The one where I help you nail that pesky elevator pitch once and for all.
Hello, and welcome to Episode 55 of the Lightbulb Podcast. Before we get started, I just have a quick bit of housekeeping for you.
For the first time this year, I will not be recording a podcast episode next week and this is because I'll be spending the week in Sunny Devon, at least I hope it will be sunny. We're staying with friends and their internet connection is pretty shocking so therefore, I won't be able to record a show.
However, I will be recording Instagram stories while I'm out and about. If you don't already follow me on Instagram, please do so. You'll find me there as martineeellis.
To make it up to you though, I promise that this week's episode will be value packed.
This week, we're talking about your elevator pitch.
The reason I've chosen this topic for the show is that we have some fantastic discussion about it in The Lightbulb Club, my free Facebook group.
Put simply, it's a quick explanation of who you are, what you do and why you or your business is fabulous. Typically, it would last 30 to 60 seconds. In others words, the time it takes to take an elevator ride.
Now, I don't know about you. Maybe it's a British thing but I tend to refer to an elevator as a lift, but for some reason, your "lift pitch" doesn't sound anywhere near as impressive as your elevator pitch, so we'll go with that.
I'll answer that question with a question. How many times have you been in a situation where somebody has asked you what you do and you've been a bit lost for words?
I'm thinking networking situations, that's where I really struggle.
Also, writing the "About" page on your website can be challenging or if you've done, for example, a guest blog post or a magazine article for someone else in your niche, and you need to provide a very short biography.
Social media profiles too are really tricky to write because invariably you're restricted on the number of characters you can use.
Your elevator pitch, therefore, is all about clarity of message. And ultimately, it will form the foundation of your business plan. It's very important.
When we discussed elevator pitches in The Lightbulb Club, it became apparent that we all find it really difficult. Why is that?
I suspect it's because most of us are, deep down, a little bit uncomfortable with selling ourselves and that word "pitch" definitely has a sales element, doesn't it?
In addition to this, as business owners, entrepreneurs, whatever you want to call yourself, we typically do more than one thing we're told so often how important it is to niche down. Yes, we may have a specific niche but within that niche, we probably do numerous things.
Even when you think you've nailed your elevator pitch, you know exactly what it is, you're really happy with it. When someone asks you at, say a networking event, what you do, you have to recall it and explain it clearly and concisely and that is not as easy as it sounds.
Well, one of the best ways to do it is to find a trusted friend, perhaps your accountability partner. Buy them a coffee and spend 20 minutes or half an hour explaining to them exactly what you do.
Then, ask them to explain it back to you. They're likely to do so without using any jargon and in a clear and concise way.
Make notes on what they say and then use this information as the basis of your elevator pitch.
As always, I've got some top tips for you when you are working on your elevator pitch and I'll share this with you now.
My first tip is to focus on the person who is asking you what you do. Don't focus on yourself. Think about how you help them even though this person has asked what you do.
They are the centre of their own universe. It's harsh but true so by telling them how you could help them, you're going to make them way more likely to listen to you.
Another tip is to take into account the audience for your elevator pitch.
If it's somebody talking to you in person, are they a prospective client? If they are, then focus on the benefits of your product or service for them.
If they're not, focus on simply helping them to understand what you do. Even if they're not a potential client, it's still really important that you spend some time on the pitch because they might know someone who could benefit from your service.
Therefore, them understanding precisely what you do is really important. This is one of the reasons why not using industry jargon is essential.
Here's another tip. Your elevator pitch doesn't have to encompass absolutely everything you've done in your career and everything you want to do because it's only supposed to last 30 to 60 seconds.
You simply can't explain your entire CV. Focus on the now and focus on the person or people you're explaining to.
It's a good idea to consider some form of call-to-action in your elevator pitch where appropriate. In a face-to-face scenario, it might be a case of, I know it's old school, but handing over your business card.
If it's on a website, it might be a contact form or something like that. Do think about a call-to-action for your elevator pitch.
Now, it's time for you to work on your own elevator pitch.
To help you, I've put together a worksheet which includes a number of formulas. If you'd like to grab this, just to the end of this post and click the button.
As usual, I like to keep things nice and simple, so you'll see my short elevator pitch on the homepage of my website and it goes something like this:
"Teaching artists, makers and creative business owners how to develop their online identity, share their work with the world and sell their stuff."
In an elevator pitch format, this would something like:
"Hello, my name is Martine. I teach artists, makers and creative business owners how to develop their online identity, share their work with the world and sell their stuff."
I'm currently developing my elevator pitch because I'm bringing in a membership site to form part of my offering and the membership site is targeted slightly differently. As soon as The Lightbulb Academy goes live, I'm going to tweak that elevator pitch.
Incidentally, if you are interested in getting your name on the waiting list for the Lightbulb Academy, just hop over to thelightbulbacademy.com.
The formula for my elevator pitch then is, "Hello, I'm [your name] and I help people to [?] so they can [?]"
I replaced "help people" with "teach people" because teaching is a very important part of what I do.
You can expand this formula to explain why what you do is better than the competition so you might add "Unlike the competition, I ..." And explain how you do things differently.
However, just be really careful that you're not getting too focused on yourself. Remember, it's all about the benefits for your prospect.
Check out the worksheet for a number of other formulas you can use. I've shared a variety in totally different formats so you can pick the one that works best for you and your business.
Okay, I think that's it from me today. I really hope this episode has been helpful.
Feel free to hop into The Lightbulb Club to chat about elevator pitches. If you want some feedback on your pitch, then by all means, share it in the Facebook group and you'll find there's a number of very helpful people willing to give you constructive feedback.
As I mentioned at the start of the episode, there'll be no podcast next week but I will be on Instagram stories so hope over to Instagram and give me a follow and you can keep up to date with my Devon adventure.
Thanks so much for tuning in. I hope you'll join me in the next episode.