“So, what do you do?”

 5 steps to your perfect elevator pitch

If you’re starting out in your own business or as a freelancer, it can really help you to define your service by writing an “elevator pitch”. It sounds a bit cheesy, but an elevator pitch is simply a 30 to 60 second summary of what you do. When you have it locked and loaded you can rhyme it off at networking events and when you meet potential clients. Your pitch is like your verbal business card and you can use it for your social media profiles and the about page on your site, as well as in person. In this post, we’re going to look at a really simple formula to write your own.

When I was starting out with Claire Creative, I was offering a load of different services and the question “So, what do you do”, sometimes turned into a long-winded explanation and list of services.

My Old version

Well, I do web design and graphic design and I help people make websites, I sometimes do branding but I also do MailChimp set up and list management and traffic building. Oh yeah I do WordPress and SEO training as well…and..err.”

Resulting in:

via GIPHY

They didn’t get it, zoned out, backed slowly away.

I’m not saying you need to turn into a salesperson whenever you meet someone new, but it’s really handy to have an elevator pitch ready to roll to avoid umms and errs when you’re asked what you do. When I wrote my own, it actually helped me to define the service I was offering. It pushed me to consider the services that I actually wanted to offer and who I really preferred to work with. Let’s look at the elevator pitch recipe.

5 steps to your perfect elevator pitch

  1. Who do you work with?
  2. What service do you provide?
  3. How do you provide that service?
  4. What is your unique selling point (USP) (what makes you different to others in the same field)
  5. What problem are you solving for customers?

So you can see that it’s not just about the work you do, but who you work with and how you work! If you’re not sure who your clients are, pop over to the Digital Strategy article and fill out the Audience worksheet.

My new improved version

(Who:) I help freelancers and entrepreneurs (service:) to plan and create their own websites (how:) through workshops and one-on-one coaching sessions. (USP:) I have a non-technical approach that works for people who need to focus on their business, rather than learning software and code! (problem solved) So instead of being a really frustrating process, making a website becomes exciting and even enjoyable.

Isn’t that much better? Obviously, I don’t recite this word for word like a robot, that’d be weird. Instead, I have these elements ready to use so I don’t get tongue-tied and end up sounding unprofessional and boring.

Other elevator pitch tips

  • Know exactly what you want to say
  • Write out a long list of words you can use to describe your service, which can be used to vary your pitch
  • Consider who you’re talking to – the tone will vary in different situations
  • Try to avoid technical terms and jargon
  • Keep it short, but not so short that there’s nothing to talk about
  • Vary it. Don’t get bored of your own speech, mix it up depending on who you’re talking to, just be sure to include the main ingredients
  • Think of a follow-up question to keep the conversation going. This applies to your spoken and written pitch
  • Practice it. Ask a friend if it makes senses to them. Sometimes when you’re too close to the subject, it helps to get an outside opinion.

 

 

    Using your elevator pitch on Social Media

    When you’re happy with your pitch and have practiced it a few times with real people, you’re ready to get official and use it online. Are your social media profiles all fully filled in and up to date? This is the first step in looking good online, even if you don’t have a site yet.

    Twitter bio

    Your bio’ text appears under your profile picture on your Twitter page. In true Twitter style, it’s short, 160 characters! So it can be a challenge to be informative yet personable.

    I change mine from time to time to experiment with hashtags and wording. Take a look around at what others are doing and consider who you’d like to reach on Twitter and set the tone to suit them.

    How to change your Twitter bio’: So simple… Just login. Visit your own profile page. Click on the Edit profile button on the right, under your cover photo. All the public elements of your profile can be edited there. Be sure to fill in the website link if you have one. If you don’t have a site yet, you can use this field to link to your Facebook profile or page, or your Pinterest, Instagram Google+ or Periscope account.

    Facebook ‘About’ info’

    Facebook is the largest social network around. You should make it as easy as possible for people to find you among the 1,3 billion other users! If you’re using your personal Facebook profile to promote yourself online, you may want to leave out the relationship status bit. But you can always change the audience settings so certain information can only be viewed by friends.

    Both your personal information or company information will fall under the “About” tab on your Facebook profile or page.

    Source: blog.hootsuite.com

    On company pages, you can add your location and important dates, your products and you have a nice amount of space for your overview, which is a perfect spot for your elevator pitch.

    Source: blog.hootsuite.com

    How to change your Facebook ‘About’ info’: Here’s how to update from the Facebook Knowledge Base

    Google+ Profile

    Google+ is an often overlooked social platform, but those who use it tend to be really engaged! When your Google+  profile filled in well, it can really help you to look good in Google searches. So take your time to fill in all as much as you can and consider what info you want to share and with who (Public, Private, your Circles or Extended Circles).

    The tagline is limited to 140 characters, so you can use it to sum up, similar to your Twitter bio’. The tagline is the first piece of info that is visible without clicking, so it should represent you as much as possible. Make sure to include the keywords and phrases as this is a really important piece of SEO text.

    The introduction is where you can add your full pitch text and be a bit more expressive.

    You can add the link to your website and all your other social profiles to your Google+ profile. And you can host your youtube videos and get your business listed on Google maps, so really do consider Google+, it’ll pay off.

    How to edit your Google+ Profile: Here’s how to do it from Google’s resources

    Other networks

    If you use LinkedIn here’s how to edit your profile: Edit your LinkedIn Profile

    For Pinterest users see here: Edit your Pinterest Profile

    And Instagram here’s how: Edit your Instagram profile

    Using your elevator pitch on your website

    A more lengthy, detailed version of your elevator pitch can be used on the About page of your site and it can help you to compose text throughout your site. When writing your pitch text, do a big brainstorm page too with all the vocabulary associated with what you do. If you make this list of keywords and phrases when defining your pitch, you can refer back to it as the SEO vocabulary set for the site. You can test how popular these terms are with Google Trends and BuzzSumo (more tips on SEO in future articles). Using your pitch text as a reference when writing your website copy will help you to stay true to your audience and your brand message.

    So take your time, give it a test run and be sure to optimize all your social profiles. I promise you, you’ll start to get positive feedback and, even more business leads because your audience will know for sure what you do and they’ll be reassured that your service is perfect for them.

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