Have you ever been stumped on how to quickly and succinctly describe who you are and what you do as a small business owner? That, my friend, is called an elevator pitch, because you need to have a way to share your business to the everyday person that is quick and easy to understand (they say that if you have 10 seconds in an elevator to share your business with someone, you need to have a way to do that without fumbling over your words). No jargon. No flowery words. No fluff. If you have only 10 seconds, you need to hook them in immediately. Lucky for us there are only two steps to a killer elevator pitch.
A big part of small business is creating your written (and spoken) messaging in such a way that it makes an impact on your audience. Brand messaging is the underlying purpose and heart behind your business brand, and it’s the business-specific language and words used in your content & copy. But it’s also the way that you make your prospects relate to your brand by the way you make them feel and think.
Your elevator pitch is a very (very!) short version of this brand messaging. In addition to being to-the-point informational, it will also contain elements of your brand voice that is unique to your business, and it acts as a succinct sales pitch when you’re chatting with people unfamiliar with your business.
So you know you need one, and you like the sounds of only two steps to a killer elevator pitch, but how do we begin?
“6 word formula”
I like to enlist the help of my good friend Mad Libs for this exercise. Mad Libs, brand messaging version, is a fun and effective way to play around with writing your elevator pitch by letting you fill in the blank with a few very important key elements.
But before we jump in, remember those two steps?
Determine who you help.
Determine how you help them.
First you determine who you help with your business, who you are in business to reach, and who your product or service provides value for.
Then you determine how you help those people with what you offer.
I help _____________ (who) with __________ (what)
Verity & Co. is primarily a web design boutique, so how do I use that in my elevator pitch? First I came up with this statement:
Verity & Co. is a web design boutique for passionate entrepreneurs who are ready to up level their businesses and serve more of their ideal people.
(Your business name) is a (description) for (your ideal audience) who are ready to (address their painpoint) and (how you transform their life).
I turn that statement into my Mad Libs elevator pitch like this:
I help passionate entrepreneurs with web design that grows their business.
It’s more than the “6 word formula”, but that allows room for growth and creativity as well. My elevator pitch shares who I work with, what I do for them, and how that service can solve a problem or offer a solution. It’s always a good thing to look past the hard facts of what you do and look to how you can make your customer or client’s life easier with what you offer, because that’s the part that gets them excited. They’re looking for more than a product or service–they’re looking for something that will make their life or business easier!
So get out there and use these two steps to create your own killer elevator pitch.