First impressions can make all the difference.
They are especially important when trying to land new clients, get a promotion, or interview for a new job.
When I quit my 9 to 5 job to pursue my businesses full-time, this was especially top of mind for me. I needed to find a way to make it work, which involved pitching myself regularly.
So, I developed an elevator pitch or a quick summary of myself and my experience to demonstrate my value to business owners effectively. I strategically wrote it out and practiced it.
It wasn’t something that I offered up on the fly. As an introvert, I needed to feel prepared to make the best impression possible. I used it while networking, during interviews, and over email.
Some clients signed on for work with me while others passed, just like any self-employed person experiences.
However, I noticed that my elevator pitch made an impression. Such an impression that I was referred to others and my business grew to 13 recurring clients and six figures within a year of quitting my corporate finance gig.
. Such an impression that I was referred to others and my business grew to 13 recurring clients and six figures within a year of quitting my corporate finance gig.
Here are the components that I included when creating my elevator pitch that you may not have realized you should too.
An excellent place to start is with who you are, what you do, and what you want to get out of the conversation.
Without starting your pitch with your name, the person on the receiving end won’t know who you are and won’t be able to reach out to you later!
Begin each connection with your name, a handshake (or wave in these times of COVID-19), and make sure to smile.
Better yet, if you’re at a job fair or interview, provide the potential client or employer with your business card or resume. If you’re in a more informal setting, don’t be pushy or awkward, though.
Summary of what you do
Give a brief summary of your background, including education, work experience, and any key strengths you are trying to emphasize.
Make sure they are in an order that makes sense for your audience and that you only include the critical information. Elevator pitches are meant to be short. Hence, their name.
Keep them to 20 to 30 seconds long.
Explanation of what you want
Why are you telling them all of this? Make sure you explain the reasoning behind your elevator pitch.
Express your interest in a job opportunity, internship, mentorship, or just having them as a connection.
This is a good time to highlight the value you would bring to whatever is up for discussion.
Call to action
So, what happens next? Your pitch won’t go anywhere unless you specify what should happen now.
You can schedule a formal meeting or coffee meet-up, express interest in a job, or even just confirm that you’ve finished answering their interview question.
Without a doubt, this step is the most important because your conversation will come to a dead-end and go nowhere without it.
It will essentially just be a waste of time for both of you. Don’t be afraid to be forward and politely ask, “Would it be possible to block some time on your calendar to discuss the opportunity further?”
Don’t make these mistakes
Some of the worst mistakes you can make when giving an elevator pitch include not speaking clearly and naturally or making the conversation feel forced.
Even if you have practiced, don’t sound too rehearsed!
You also don’t want to talk too quickly or use complicated language because the person you are speaking to may miss what you are telling them.
Make it clear and straightforward for yourself and others by using one pitch for most occasions. Now, get to practicing and happy job hunting!