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Chapter
3

Build your elevator pitch

Now that you understand what makes a strong pitch, it’s time to build your elevator pitch for the more spontaneous, in-person moments. If you have one from previous playbooks, we recommend reading through this step and adapting your current elevator pitch to fit this script.

An elevator pitch is an explanation of an idea, product, or service that lasts no longer than 20-30 seconds—in other words, the duration of a elevator ride.

Having an elevator pitch is not just about being prepared for networking events and the like. Your pitch could come into play at a party, on your daily coffee run, or in a Twitter discussion. Chance encounters like these occur more often than you realize.

Introduction + Problem + Solution + Action

Let’s break down the structure of an elevator pitch:

Introduction + Problem + Solution + Action

Introduction

  • Who are you?

  • What's your title?

For this term and each of the following, write down the answer in your workbook. Write down as many versions of the answer as you want. These will be helpful later in the step.

Problem

  • What problem do you solve overall?

  • In what niche?

Solution

  • What's the expertise you bring to the table?

  • How do you solve the problem?

Action

  • What's the result of the problem-solving?

Now put them together using this framework:

I am a ____ that helps ____ with/to ____ by ____.

Using what you wrote down as the answers to the above questions,  write as many possibilities as you can think of. Experiment with different words and phrases to find what works best.

Bear in mind that one elevator pitch doesn’t fit all—you can and should have more than one elevator pitch to appeal to different audiences, environments, and needs.

Some differences include:

  • The niche/industry you’re pitching in.

  • The format of the work.

  • Whether it’s online or in-person.

After you’ve created your pitch, save it somewhere easily accessible, so it’s always at your fingertips.

Here’s Mo’s elevator pitch:

I’m a freelance travel writer who helps travel websites reach audiences who are interested in traveling on a budget. Instead of buying expensive flights and staying at overpriced hotels, I do much of my travel using points (airline, hotel, credit card, etc). This enables me to help online travel and leisure magazines host content that is accessible to wider audiences, leading to more website clicks and interactions.

Mo’s pitch is successful because:

✅ It’s specific and relevant to Mo’s niche.

✅ It clearly pinpoints the problem Mo can solve.

✅ It defines the desired result.

Mo’s old elevator pitch was unclear and not specific enough:

I’m a writer who likes to talk about traveling. I can write content for a range of magazines, mostly about budget travel, which can usually help clients get more views.

This pitch doesn’t do a great job because:

❌ It’s vague and generic.

❌ It doesn’t use active language.

❌ It sounds hesitant.

See the difference? If the elevator pitch you wrote is reminiscent of Mo’s old pitch, think about how you can be specific, active, and confident in what you’re sharing with the prospect.

Recap

  • Learned what makes a well-structured elevator pitch.

  • Wrote your own elevator pitch.

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