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It just feels so formal, so stuffy, so played…
And if you work in a creative space, it can seem even more unnecessary and high-strung.
So why, you ask, is an elevator pitch the subject of an entire blog post?
Because as cringe-worthy as it seems, there actually is a place – and a very important one at that – for an elevator pitch…even in your creative business.
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Le Elevator Pitch Struggle
When I started my first blog, I was confused.
Not confused about the content. Not confused about the purpose of the blog.
I was confused about how I would “sell” the blog to other people.
It wasn’t that I couldn’t think of the words. I could easily say, “I blog about public health pharmacy.”
But that simple sentence requires too much thought on the part of the person I’m talking to. I don’t want them to have to figure out what public health pharmacy is and why in the world they should care about it.
To be honest, at face value, a blog about public health pharmacy sounds informative, but boring. No one is going to waste time trying to connect the dots if they don’t care about the dots in the first place.
No, I needed something more spicy. They needed to understand what was in it for them. It wasn’t about me and why I started the blog. It was about them and how it could add value to their lives.
Eventually I figured out how to deliver my message, and I’ll share it with you at the end of this post. And with your newfound knowledge, you can tell me what you think of it!
What’s an Elevator Pitch?
In a literal sense, an elevator pitch is a ~30 second plug for your business or yourself that quickly summarizes what you or your biz are all about. The idea is that if you only had the span of an elevator ride to communicate to an important person about what it is you do, you’d have a perfectly-timed pitch ready to deliver.
But let’s take this less literally (because you should be getting a workout in and taking the stairs anyway…).
An elevator pitch can be used ANYwhere, not just an elevator. People are busy and, even if you’re not on an elevator, they don’t have 5 minutes to listen to you fumble for words to describe your latest creative endeavor.
Your pitch also doesn’t have to be 30 seconds. The point is: it should be short and to the point.
Here’s where your pitch becomes useful. An elevator pitch is designed to:
- spark a conversation
- get a person’s attention
- generate interest
Seems pretty simple right? I mean how hard is it to mess up a 30 second spiel?
Tuh. Believe me, it’s possible.
These are the things that people try to do with an elevator pitch, even though most times they shouldn’t:
- make a sale
- land a job
- tell every single thing there is to know about your business
Okay, so…Do I Really Need One?
Who needs to have an elevator pitch?
Anyone who provides goods or services and wants some type of currency in exchange needs a pitch. In other words, everybody.
That’s because you never know when you’ll be in a situation where you need to quickly be able to pub your side hustle, business, idea, skills, etc.
And why try to throw something together in your head at the last minute when you can have a well-thought-out, strategic message to market yourself.
So here are the things you’ll wanna keep in mind when creating your elevator pitch for your creative business.
6 Keys to an Irresistible Elevator Pitch for your creative business
1. Needs to Work In-Person and Online
We live in the physical world, but we also think, interact, and communicate in the online world – some of us more than others.
As creative millennials, our side hustles and businesses are often heavily Internet-based. Since marketing happens both online and offline, we need to be able to deliver a pitch across the interwebs AND in-person.
Networking and meeting people face-to-face has been overshadowed by social media, but the importance of face-to-face relationship-building is resurging.
The future of business and marketing is not just online; it’s in a combination of the online and offline world.
So remember that you’re pitching people in front of and behind a computer screen.
2. Keep it Simple, Sweetie
As an introvert, one of the most exhausting social experiences for me is listening to someone drone on and on and on about their idea without stopping for feedback, questions, or an opportunity to escape the convo.
Your pitch should not be the history of how you got started or a summary of your 10 year business plan. Sure, if somebody asks you for more details and seems GENUINELY interested, get as deep into the weeds as you want. But for your initial pitch, you want to keep it simple.
If someone is interested in working with you or partnering with you, you have to give them time to understand and absorb the information you’re giving them and the value you provide.
Your pitch should get people interested in your story. It shouldn’t be the entire story.
3. Nix the Cliches and Buzzwords (no one cares)
You never know who it is you’re gonna be talking to about your industry. It could be someone familiar with the industry, or it could be someone who really has no clue about it.
The latter person won’t know all the lingo that’s common in your field (and the former could probably use a break from it, too), so keep your pitch buzzword-free.
You want the person to know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. Otherwise they may feel like they wasted 30+ seconds of their lives listening to fluff coming out of your mouth.
4. Focus on the Transformation
We hold our “babies” – our side hustles and businesses – near and dear to our hearts. It can be tough to know the “right amount” to share without giving EVERYthing in our excitement.
Here’s a tip. In your elevator pitch, focus on these things:
- the purpose – What is the point of what you do?
- your audience – Who is it for?
- their transformation – How does it make their lives better?
Deep down, people want to be better versions of themselves. Communicate how you help people do that.
How would you feel if someone came up to you to tell you about their business, then proceeded to pull out an index card and read from it word-for-word?
Blank stare, at best.
You don’t wanna be that person, but you also don’t want to be stammering over your words. That’s the entire point of crafting an eleator pitch beforehand.
I say all this to say…PRACTICE!
You want to sound knowledgeable.
At the same time, you don’t wanna sound like a robot, so keep it natural.
Try this: Write the pitch in your conversational voice. Don’t try to make yourself sound formal and stuffy. Write your pitch the way you would say it out loud…then say it out loud…over and over and over 🙂
6. Get Feedback from A Trusted Network
If you’re wondering whether your pitch sucks, just ask a friend. Don’t ask your super nice friend who won’t even tell you when you have broccoli stuck in your teeth or a hole in your pants.
Ask the friend who will tell you your breath stinks.
Ask someone who will give you constructive criticism and whose opinion you actually respect and value.
Your Friendly Public Health Pharmacist Elevator Pitch Example
So now that you know what goes into crafting an elevator pitch, I’ll share with you the pitch I came up with for Your Friendly Public Health Pharmacist (YFPHP).
Your Friendly Public Health Pharmacist is a blog that educates adults on ways to stay healthy and prevent the need for medications. It also serves as a trusted resource for medication information when medications do become necessary.
The Internet is full of conflicting, misguided, misleading, and flat-out wrong health info. Instead of searching for health information online and trying to figure out what’s trustworthy and accurate, YFPHP is a website where you can get evidence-based information about drugs and medical conditions, straight from a pharmacist.
From this pitch, a person understands what value YFPHP provides and why they might want to read it.
This is what your elevator pitch should do.