Do you have a personal elevator pitch to sell yourself to hiring managers, potential clients, prospective investors, and more? An elevator pitch is a marketing tool that provides a quick snapshot of a business, product, or service. Don’t let the marketers get all the attention! You can create an elevator pitch, too, and it can make you seem irresistible and ignite your career.
If you invest time and effort into crafting a killer elevator pitch, you’ll have a 60-second or less statement prepared to be delivered at a moment’s notice to sell yourself. Use the 10 tips below as you create your elevator pitch, and hiring managers will think their companies can’t survive without you on the team.
1. Focus, Focus, Focus!
A solid elevator pitch is laser focused. Identify your career goal and tailor your elevator pitch to sell yourself accordingly. If you want to become the Chief Technology Officer of a Fortune 500 company some day, then write an elevator pitch that is focused on getting you to the next step in reaching that goal. Don’t try to tell your entire story and all of your many goals leading up to the coveted CTO position. Instead, focus on the next step to get there.
2. Hype Benefits and Solve Problems.
Your elevator pitch should sell you, but a fundamental truth that marketers know is no one cares about you. They care about how you can help them and solve their problems. Rather than hyping everything you can do, hype the benefits that you can deliver to the person you’re talking to and explain how you can solve their problems. Making your pitch sound like it’s more about the other person than about you is challenging but can be extremely effective.
3. Explain How You’re Different.
Marketers know that it’s essential to show an audience how they’re different from (and better than) competitors. You can do the same thing in your elevator pitch by making sure you mention specific differentiators that the person you’re speaking with is interested in but can’t get from anyone else (at least not with the same benefits that you can deliver).
4. Know Your Audience.
In #3 above, you learned that it’s important to include differentiators in your elevator pitch that matter to the person you’re speaking with. However, you’ll deliver your elevator pitch to more than one person. Therefore, you need to understand who you’re talking to and customize your elevator pitch to focus on the benefits, problems, and differentiators that matter most to that person. Do your due diligence before you deliver your elevator pitch and make sure it’s targeted to the right audience.
5. Tap into Emotional Triggers.
Marketers create ads that tap into audiences’ emotions. When people “feel” something from a message, they’re far more affected than when they just hear or read an unemotional message. You can tap into emotions in your elevator pitch as well. For example, tap into the emotion of fear by explaining the dangers that loom if the person you’re pitching yourself to doesn’t hire you or work with you. When you can evoke an emotional response, your elevator pitch becomes exponentially more effective.
6. Avoid Giving Too Much Information.
Remember tip #1 above which advised you to stay focused in your elevator pitch. Avoiding giving too much information takes this tip a bit further by reminding you to leave out extraneous details that clutter your pitch and dilute your message. Shorter elevator pitches are easier to understand and more memorable so get out your red pen and start deleting!
7. Define Your Brand Promise.
Before you write your elevator pitch, you need to identify what you bring to the table and what you stand for. In other words, what do you promise? This is your personal brand and your brand promise. Commit to delivering on that brand promise and make sure your elevator pitch is consistent with that promise.
8. Be Honest and Accurate.
Never lie in your elevator pitch. You’ll get caught eventually and the subsequent damage to your personal brand and career isn’t worth the risk — ever. Furthermore, if you include any statistics or quotes in your elevator pitch, double check them for accuracy. Make sure you confirm spellings, pronunciations, and anything else in your pitch that could cause your audience to think you don’t know what you’re talking about if it’s not accurate.
9. Practice, Practice, Practice!
Practice makes perfect, so make sure you practice your elevator pitch and can deliver it with ease and confidence. The content of your elevator pitch is important but the delivery is important, too. Try to excite and motivate your audience when you deliver your pitch, and be sure to try it out on numerous people for feedback before you deliver it to a hiring manager or client.
10. Spread the Word.
Use the tools available to you to spread your elevator pitch to broader audiences. Create a website and publish your elevator pitch on your site. Even job seekers can create a simple resume website within a few minutes. Promote your elevator pitch on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter profiles. Create a printed version of your elevator pitch to offer as a leave-behind at job interviews or prospective client meetings. Don’t be afraid to self-promote!