Every entrepreneur needs a solid elevator pitch. Whether it's a formal pitch at a networking or investor meeting, or a simple 'What do you do?' at a coffee shop, you have to know what you do well enough to tell people in a way that they can remember. Every interaction is a potential client, or potential referral.
When it comes to nailing your pitch, greet them with a KISS- keep it stupid simple Start by having solid mission and vision statements. These can be used to craft your pitch. Your elevator pitch is essentially where you are pitching your services to a potential client on the fly. You never know what will come out of a conversation with a stranger, and who they might know. Here are some best practices:
● Keep it short and sweet- 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute (Having layers helps you expand into the time allotted) ● Have multiple versions and time lengths ● 1 audience or focus per pitch ● Simple language a kindergartener can understand ● Memorize bullets, not the full pitch
- Who are you?
- What problem do you solve?
- Who has this problem?
- How do you solve the problem? (if time allows)
- Do you have any accolades or awards? (if time allows)
- How can someone work with you? ● End with a question or invitation
It is helpful to have multiple versions so that you can whip out a 15s sentence, and a full minute presentation. Try using this model:
15s Hi I’m ____ and I solve x problem for x person
30s This is how I solve x problem for x person
1m This is what qualifies me to solve x problem for x person; and this is why it matters to me
Your elevator pitch can be adjusted to any group. If you offer multiple services, break down each problem and solution for each audience. Maybe you offer marketing consulting and services for the person who wants to offload their marketing strategy, coaching for the person who is doing their own marketing, and workshops for the person who is doing their own marketing and still saving up budget. Know the solution you provide for each problem and who your audience is, and you can tailor your pitch depending on the room you are in. The most important thing is to make sure they know your name and the problem you solve and how they can work with you. If they can’t understand the problem you solve, or they don’t know how to work with you, they won’t become a client or refer you to someone who may be your perfect client.
Bonus Tips: ● Don’t memorize your elevator pitch- it will sound robotic. Instead memorize bullets so that you know how to answer specific questions. ● Don’t stress. People will pick-up on your energy. Just be you. Let them be them. And when it’s a match, it will match. Calm, Cool, Collected. ● Start with who you are- Identity is #1 in anything that you do. ● Know who you are talking to. If you target everyone, you target no one. ● Practice! Don’t be afraid to try different variations. Talk to your mirror. Call some friends and ask them after you pitch to pitch back to you. If they aren’t understanding, tweak your language until they do. ● Know your CTA (call to action)- tailor your elevator pitch to give the listener 1 thing to do (is it brand reputation and you want them to know who you are? Do you want them to be your client? Do you want them to join a workshop? Are they not your client but they know people and you want them to connect you to the right client? When you know who you are and who you serve, you can evaluate the listener and speak directly to them. Pitching is about connection, not a hard sale.