How To Create An Elevator Pitch For Your Business

Elevator pitch for business

A few years ago I started exploring the idea of becoming a TV writer.

It’s something I’ve had on “my list” for a long time, but never had the (insert rotating list of reasons: time, money, focus, support, confidence, etc) to make it happen.

In January, I finally started getting serious by joining a writer’s group that meets once a week and consistently churning out new work.

So far I’ve written two original scripts and one spec script for one of my favorite shows, Bob’s Burgers (that one was really fun to write!).

When I start working on a TV script, the first thing people want to know is:

“What’s it about?”

Sometimes I don’t have a clear or concise answer to this question, which creates doubt not only in myself, but in the person I’m speaking with.

This is why the famous screenwriting book Save The Cat! recommends you START with a logline (a brief and concise description of your story) BEFORE you write it.

This gives you clarity on your vision, and the audience clarity on what they can expect to see.

In business, it’s no different.

Whether you’re building a business from scratch or improving a product you already have, it always helps to have an elevator pitch about the thing you’re selling.

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling – software, shoes, or a TV script – you must be able to clearly and concisely explain to others (investors, customers, audiences, etc) what you’re selling and why they should care.

In screenwriting, there is a loose “formula” you can use to create a logline for your show or movie; while there are many variations (many genre-specific), it goes something like this:

Inciting Incident + Protagonist + Problem + Stakes = Your logline

In business, you can use a similar formula to create your own “logline” or elevator pitch, whether it’s for your entire business or a specific product/feature/service you’re selling:

The thing you sell + Your target audience + Outcome you help them achieve = Your Elevator Pitch

Here’s an example from my own business:

“I use customer research (THING I SELL) to help small businesses (TARGET AUDIENCE) capture and convert more leads (OUTCOME/RESULT)

Don’t like the structure of the formula? Move it around it fit your needs, like this example from one of my former clients, Sprig, who leads with the audience vs the product:

“Sprig helps user researchers, product managers, and designers (TARGET AUDIENCE) uncover customer insights in real-time (THING THEY SELL) so they can make informed product decisions (RESULT/OUTCOME)

The formula can also be adjusted to focus on the problem your target audience experiences and how you solve it with specific benefits.

For example, my former client, Feather, uses copy like this to sell their furniture rental service:

“Say goodbye to cost, complexity, and commitment of furniture (PAIN POINTS). Feather makes furnishing your home (THING THEY SELL) easy with affordable rental plans, white glove delivery and best-in-class account service (BENEFITS)

And those are just a few examples; there are many ways you can change up the formula to best fit your unique product/service/offering, etc.

If you’re not sure which approach is best for you, start by asking yourself the questions below:

  • Who do I serve (or who do I want to attract)?
  • What problem/pain points/challenges does that audience have?
  • How does my product/feature/service solve their problem?
  • When using my product/feature/service, what goals can customers accomplish? What benefits/outcomes/results can they expect?

Once you have your answers, simply use the formula (or create a variation that works for you) to write your elevator pitch.

While it’s not an exact science, try aiming for something around 140 characters (or 1-2 sentences) as a starting point (I use this tool to help me).

If you’re struggling to make it concise, try writing your elevator pitch using as many words and sentences as you need, then trimming it down from there (I do this all the time).

And remember, an elevator pitch isn’t just for describing your business; it can be used to describe specific products/features/services, which can then be turned into things like:

  • Headlines
  • Subheadlines & descriptions
  • Bullet points
  • Search result descriptions
  • Ad copy
  • And more!

What’s your elevator pitch?

Comment below to share it or your tips for how you came up with it.

I hope these tips help you more clearly communicate your offering with your audience.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or reach out directly:

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