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What is an elevator pitch?

January 25, 2017


Imagine you’re in a swanky room full of small business owners ready to network (kind of my worst nightmare really). You’ve quickly scoured the room and found someone who doesn’t look so scary. You’ve introduced yourself and know they ask “so what do you do?”.


Do you stare blankly and try and come up with something vaguely intelligent on the spot? Or do you swiftly dive into a quick but engaging run down of your business? Grab the whiteboard folks, it’s time to pitch!


An elevator pitch is aptly named. It refers to that fact that you only have the same amount of time available to describe yourself as it takes to ride an elevator. That’s not long to make an impression. It also means you don’t have time for the ums and ahs whilst you try and come up with something engaging.


Why do you need an elevator pitch?


You need an elevator pitch to:

  • create interest in what you do and the solutions you or your business provides

  • introduce yourself in a networking situation

  • create a memorable first impression

  • appear professional

  • entice potential clients


How to craft an elevator pitch


Your pitch needs to be succinct, so you need to get straight to the point. It also needs to sound natural, so no complicated jargon or boring intricacies of your business.


There are many ways to formulate your pitch. My favourites are always the ones that have a storytelling approach and that sound natural. Not too smarmy or salesy.


I scoured the internet for the perfect pitch template to share with you, but couldn’t find one that sounded like something a normal person would say! So, I’ve come up with my own little formula that you might like to use.


Elevator pitch template


Do you know {problem}?


I help {target market} to solve this by {solution}.


This makes them {describe benefits}.


I will also give you bonus points if you provide facts or examples.


Examples of an elevator pitch


Bookkeeper: Do you know how you always end up feeling overwhelmed at tax time with shoeboxes filled with receipts? Well I help small businesses stay on top of their financial obligations by ensuring that their transactions are processed quickly and efficiently. This relieves the pressure on them and enables them to focus on other strategic areas of their business. I recently helped a plumber implement a more efficient method of expense collation. Now he spends less time ‘on the books’ and more time doing his trade.


Landscaper: Do you know how everyone dreams of a lush, green, perfectly manicured garden? Well I help people like you make this dream a reality. I have a team that provides a regular maintenance service that includes all aspects of horticulture. As a result, I have over 100 clients across Sydney who are proud of the way that their home looks.


My elevator pitch


I thought that I would share my elevator pitch with you. You will see that there are elements from my website’s About page and my Instagram profile.


Do you know how small business owners are often overwhelmed with all the daily tasks that they need to stay on top of? Well I help them solve this issue by providing a flexible service for administrative, social media or copywriting aspects of their business. This means they can focus on the parts of their business that they enjoy. I want my clients to succeed and be a part of their journey because their success is my success. I recently helped a local singing teacher step up her game by creating a more engaging and appealing newsletter. As a result, she had several new students join her classes as her current students were motivated to pass the newsletter on to their friends.


What to do with an elevator pitch


Once you’ve crafted your killer pitch, make sure you practice it out aloud. Often the written word sounds better in our head. Bail up your partner, friend, or dog if you have to and ask for their feedback.


Consider turning your pitch into a video to put on your website. What better way to engage your potential clients than explaining what you do in person? It is the perfect length for viewer engagement and brings a personal touch to your website. This is definitely on my to do list, so watch this space!


Lastly, you don’t want to be launching into this spiel to any unsuspecting person you meet in an elevator. Make sure you use it in the right context.


So, if you ever bump into me in an elevator, a hallway or networking event, ask me what I do. Test me out and see if I’ve been practicing what I preach!

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