If you’re anything like me, you’ve been procrastinating on coming up with a great elevator pitch. Squeezing a tempting description of how you can help people through your products and services into just a few words is challenging at best.
Your elevator pitch is your 30-second marketing strategy. You need it to tell people on the fly at any given moment who you are, what you do, and help win them over – or at the very least, gets them to remember you so they can refer you to their friends. A good elevator pitch lands new clients, gets referrals, or makes you memorable.
A bad elevator pitch gets you zero. Zilch. Squat. Nothing. No one will want to work with you. No one will remember you. Everyone will pick someone else to do the job.
But let’s face it – if we were good at marketing, we’d all work at some big fancy firm. Most of us work in other fields. That means we suck at marketing.
Well, many of us do, anyways. Getting excited about our work is easy. Getting excited about ourselves is tough. It feels like we’re blowing our own horn. It puts us center stage and in the spotlight. Convincing someone to want to work with us on the spot makes us squirm.
Try this test. Sit up straight. Put your feet on the floor. Now convince me in thirty seconds or less that I absolutely need you to work with you. Shoot.
If you’re an average person, your thoughts right now are probably similar to this:
Oh crap. Now what do I say? I feel silly. I hate this. I have to sound impressive. What if I go over the top? What if the person laughs? Wait, what if it’s not good enough? How the hell do I know what to say? I’m a [insert job here], that’s all.
So you hesitate. “Uhh… I’m a [insert dull and boring description of what you do]. And I’m really good at it.”
Know What You Do
Most people really don’t know what they do for a living – not in the elevator pitch style, anyways. They know their job title, perhaps, or the common term for their trade. Writer, graphic designer, entrepreneur, salesman… Take a look me, for example:
Hi. I’m James, and I’m a writer.
Interested in working with me? Probably not, because I haven’t told you what I do. I’ve told you my job description. My title. I’ve only told you who I am, not what I do. Try this version on for size instead:
Hi. I’m James, and I’m a writer who compels people to take action.
Get it? Compelling people to take action is what I do. A designer provides visual appeal for maximum impact. An entrepreneur manages an efficient business. A salesman evokes an emotional desire to purchase an item.
Live it, breathe it, be it.
Keep It Simple, Stupid
“Hmmm…” You’re thinking now. “So I’m not a cabinetmaker. I’m a creative woodworking designer!”
No, I’m sorry, you are not. You might feel like one and you may very well actually be that person. To everyone else in the world, you’re just a cabinetmaker.
Fancy words and complex titles mean very little to the average person. Big, important titles are impressive, yes. But if you have to explain what you do after you tell people what you do, you’ve wasted your breath.
It might make you feel good to be fancy, but it won’t bring you more money.
Now that you know what you are and what you really do, you need to answer the question, “So what?” Because honestly, no one cares that you’re a graphic designer or a writer or a stock advisor or a shoemaker or a photographer. People don’t care about you.
They care about themselves.
They don’t want to know what you can do – they want to know what you can do for them. They want to know how you can make their life better. They may need something, but unless that something is going to make a change for the better, they won’t buy.
Let’s take a look at my example again:
I’m James, and I’m a writer who compels people to take action.
That gives nothing to the potential client. The guy in your elevator listening to your pitch is thinking, “So what? Big deal. What I need is better sales and more revenue. Plus, I don’t write to want my own content. I’m not a good writer anyways. I want to work less and make more money. I want to be rich.”
So tell people how you’ll change their lives.
We can’t make other people rich. Their success depends on them and the decisions they take. We can help them get there, though. If working with you makes them achieve their goals faster, better, and more efficiently, then that’s a winning element to their success.
Now you just have to pitch it:
Hi. I’m James. I’m a writer who compels people to take action, which means I can help you achieve better sales with great content that makes readers want to do business with you so that you can sit back, relax and watch the money pour in.
If you want to learn more on great elevator pitches or just want to know more about improving your writing, blogging and web business, head on over to James’ blog, Men With Pens, where you’ll get more free advice to achieve strong success. Better yet, subscribe to his feed here.