Download a free worksheet: Create a Strong Elevator Pitch
Creating a strong elevator pitch is one of the most important things to focus on when you start a business. It will help you network and get your first customers. It is truly a productive step toward making your dream a reality.
This article explains why an elevator pitch is critical, what makes a strong one, and gives simple steps for creating your own. And a created a free downloadable worksheet.
What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch explains your business and gets the listener excited about it in about the time you’d be in an elevator together. About 15-30 seconds. (We appreciate that very few of you are standing next to others in elevators these days, but it is still a helpful concept.)
Why is a strong elevator pitch important?
- It will help you get customers. You clearly state what you and your business offer. That resonates with a potential customer. They buy your product or service. Everyone lives happily ever after.
- It makes networking easy. People will be more willing and able to support you if they clearly understand what you do. A memorable pitch makes introducing you and your business to other key contacts simple and effective.
- It will boost your confidence. Creating a pitch that feels good to say will do wonders for how you feel about yourself and your business. If you are proud and happy when speaking about your business, you will attract customers and supporters.
How do I create an elevator pitch?
So glad you asked! At Pepperlane, one of our superpowers is helping moms who want to start or grow their business to clearly state what they do. It might feel tricky, but we have a proven framework that has worked for thousands of mom entrepreneurs and business owners.
(Your or company name) offers (service or products offered) to help (target audience) to (solve problem X) so that they can (long term benefit).
It’s like Mad Libs but for entrepreneurs! Examples are helpful.
We will start with our own.
Pepperlane offers group coaching and community to help moms who want to start or grow their own business, so that they can create the life they dream of for themselves and their family.
Business: Marketing Consultant
Unicorn Marketing Consultants offer marketing strategy and implementation for small D2C businesses to help them grow their customer base and develop a sustainable marketing funnel.
Business: Life Coach
I offer one-on-one coaching services for high-performing, but overwhelmed working women. I help them think critically about their work and home to-do lists so they can live their life spending time on what really brings them joy—personally and professionally.
Business: Custom Gift Baskets
Belinda’s Baskets creates one-of-a-kind gift baskets featuring locally-sourced products. We help mission-driven companies create corporate gifts that align with their values and delight their customers and clients.
You see! It can work for any product or service.
How will you know if your pitch is good?
- The most important judge is YOU! If your pitch feels clunky or—worse—inauthentic when you say it, that is the clearest signal that your pitch needs work. Keep practicing and tweaking until it feels right.
- When your audience wants more. Pepperlane Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Gail Goodman says, “A good elevator pitch is short and sweet. It gives the audience a broad understanding but not the details. Think of it like an onion. If the audience wants to peel off more layers, then you are doing it right. The pitch is ideally the beginning of a longer conversation where your networking target or potential customer wants to learn a lot more about who you are and what you do.”
And now it is time for your “buts”...we know you have them.
- But I help a lot of people do a lot of different things: We hear this a lot. And while being excited about lots of opportunities for your business is good, not being concise in your pitch can be quite detrimental. You will often get one shot to hook a customer or key networking contact, and if they can’t easily grasp what you offer, they aren’t likely to pursue you.
It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly who you help and how—especially when you are in the early stages of your business. So we recommend you test different pitches. Think of each meeting and conversation you have as a mini market test. Use the pitch format we provided. Make an educated guess about which of your ideas is best suited for that person. And then see what happens.
How did the pitch feel to you? How did your audience respond? Did they seem intrigued and ask good follow up questions? Fantastic! You are on the right track.
Alternatively, did you feel awkward and did they not seem to connect to what you said? That is also fantastic! You’ve got valuable intel on your pitch and you can test something else in your next meeting.
- But I haven’t actually started or helped anyone do anything yet. Again, something we hear a lot. This is the moment to be bold, ladies! Imagine that your business is established and successful. THAT is the place you need to be speaking from when you are making your elevator pitch. If you truly believe in your idea then you can have conviction when you say to your potential customers that your business will bring them joy, or delight their own customers, or even help them create the life they dream of for themselves and their family—even if you haven’t actually done it yet (your secret is safe with us 😉).
We hope you feel ready to work on your elevator pitch! Download our worksheet to work through each step of our framework, and how to practice towards perfection.