One of the most important things you can do for your business is to create an elevator pitch. Your elevator pitch is a quick way to let others know what you do and describe your business, and it’s a powerful networking tool.
It sounds like it should be pretty easy. Just come up with two or three sentences that encapsulate what you’re all about. Unfortunately, once you start, you realize that it’s not always easy to narrow it down to something that’s simple to explain on a 30-second elevator ride.
If you’re having trouble creating an elevator pitch, here are some tips that can help you get through the process:
What Do You Do?
Really think about what you do. What value do you provide? Describing what you do can be one of the hardest things to narrow down for your elevator pitch. This is because we’re used to explaining things at length. I used to tell people
I used to tell people that I’m a blogger. Even though blogs have become more widespread and mainstream, there are still plenty of people who don’t understand what that means. Now I tell them what I do with a little more precision:
I write about money for online clients.
It’s possible to craft an elevator pitch from there. Understanding what you do, and being able to describe it in simple terms, is the first step.
How Do You Add Value?
Next, you need to be able to tell someone how you add value. Why is what you do important or unique? This can also include a brief statement of the problem you solve. Sometimes I include something about how I help my clients communicate effectively about money to their audiences.
You need to be able to share a little bit about the value you provide. Think about what makes your company unique. What problems do you solve? How do you solve them? Think about this and try to boil it down to essentials. Your elevator pitch isn’t just a statement of what you do. It’s also an explanation of the why and how behind the business.
Tailor the Elevator Pitch
Finally, keep different versions of your elevator pitch in mind. When I go to Podcast Movement, I can talk about being a freelance blogger and someone who has three podcasts. These are terms that most people attending understand.
When I’m meeting someone at my local TV station, though, the situation changes. The same is true of local networking events. I sometimes tweak the language I use to fit the audience. This helps me explain the situation better, and it also allows me to connect to someone else on a different level. Part of making that elevator pitch is to connect with your audience — whether it’s an audience of one or one hundred.
Think about the different situations you’ll be in when using your pitch, and consider how you can tailor your pitch to match the circumstances. Practice ahead of time so that you are ready and the conversation flows.
And, finally, don’t forget to show interest in others. Once you’ve delivered your elevator pitch, ask someone else what they do — or ask a question that indicates you have the ability to help them reach their own goals as a business. An elevator pitch is a great way to identify potential partnerships as well as find new clients.