60: Writing Your Brand Elevator Pitch
There aren’t many situations that can induce panic in professionals more than the question, “What do you do?” As CEOs, we have a bad habit of making a judgment call when meeting someone—either they’ll understand what we do or they won’t. This episode will help you craft a memorable response that ends the ramble and ensures you’re not missing out on potential leads by missing the mark.
On this episode, I share:
- Where most introductions fall flat,
- Why your job title isn’t enough to get people to care,
- The difference between an elevator pitch and a brand pitch,
- Specific examples of effective brand elevator pitches, and
- How to get your hands on the free brand elevator pitch guide I’ve created.
WHY YOU NEED TO PITCH YOURSELF
Pattern of Purpose started as a personal branding business helping women make mid-career pivots. I found that the biggest struggle that my clients experienced was figuring out how to convince employers that what they had done in their career prepared them for what they wanted to do next, even if that didn’t look- on the surface- like an obvious next step.
Even when my clients could see their skills and articulate how they were qualified for the position to me, they got tripped up on how to concisely make that connection—and quickly. They weren’t sure how to introduce those qualifications in an intro, cover letter, or email.
The problem many of us make when we pitch ourselves is that we start with where we’ve been instead of where we’re going. We tend to launch into a long- winded description of our entire career history, and fail to grab the attention of the person we are trying to reach.
COMMANDING ATTENTION WITH YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH
Many of us do not grab attention when we are introducing ourselves. This can apply to in-person introductions as well as cover letters, resumes, or emails. As business owners, this is more than a missed connection with someone. It can result in a lost sale.
What we fail to keep in mind is that even if the people we’re meeting don’t have a deep understanding of our work or need for it, there’s a good chance they know someone who does. When we don’tiIntroduce ourselves effectively, we are missing out on the opportunity for networking.
Most of us have been taught how to make a quick elevator pitch to someone that we just met. By using the formula that we have all been taught, we have all wound up with some pretty boring elevator pitches. They usually go something like this:
“Hi my name is [name] and I’m the owner of [business name]. We [what the company does] for [target customers] so that [benefit].”
Introducing yourself this way will almost always kill the conversation. But why? The reason is simple. Unless there’s the small chance that I’m your ideal customer, I don’t have enough context to follow up. You’ve succeeded in speaking to your people, but you’ve failed in making a connection with anyone else.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BRAND PITCH + AN ELEVATOR PITCH
As the CEO of your business, instead of introducing yourself as a person, you should be introducing your business. This means that you have to pitch yourself differently, and probably in a way that you are not used to.
This can apply to networking events, speaking engagements, podcast interviews, social bios, and more.
Your value proposition as a business is why you exist. A value proposition explains how your product or service solves a customer problem in a unique way. By pitching your business in this way, other people come to understand why you exist, and it gets them interested enough to want to learn more.
So what is the difference between an elevator pitch, a brand pitch, and your brand elevator pitch? To begin, elevator pitches are usually around 30 seconds long. This is too long, and forces you to memorize it, focusing more on delivery than the actual person in front of you. When you deliver a brand pitch, you are touching yourself for something specific, and asking for something at the end. Brand elevator pitches grab attention early and lead with a bit of intrigue.
We are often told to not introduce ourselves by our title, because titles can mean anything. This can be true, but titles do provide a reference point. If you are comfortable doing so, introduce yourself by your title, and back it up with a simple phrase, such as, “What this really means is….”
By using a brand elevator pitch to introduce ourselves, we borrow from the elevator pitch model, but we do not structure it to be all about ourselves as people. We also borrow from the brand pitch model, but we do not go into great detail about our business, or ask for anything at the end.
WRITE YOUR OWN ELEVATOR PITCH
If you’re ready to work on your own, I’ve created a guide for you: Brand Elevator Pitch: How to Introduce Yourself Without Killing the Conversation.
I’m really proud of this guide. It shares where most pitches go off track, what the 3 P’s are and why they’re central to every successful pitch, and three different ways you can structure your own. I don’t believe there is such a thing as one- size-fits-all!
The goal I have for you is to have something that feels natural to say AND puts your business in the best light.
Here are some tips and tricks to get you started:
- Think about the lowest common denominator of what you do that people will understand.
- Avoid industry-specific terms or jargon. This causes confusion!
- You confuse, you lose!
- This isn’t about dumbing down your concept or approach. It’s about making it accessible to everyone.