Even in today’s world of electronic communications, elevator pitches remain an important part of every freelance writer’s networking efforts.
But if you’ve been to a networking event, you’ll know that after hearing a half-dozen elevator pitches, they all start to blend together.
However, by applying a bit of creativity (and a dose of experimentation), you can craft an elevator pitch that you feel comfortable delivering—and that will help keep the conversation going.
Because, after all, the purpose of your elevator pitch isn’t to make a sale; it’s to start a conversation.
So here are some elevator pitch ideas you can play around with:
1. Start with a question
One way to kick off your elevator pitch—and make it more engaging—is to start with a question.
Here are a couple of examples:
Have you ever downloaded a white paper and cringed when you saw the page count? Well, I take white papers and turn them into a format prospects actually WANT to consume.
You know that pile of excellent evergreen content you have sitting in your blog and marketing archives? I help clients turn that content goldmine into powerful lead magnets.
Caution: Don’t ask a yes/no question, unless you know that 95% of people will answer “Yes”!
2. Start with your title, role or function
Starting your pitch by stating your title, role, or function is a quick way to get straight to the “What do you do?” question.
By giving people the bottom line first, you help them get a basic understanding of what you do up front. This avoids confusion and helps listeners process the rest of your pitch more effectively.
I’m a marketing writer. I help healthcare companies write marketing and sales materials that…
I write marketing materials for healthcare companies. Essentially, I work with them to explain the value of their products to their…
I run an e-learning company. I basically publish online training courses that teach freelance writers, designers and other creative professionals how to market and sell their services with more confidence.
3. Start by explaining the problem you solve
By starting with the problem you help solve, you jump right to the middle of your “story,” which is a great way to grab interest.
I’m the guy software companies hire when they need a marketing writer who thinks like CIO.
When companies are in crisis mode, they have to create a ton of communications for multiple audiences. The crisis management firms I work with hire me to help them write this content.
4. Use a problem/solution structure
This approach gives listeners a 360-degree view of what you do quickly.
Creative professionals are often very good at what they do. But most of them hate prospecting for clients. I show them how they can prospect more effectively, more consistently … and with less fear.
One of the biggest aspirations of many top executives is to write a book. But most of them don’t have the time or the skill to do it on their own. I work with these executives to extract their best ideas out of their heads and communicate those ideas in their own voice.
You can also mix and match this approach with the “Start with your title/role/function” approach described above.
I’m a book ghostwriter. One of the biggest aspirations of many top executives is to write a book….
5. Incorporate a story
We’re naturally hardwired to respond to stories. Anytime you can incorporate them into your pitch, they help to engage the listener—but keep them relatively brief!
I write marketing materials for healthcare companies. I was a director-level marketing professional for eight years. And I decided to take that knowledge and expertise to do what I do best—write engaging marketing messages. Essentially, I work with clients to explain the value of their products to potential customers.
I help software companies write marketing materials. I spent 11 years in sales writing my own sales materials in order to make and exceed my sales quotas. I was very good at it. And eventually decided to do this on my own and help other companies sell on paper.
Send the Conversation Back to the Other Person
Once you’ve delivered your elevator pitch (preferably with a bit of back and forth) it’s always a good practice to turn the conversation back to the other person.
Start by asking, “And how about you? What do you do?”
And see where the conversation goes.