A good idea may be the start of a big venture, but you—the entrepreneur behind it—are the one responsible for evangelizing your idea and getting others excited about your vision.
A carefully crafted pitch delivers your unique value proposition, anticipates questions before they come up and lets you start strong without hitches .
Your elevator pitch is a versatile tool you can use to:
- Spark interest from potential investors.
- Sell directly to consumers at events.
- Guide your copywriting and personal brand.Pitch to bloggers and open up strategic partnerships.
The ideal pitch should aim to be under 30 seconds, around 75 words, and can be easily adapted, made longer or shorter for different contexts, with the ultimate goal of creating opportunities.
Whether you’re already running a profitable business, or you feel like you’re still “faking it, ‘til you make it”, an elevator pitch in your back pocket makes it easier to start conversations off on the right foot.
How to Write the Perfect Elevator Pitch
When it comes to delivering an elevator pitch, a job seeker, a salesperson and a founder will have different goals in mind, but the basic ingredients of an effective pitch are surprisingly similar.
Here’s what you need to accomplish in your elevator pitch.
1. Grab attention with your introduction
Your introduction should be flexible and depend on how well the person knows you, if they do at all. By the end of your introduction, the listener/reader should know:
- Who you are.
- Your brand and business model.
- Your product/service category and what you’re selling.
It’s easy to sound robotic with your introduction, so try to personalize your approach for the listener and their existing knowledge in order hook them from the get-go.
2. Identify your target market and how you’re serving it
Once you’ve introduced yourself and your business, you need to demonstrate product-market fit—in other words, you need to illustrate who your target customer is and the opportunity you’re tapping into.
Prove that there’s demand for what you’re doing by considering:
- The pain points you’re solving (For products with high utility, like ergonomic chairs).
- The passions you’re letting people express (For niche apparel, like shirts for dog lovers).
- The gap you’re filling and opportunity you’re creating (For game-changing tech).
- The time/money you’re helping people save (For helpful tools, like an app that helps you save money when buying groceries).
3. Embrace competition and any inevitable comparisons
Instead of glossing over your competition, acknowledge it—especially if you’re pitching to someone who knows your industry or market.
Drawing attention to the competition gives you an excuse to explicitly differentiate your business from others.
You don’t necessarily need to call out a specific competitor. You can simply mention an existing alternative, even if it’s just the status quo or “the way things are done now”.
This helps you start a conversation with a one-up position over the competition.
4. Have a “call to action”
What good is generating interest if you’re not converting that momentum into some kind of action?
End your elevator pitches with a strong, contextual call to action based on who your audience is.
Next steps can include:
- Handing someone your business card in case they want to learn more.
- Recommending a product or sending out a sample for them to check out.
- Asking someone to connect with you on LinkedIn or by email to discuss working together.
- Suggesting that the person pass your information along to their own circles.
3 Elevator Pitch Templates and Examples
Templates offer a good starting point, but you want to make it your own as much as you can.
As always, practice makes perfect, and the more feedback you get over time, the more you can improve your pitch.
But to start, here are three basic templates, with hypothetical examples, that will help you touch upon your major talking points in a natural way.
The All-Purpose Pitch
Your generic elevator pitch, this format provides you with a clear and intuitive way to cover all your talking points, letting you easily expand upon and cut out parts depending on your audience at the time.