In this post we’ll explore one of the most fun (and important) elements of marketing your coaching business: your elevator pitch.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
1. Your elevator pitch – the basics: what is an elevator pitch and why do you need one?
2. Why & HOW to create a short teaser pitch, or one-liner elevator pitch (the 3-Step Formula)
3. The 6-Step Formula to Creating your Elevator Pitch (your longer, 30-second to 1-minute elevator pitch)
The great news is, if you completed the previous step(s), your elevator pitch is probably about 50% to 80% complete. All you have to do is tweak your Vision Statement a little, and voila!, your Elevator Pitch is done!
What Do You do for a Living?
How often are you asked “What do you do?” or “What do you do for a living?”
What is your answer? I’m a life coach…? …relationship coach? Yes, that could be a conversation starter or it could lead to an “A’ha, that’s interesting” – and it could mean the end of the conversation.
Answering with your elevator pitch would be a stronger answer, as that often helps you identify if the person you are talking to is a potential client or not. The elevator pitch also often generates a conversation around the topic of your pitch.
However, even before we get in the meat of How to Create an Elevator Pitch, let me tell you right now, when someone asks you What do you do, you shouldn't dump on them your carefully crafted 1-minute elevator pitch, but rather have a short, teaser pitch, and if that peeks their interest, than - and Only then - share with them your full elevator pitch. More details on why and how later, below...
Your Elevator Pitch: The Basics
What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is a statement that can be delivered in the time it takes to chat with someone during an elevator ride; or 30-seconds to two minutes. At least, that’s the most accepted definition of an Elevator Pitch; and we won’t argue with that – the important thing is to have one, and have one that attracts leads and paying clients.
Have a SHORT Teaser Elevator Pitch
The 1st elevator pitch that you should create would be a much shorter one – about 3 to 5 seconds, which would give a short answer to the question “What do you do…?” And then, if they want to know more, this is when you'd share your 30-second to 2-minutes elevator pitch.
We’ll chat about each below…
Create an Elevator Pitch that Sounds Natural
Your elevator pitch is the powerful tool that will either help you generate more clients or it’s a jumble of words that will confuse people, or at best create some interest, but not enough to engage your ideal clients…
Make sure your elevator pitch doesn't include way too fancy words or jargon and it doesn't sound rehearsed. The simpler words you use, and straight to the point, the better.
My first elevator pitch was something along the lines of “I work with individuals who want to transform their dreams into reality” – which basically is not a bad elevator pitch, but it's way way too vague; I even got some free sessions with it, after all, who doesn’t wish to transform their dreams into reality… But did not get enough business out of those free sessions.
By now I now I know that my free sessions that resulted from the above elevator pitch did not result in paying clients for two main reasons:
- The elevator pitch was not attracting targeted strong potential clients(!) "individuals who want to transform their dreams into reality” - who are those people? This elevator pitch actually encompasses the entire population of planet earth (and probably of creatures from other planets too ), after all who the heck doesn't want to transform their dream into reality!??
- nor were my complimentary sessions structured properly either; and that’s a crucial piece of the client-enrollment puzzle – we’ll talk more about how to structure your free coaching sessions in one of the upcoming parts.
Is Your Elevator Pitch Targeted and Narrow Enough?
I often find that many coaches – and other professionals, such as consultants, speakers, etc. – either have a weak elevator pitch or some don’t have one at all…
How about you? Do you have one? Is it a general one or is it “niche”-specific? (Does it help you identify your ideal client?)
Let’s start with your 3 to 5 minutes Elevator Pitch..
Create a “One-Line” Elevator Pitch (3 to 5-Seconds)
When asked the question “What do you do?” be ready with a powerful answer that’ll immediately generate interest in your ideal client. Make sure that you are specific:
– your “one-line” elevator pitch should mention your ideal client’s potential pain, challenge, or strong desire, for example:
“I help small business owners increase their profits while helping them create more balance and fulfillment in their life.”
“I help small business owners eliminate overwhelm and become more productive…”
“I work with professionals who hate their jobs and are ready to transition into the career of their dream…”
“I help realtors generate more leads and close more deals. I guarantee you sell your property in 30-days, or I don’t get paid”
*** This is the actual elevator pitch of a realtor I know and she sells more homes than most realtors in the area. Yes, she does end up working for free once in a while, but she has so many clients, that she can afford those “once in while” pro-bono work
What did you notice in common in the above elevator pitches?
- Each elevator pitch highlights a pain that they propose to solve: increase profits; reduce overwhelm; hate job; not enough leads
- Each of the elevator pitches are niched (they mention the ideal client): (struggling) small business owners; professionals who are unhappy with their jobs; realtors.
Some of these niches are broader – small business owners and unhappy professionals – and some are extremely narrow, such as the one who caters to realtors.
As a rule, the narrower the niche and the greater the pain or need that we propose to solve, the more powerful our elevator pitch can be, as well as it’ll be more effective in helping you attract clients.
- Each of the elevator pitches are short and to the point
You’ll be able to create a most powerful elevator pitch ONLY WHEN you have chosen a specific target market (know who your ideal client is); and ideally know exactly WHAT specific solutions you provide (What pain or challenge do you help alleviate; or What major desire or goal do you help your clients accomplish).
With that said, I did hear some well-crafted general-coaching elevator pitches as well, but they’ll be extremely rarely as effective as an elevator pitch that’s targeted toward a specific target market and focuses on a specific solution.
Narrow vs. Wide Niche
And “niche” does not have to necessarily mean a real narrow segment of the population, though that always helps. The word “niche” means different things to different people…
For example you can help managers deal with overwhelm and become more organized and more productive. This is a pretty broad niche, but one that solves a major pain that’s out there and you can coach managers of small-businesses as well as CEOs. And equally important, these professional can (more often than not) afford to pay for your services – a very important factor to consider.
While many believe that one can coach anyone for any purpose, I learned early on that the most successful coaches coach primarily individuals whose pain, challenges, and strong desires they understand. If you never worked for a corporation, for example, you might not really understand a CEO’s challenges, nor will you understand many of the jargon she'd use in her language.
Your Elevator Pitch - a Magical Key to New Clients
When you have the right “key,” you’ll open the wallet – I mean, the hearts - of your prospects to the possibility of hiring you as their coach.
So take as much time as you need to think about WHO do you want to serve, WHAT transformation will you help them achieve, and create an elevator pitch that is in sync with that "niche."
*** If you need help with picking your niche, let me know and I’ll send you my detailed Niche-Discovery Worksheet, designed to help you dig deeper and find what would be the best niche for you. It also contains more than 3 dozen sample niches (!)
The 6-Step Formula for Creating Your Elevator Pitch
Once you know who you want to serve, here’s a simple 6-Step formula for creating your elevator pitch:
* See examples at the bottom of the 6-Steps
Here are the 6 elements - put them together into a coherent, easy flowing elevator pitch. Don't be afraid to modify the flow a little - this is just a framework to get your "juices" flowing:
(1) I + action verb (for example, help, guide, teach, provide, present, aid, assist, support, work with)
+ (2) negative emotions being experienced (frustrated, overwhelmed, clueless, demanding, frightened, desperate, struggling, angry, concerned, worried)
+ (3) ideal client description (dog lovers, young adults, chronic pain sufferers, overweight women/men, homeowners, business owners, individuals who want to overcome fear of public speaking, brides-to-be, new mothers)
+ (4) who are (tired of, ready to, etc) / or who want to (increase their profits, find the relief they need, become fit and healthy)
+ (5) solution to the potential client’s problem/pain/strong desire/etc. (discover a process, learn a fast and easy way, create the perfect solution, uncover the best method, determine the number one reason, realize the best course of action, find the dramatic solution, position themselves, place themselves first, find out everything they need to know)
+ (6) expected benefits after working with you – For example, “so that they can…” (list 1 to 3 benefits, such as: live a pain free life, build the business of your dreams, feel they’re getting the most value for the money they pay, receive the highest value, obtain the best guarantee, receive award-winning service, receive the highest level of expertise at the lowest possible price, speak fearlessly in public).
Example Elevator Pitches:
“(1)I help (2)frustrated (3)dog owners (4)who are tired of their dogs ruling their lives (5)discover a simple process that will put the dog owner in charge so that they can (6)finally enjoy greater times with both their pets and with friends and family”
“I help frustrated small business owners who want to develop a marketing program that is affordable and easy to execute and help them implement the exact strategies and tactics they need so that they can instantly generate more leads, attract more clients and generate healthy profits.”
I help parents of toddlers who are exhausted and feel their new child is taking over their lives. I help them balance parenting and self care - reclaim their personal power, energy, and joy of life, while still feeling like they are the best parents to their child.
Your Action Steps:
Once you have your elevator pitch,
1a. post it in the comments box below, with a link to your website – let us know what you do.
1b. you can send it to me (E.G. Sebastian), if you want some feedback.
if you post your elevator pitch below for the whole world to see, who knows, you might even get some leads or business out of it in the future
2. Schedule to attend networking events – get out there and knock ‘em out! Oops! I mean, use your elevator pitch whenever you have a chance– test it out!
Or… If you have not attended networking events in the past, do a web search for upcoming networking events in your community and plan to attend (put them on your planner). Also check out my article on 15 Tips to Converting your Time Spent on Networking Events into Coaching Clients
3. Brainstorm ways to use your Elevator Pitch elements in your website copy, in your email signature, in your irresistible offer, and other marketing materials. Consider creating blog post titles, webinar titles, articles, etc. based on your elevator pitch.
Your elevator pitch holds the core message of your business – use that message in every area of your business (!)
That’s it for today!
I hope you found this useful and hope you got some great ideas on how to create – or improve your existing – elevator pitch.
I know it seems like a lot of information, but this is one of those elements of your business that you need to implement the best way possible – don’t slack off on it!
Got Questions or Comments?