Elevator speech. Elevator statement. Elevator pitch.
Why are we on an elevator all the time? The phrase came from the idea you need to figure out a way to explain what you do, who you serve, and what makes you different in the time it would take to ride an elevator. It’s a short, compelling sales pitch. So, how do you write an elevator pitch?
We know how our writing can help others but our potential clients don’t. If they understood the writing craft then they probably wouldn’t need a writer. It’s a classic conundrum. We can get so wrapped up in our writing world we forget that those not in our world don’t understand what we do or why it matters. It’s our job to educate them. This is where the elevator pitch comes in.
I know, how can you explain all the facets of your writing business in a way that both makes sense and persuades someone to hire you? How can you craft a pitch that not only positions you as an expert but convinces the listener you’re the right person to deliver the solution he or she wants? (Yes, this is the hard part.)
Telling people “I’m a writer,” is great but it’s vague. What do you write? How do you make money? Who reads what you write? See what I mean? Think about what you do and then think about explaining it to someone who has no clue about your industry — maybe your grandmother or someone in an unrelated field. How would you describe the service you provide?
BREAK IT DOWN
Before we write the pitch let’s answer these questions:
- Who do you help (in an ideal world)
- What problem are you solving
- What is your solution?
Who do you help?
When I first went through this process I realized I couldn’t be a generalist and “help everyone with their writing stuff.” I needed to zero in on an audience/group. It took some soul searching, but I recognized I had a passion for helping new/emerging writers learn how to make money from their writing and helping established writers market themselves. Yeah, I know. Specific. Scary stuff, right?
Except it’s not scary. It doesn’t mean I can’t help non-writers with writing (I do it all the time), it just means I have an ideal client who I focus on the most.
In the end I found the easiest way to write an elevator pitch was by filling in the blank. Here are two formulas I found helpful.
How to write an elevator pitch example ONE
The biggest problem my audience has is _________________ and I can solve this problem by (showing them, giving them, etc.) ___________________, which will allow them to ________________ and that really speaks to their desire to ________________.
I found this over on Zach Spuckler’s site in a freebie called Your First Course Playbook. I have no idea if it’s still kicking around but I thought it was a good exercise.
How to write an elevator pitch example TWO
I help _________________ (target population) with/gain/develop _________________ (problem) by delivering _________________ (your solution).
This is from a six-week coaching program I did last summer called Simplify Your Social Media and Spark Your Sales. It isn’t being offered anymore but if it ever is again I will let you know. I LOVED every second of it and ran through it a few times after the initial course. I like how simple this sentence is and I found I could narrow my gaze enough to commit to an elevator pitch.