The elevator pitch. It’s one of the most important marketing tools for entrepreneurs. It also is the one that strikes fear into their hearts.
Why is it at once important and scary?
Well, because it’s a great way to explain what you do in a concise, intriguing way that could ultimately generate some business!
That is, when it’s done right. The good news is that you CAN do it right, with just a little bit of coaching. The great news is that I’m going to give you that coaching right here, right now.
I’m going to share four mistakes I see most often, as well as tips for turning those mistakes around.
Mistake 1: Your elevator pitch is all about you. You mention your credentials or education, or the name of your proven system for change.
How to Turn It Around: Your elevator pitch should focus on your ideal client. Period. For more on how to do this effectively, keep reading!
Mistake 2: Your elevator pitch misses the point. So many elevator pitches focus on a specific system or offering, and they end up missing their mark. So what is the point? The point is that YOU understand a specific problem your ideal client is facing, and that YOU are equipped to help him solve it.
How to Turn It Around: Your elevator pitch should touch on one or two items that are keeping your ideal client awake at night: a specific problem that YOU (and only you) can solve. You can mention the pain your ideal client is experiencing, or the transformation he can expect to experience, or a combination of the two.
Mistake 3: You try to make your elevator pitch creative. Of course, it should have energy while describing the transformation you provide, and for whom. But don’t try to be cutesy!
How to Turn It Around: Keep your elevator short and to-the-point, and be sure that it explains what you do—clearly!
Mistake 4: When your first elevator pitch isn’t effective, you give up rather than testing different versions to see which one does work.
How to Turn It Around: Test, test, test! The only way to really know what works is to let the market tell you. Practice your elevator pitch on your ideal prospects and see how they respond. Test and adjust until you get the response you want.
Finally, I know examples can provide a great foundation for creating your own elevator pitches, so here are some examples you can learn from:
“I am a business coach and a mom who has been in business for six years.”
Notice: This elevator pitch is all about the person speaking. Let’s shift it around so it instead focuses on mompreneurs and what keeps them up at night—life balance—and the potential transformation. It’s short and simple, and doesn’t try to be cutesy.
“I coach mompreneurs on how to easily balance being a mom with being an entrepreneur and feel great doing it.”
“My powerful system, SHIFT IT, gives people guidance to make big changes in their lives.”
Notice: You have no idea what this person does, do you? Is he a coach or a consultant or a shaman? This elevator pitch is not specific, and it focuses on the person talking, rather than the ideal client. Let’s turn it around by making it more specific, and positioning the speaker as the solution to the problems experienced by a specific group of people.
“I coach professionals in making the mental shift necessary to overcome their fear of the unknown and start their dream businesses.
“I guide seekers in living better by building better businesses.”
Notice: This elevator pitch tries to hard to be cutesy and clever. Let’s shift it so that it focuses on spiritual entrepreneurs and their concern about their businesses conflicting with their values. Again, we want to be clear—not clever.
“I coach busy spiritual entrepreneurs on how to build profitable businesses without sacrificing their core values.”
“I am a business coach with five years’ experience and a special certification in exercise as healing.”
Notice: We can’t tell, based on this elevator pitch, who this person works with or how she can help them. Let’s shift it around so that it’s more about the ideal client and the transformation he can expect to experience—the solution to one of his problems.
“I coach entrepreneurs in the health industry on how to incorporate health into their own lives so they can practice what they preach, enjoy business ownership, and earn great money doing what they love.”
Lots of entrepreneurs struggle with crafting effective elevator pitches, but I’m confident that when you follow the guidelines in this article, you’ll find that it’s not as scary or intimidating as you thought it was.
The elevator pitch. It’s one of the most important marketing tools for entrepreneurs. It also strikes fear into their hearts.
If this topic resonated with you, you may be interested in “Love-Based Copywriting Method: The Philosophy Behind Writing Copy That Attracts, Inspires and Invites.” It’s available at most online retailers. Learn more, here.
Judy Cullins says
Thanks Michele for a brilliant how to on elevator pitch. I loved the angle of mistakes, because that’s a bulls eye to your market of successful entrepreneurs. Since I’m a book coach, and my market is the same as yours, I too teach how to write the elevator pitch we call “the tell and sell” for authors–to know before you publish (pre-marketing) You’ve inspired me to rewrite a blog with 4 steps how. Can be used in all in person meetings!
This is why I keep listening to you! We are the same wave length.
Connie Ragen GreenC says
Michele, this is a very helpful post. I practiced my elevator pitch by attending Chamber of Commerce mixers is my city. It took some time, but finally everyone I talked to understood what I did and even asked me some questions to find out more.
Connie Ragen Green