leaves them wondering how they’ve got this far without you!