The dreaded “Elevator Pitch”… you know, that 90-second spiel that you’re meant to have down pat, to whip out when you’re chatting to a potential client or a new colleague that succinctly lets them know exactly what you do. Hand’s up if you can do this right now! Nope? Me neither, at least not when I first started freelancing that is.
As a freelancer, it can be tricky to nail this down, to determine what your ‘secret sauce’ is, because if you’re anything like I was in the beginning, you’re not entirely sure where your skills are going to end up taking you.
When I started out freelancing, I was doing SEO writing and SEO consulting (keyword identification, reports etc) and now I’m a blogger, author and social media consultant. So similar, but not the same.
So how do you develop your secret sauce and deliver an elevator pitch that makes sense, without pigeon-holing yourself into just one area, at least in the beginning?
Read on to learn more!
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The Art of Developing Your Elevator Pitch
The whole point of figuring out what your secret sauce is, is so you can narrow down on how you are different from someone else in your niche and to then develop your elevator pitch so that you can clearly convey what it is you do to someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to check out your website right then and there.
You can then use your elevator pitch to further develop your brand and change it to suit where your business is heading.
Here’s some steps to help figure out your secret sauce:
- Ask yourself this question: "How is my product or service better than my competitor's?"
- Then ask yourself: "How can I do what I do 10% better than my competitor?"
- What do your friends and family say are your best qualities? What do they always come to you for advice on?
- What are you passionate about? Are you a ninja when it comes to productivity or time management, for example?
Write down the answer’s to these questions and then review them and see how you can weave your secret sauce out of your answers – you’re looking for your point of difference, something that makes working with you better than working with someone else.
Here’s an example:
Say you’re an SEO writer. We all know that there are thousands of SEO writers out there. Why would a client choose to work with you over another writer?
Here’s some ideas on how your secret sauce might look if you’re an SEO writer:
- "I'm an SEO writer who specialises in Finance writing. I will turn your words into understandable, practical advice that your readers will eat up and share with their social networks."
- "I will provide SEO articles within 24 hours of receiving your brief, on any topic you provide, all copyscape passed and without error."
- "You can expect copyscape passed SEO articles with a conversational voice that encourages your readers to engage with your brand and share your content."
Once you’ve got your secret sauce nailed, it’s much easier to develop your elevator pitch, as you’ve got something more tangible to work with.
Tips for Developing Your Elevator Pitch or Secret Sauce
There is a definite art to writing your elevator pitch, but it also comes down to the way you deliver it. Here are some thoughts on how to craft your elevator pitch and how you should deliver it:
- Keep it brief. It should only be 2-3 sentences long and succinctly convey what you do.
- Craft your elevator pitch as if you were solving a problem. Identify what that is and then provide the solution.
- Who is your target market? If you can identify and mention them in your elevator pitch, you'll get immediate buy-in from them.
- On delivery, be enthusiastic and energetic. Flat, monotone voices suck.
- Avoid use of jargon; a major turn off if people don't understand what you're saying.
- Don't forget to add a call to action at the end of your elevator pitch - what do you want the person to do?
- Make sure you know your stuff. If you've delivered your elevator pitch well, there WILL be a follow-on conversation.
You definitely want to convey energy and enthusiasm for what you’re doing – if you don’t do this, then your potential client is going to wonder if you enjoy what you do. If they think you don’t, they’ll then wonder how that’ll reflect in any work you do for them…
Also, don’t memorise your elevator pitch. Make sure you understand the gist of it, but ad-lib and change words each time you deliver it.
Know the order of the points you want to make and then choose the words that you feel fit the person you’re talking too. The more natural you sound, the more they’ll connect with you.
Always make eye contact. If your eyes are darting all over the place, the person you’re talking to is going to think you’re not interested in them or what they’re saying, or that you’re extremely rude or dodgy.
Maintain eye contact, but don’t make it a staring contest either!
Now it’s Your Turn!
By first figuring out what your secret sauce is, you’ll be able to craft your elevator pitch much easier.
Then think about the problem, how you’ll provide the solution and who your target audience is. Deliver your elevator pitch with energy and enthusiasm and don’t memorise it. At no point should you sound like a robot.
Do you have a great elevator pitch? Share your’s in the comments below!