How to Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
What do you say when you’re asked what you do? Do you have something specific and memorable to respond with? What’s your brand message? Here’s how to supercharge your Elevator Pitch!
The Elevator Pitch, part 2
As I wrote in part 1 last week, the Elevator Pitch gets its name from giving a 30-60 second pitch about what you do, in the time it would take to travel in a lift with someone. It needs to be interesting, persuasive, and memorable enough that they will want to go and connect with your socials, check out your website, or maybe even buy from you or book you, as soon as they get back to their desk!
Last week, we looked at starting with one simple sentence to introduce yourself with. This week we’re going to expand that into a whole paragraph, or one minute networking pitch, wherever you have more time or space to let people know what you do, and sell yourself and your business.
Five Steps to help:
Whether with one sentence or several, you still need to be sure of your message, what it is that you want to be known for, and what you want your listener or reader to remember about you. You still need to have clarity on what you do, who for, and how you’re different. So I’m just going to recap the five questions I asked you in the previous blog, as we can use your answers to these to expand your one sentence into a more detailed response when you introduce yourself or are asked what do you do…
1. Who are you? What’s your business name?
2. What do you do? / What do you sell? – Narrow this down to one main thing.
3. Who do you do it for, who do you help, who do you sell to?
4. What’s the benefit? – what problem do you help them solve, what is the transformation they get, what goal do you help them achieve?
5. What’s your USP, why are you different? – what’s the unique value of working with you over someone else?
Craft your Elevator Pitch
We took the answers to all those questions and reduced them into one sentence last week by saying I help…[who you help], to.. [what you do], by… [how you do it], or something similar – have a read of the blog post Nail Your One Sentence Summary to see more.
You can use that sentence to make a longer elevator pitch, by splitting it back into the three parts, and turning each of those into a longer sentence. Or use each of the five answers to write five or more sentences about what you do and who for. Or you can still use that one sentence, as the start of your elevator pitch, and just add more information afterwards. Whatever you add still needs to be a part of your brand messaging, and be aligned with everything else you say, so that it all goes together.
You could add more information about a particular product, service or event that you want to promote on that specific occasion, or just generally.
You could add something from your brand story, how you came to be in business, doing what you do, or what experiences you have had, that have led you to doing what you do. Or why you love what you do.
You could talk about a brand mission that you have, an over-arching goal to everything you do, like being eco-friendly, or helping a particular group of people and why.
Whatever you add, remember your ideal client and what they want to know. Think about what they need to hear from you that they will relate to, and thus like you, and want to work with you. Think about what they want to know that will show them they need to buy whatever you sell. An emotional connection with your audience, getting them to feel something, will make them buy into you, your brand and your business.
Tips to Perfect your Elevator Pitch
Try using a question at the start, to get them interested in what you do. You could ask if they have ever felt a particular way, or done things a certain way, whatever it is that is the problem you solve for your customers/clients, get them thinking about how that problem affects them, so that then you can go on to say how you solve it.
Use stories. Stories help your listener to really listen, to connect with you, and remember you. Especially if you have overcome a struggle with something, an experience, anything that has led you to this point of having your own business, or doing what you do to help others who are going through the same thing.
Make sure you use language that is easily understandable by people not in your industry who don’t know the acronyms and other jargon that you may use.
Make sure you are showing the value in what you do, and why they need you to do it/buy from.
Try and be interesting, memorable, and compelling – you are trying to sell yourself, your products or services after all! You need to show how amazing you are, because people won’t know otherwise!
Finish with a CTA, a call to action, to join your group, like your page, see info on your website, talk to you afterwards, book a meeting etc.
Or if you’re in a situation where you want the conversation to continue, finish with a relevant question, asking how they deal with the problem you solve with your product/service etc.
Practice saying it, out loud, to check that it sounds like you, and feels natural to speak it. This should also help you remember the key points you want to say!
If you’re really stuck with writing it and getting it to sound right, and sell yourself, get the help of a professional copywriter! They will have many more tips than I can give here to help you craft your story, your message, and your elevator pitch.
Example Elevator Pitch
As an example for you, here’s mine again. And like last week’s one sentence summary, this changes too, depending on what part of my business I want to emphasize. At the time of writing, it’s booking more branding photography clients, as I have just finished signing people up to my online photography course. (I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it will give you an idea of what to say if you have never done this before).
As a quick reminder, my one sentence summary is along the lines of:
“I help female business owners to grow their visibility, brand and business, with beautiful story-telling brand photography”.
And here’s my whole current elevator pitch:
Hello, I’m Jane of Picture Your Brand… Do you hate seeing photos of yourself? But you know you need to be sharing them on your website and in your social media don’t you? So that your customers and clients can see who you are and get to know you? Well I photograph lots of women like you, who maybe aren’t so comfortable in front of the camera, and I help you to get beautiful photographs that you do love, and are happy sharing. Photos that are bespoke to you and your business, tell your story, appeal to your ideal clients, build your brand and grow your business.
I’ve been taking photos since I was little; my parents have a photo of me on my 7th birthday, really happy with my new present, my first camera! Later I learnt photography properly on film at evening classes, using my first SLR camera. Then I gave up working for the Queen to be able to take photos for my job, and spent a decade photographing for other companies, before redundancy and the children led me to starting my own photography business.
And now I love meeting and photographing amazing business owners like you, and helping you get confident with your photos. I work with a personal stylist who does colour analysis as part of my photography packages, because I know that it really gives you a big confidence boost, just as it did me when I first started working for myself and had to meet new people and get myself out there for the first time since being at home with the children. And then I can photograph you wearing clothes and makeup in the colours that really suit you, and make you look extra amazing!
I’m also different because I do what I call both business and personal branding photos – I like to photograph you at work, doing what you do, whether that’s making your products, speaking at an event, working with a client or just on the computer at home, in your natural surroundings, not somewhere that isn’t authentic to you, so that the photos show the real you. But I’ll also do some posed, more lifestyle / personal branding type shots so that you have a mixture to use, that will fit wherever you want to use them. We’ll have a consultation before every brand shoot where I help you delve into your brand so that we know what we need to achieve with your photos and ensure they will fit with the rest of your brand.
So let me know if you’d like to update your brand photos! I have a freebie download on my website with tips to plan your photo shoot if you’d like to have a look at that. Or just join my free facebook group Your Brand Story for tips on all things brand and brand photography.
If it needs shortening, I can easily cut out the whole second paragraph. I should probably just have one CTA at the end to make it easier to remember, but I can change that depending on whether at that point I am trying to grow my email list, facebook group, or send them to my website or social media.
It’s always good to re-do this process every now and then, especially if the focus of your business changes, so you can check you are still putting out the right message.
And now I need to take my own advice and remember what to say next time!
Using your Elevator Pitch
Keep a copy of your new/updated pitch in your phone, or diary, and/or computer so you can access it anywhere. As well as using it for your networking introduction, here are six more places you can use all or parts of your pitch:
1. In your LinkedIn About section
2. In your social media bios
3. On your website homepage
4. On your website About Me page
5. Whenever you are asked ‘What do you do?’
6. Use smaller adaptations in your social media posts.
Check all these are aligned with what you’ve just written, and update them if not. Don’t forget to share a lovely branding photo of yourself with your pitch! Get sharing, and start getting yourself more visible.
As with your One Sentence Summary, keep the Elevator Pitch in mind to guide you in everything you do for your business. Check every bit of work you do, all your content, all your marketing – is it all aligned with what your business is and who it is for? It can help you to decide what you do next, what you stop doing, what you keep doing. How handy is that?!
PS Are you in my free Facebook group Your Brand Story yet? We are talking about the One Sentence Summary and your Elevator Pitch this month, and lots more on all things brand and brand photography. Click the photo to come over and join us:
Perfect your Elevator Pitch