Whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder, running your own business, or looking for a job, you know you need an elevator pitch. But how do you create a clear, concise elevator pitch that gets you noticed and hired?It’s all about connecting with your audience, communicating how you help, and feeling confident when you say it. Here’s a few tips to get you started.
It’s time to rethink your elevator pitch
Traditionally, the elevator pitch referred to a 60 seconds (or less) speech about your accomplishments that you prepared ahead of time in the off chance that you stepped into an elevator with a high-level executive. Today, your elevator pitch serves a much larger purpose: to form a connection and open the door to future opportunities.
Think of your elevator pitch as a “what I do and how I help” statement that you can use anywhere: at networking events, on your website and social media bios, in an interview, and of course, in an elevator. A good elevator pitch can get you clients, jobs, referrals, and more. But it’s not just about finding the right words.
A strong elevator pitch has these three characteristics:
They connect. The best elevator pitches don’t sound like pitches. They sound like a conversation between friends.
They’re natural. Reading a bio doesn’t make for a great elevator pitch. But being yourself and feeling confident does.
They let you shine. A strong elevator pitch helps you highlight your strengths and how you can help.
When you seek to connect and communicate with your audience, instead of just sell to them, you can better form relationships which lead to getting hired.
How to create an elevator pitch that connects
So you know you want an elevator pitch that sounds like you, connects to your audience, and doesn’t feel rigid or salesy, but how do you get started?
Here are some tips for creating a clear, compelling elevator pitch:
Know your audience. Tailor your pitch to the audience at hand. When you know who you’re speaking to and what they need, you can talk about how you can solve their specific problems. It’s best to know your audience ahead of time so you can plan your pitch accordingly.
Focus on the benefits your work provides. When you introduce yourself, don’t just talk about the tactical work you do. Focus on how your work benefits clients and companies. “I handle social media so business owners like you can focus on your next launch,” is a much more compelling statement than “I’m a social media manager.”
Keep it simple. Use every day language and skip the jargon. It might seem like using industry lingo makes you sound like an expert, but it can confuse your potential client and cause them to tune out entirely.
Remember it’s not just about you. Your elevator pitch isn’t a brag fest. It’s the start of a conversation and an opportunity for each person to learn more. Ideally, if your introduction goes well, you’ll get follow up questions where you can explain more about your work.
Confidence is key. It doesn’t matter how great your words are. If you can’t say what you do with confidence, your audience won’t buy it. Remember that you do have something of value to offer, and people want to hear about it.
Experiment and evolve over time. The right elevator pitch doesn’t happen overnight. It evolves over time. Practice introducing yourself every chance you get and adjust along the way. Eventually, you’ll find that the right words effortlessly roll off your tongue.
Examples of strong elevator pitches
A strong elevator pitch covers who you are, what you do, and how you help your target audience. Here are some examples:
I’m a career coach for multi-passionate millennials who struggle with choosing a direction. I help you get clarity on your next steps so you can stop wasting time and start doing the work you love.
I’m a marketing consultant for wellness brands. I help you find the marketing strategies that will work best for you, so you can stop spinning your wheels and grow your business.
I’m a productivity coach for business owners who feel overwhelmed and frazzled. I help you get organized and focused so you can start taking action on your most important work.
The key to creating an elevator pitch that gets you noticed and hired starts with connection. When you know your audience, understand their needs, and can confidently communicate how you can solve for those needs, you’ll open the door to new opportunities.
Stacey Hagen is the founder of Create Coaching & Consulting, where she helps women solopreneurs and business owners to define a clear message and articulate their value, so they can attract their dream clients and make a living doing what they love.