One of the biggest problems most brands face is clarifying their message. In the Writing Good Copy series, we provide bite-sized copy tidbits and advice that will drastically improve your audience’s connection with your brand. In this post, we’re talking about the tried-and-true elevator pitch.
Imagine you’re in an elevator with a potential customer. They ask, “What do you do?” You’ve got about one minute to pique their interest and clearly communicate how your business could benefit them.
That’s your elevator pitch – a simple, concise explanation of what you do to make people’s lives better, and why they should care.
The primary difference between your elevator pitch and your value proposition is the content’s length. Your value proposition needs to be short – one or two sentences at most. But in your elevator pitch, you can expound upon the means by which you resolve your customers’ pain points.
However, your elevator pitch should still be succinct – short enough that you can memorize and recite it when people ask what you do. When you give potential customers your elevator pitch, you don’t want them scratching their heads. You want them thinking, “Wow, that makes a lot of sense.”
Before we start talking about how to craft your elevator pitch, here are a couple common pitfalls you should avoid:
- Don’t talk about yourself. – You’re obviously going to mention your business, but your elevator pitch should focus primarily on your users and what they get from your company.
- No one cares about your life story. – Keep the details to a minimum. Remember, the point is to tell potential customers how you can make their lives better. You’re not here to recount your company history.
The Elevator Pitch Formula
Problem + Solution + Results = Elevator Pitch
Add those three things together, and you’ve got your brand’s perfect elevator pitch.
- Problem – What problems make your customers’ lives more difficult than they need to be? Define the problems your business solves up front, so customers know why they need you before they hear what you do. Remember, start with why.
- Solution – Now that you’ve defined the problem, tell people how you solve it. How do you alleviate your customers’ pain?
- Results – What are some of the positive results you’ve seen users gain from taking advantage of your solution?
Our Example Elevator Pitch
When we tell people what Butler does, we say:
- (Problem) A lot of organizations have amazing products and services, but they have a hard time articulating what they do, targeting the right customers, or making sense of their marketing efforts.
- (Solution) At Butler, we’ve developed a framework to help organizations define their brand, understand their users, clarify their message, and prioritize their marketing. We use that strategy to revamp an organization’s brand experiences, including their logo and identity design, photography, video, website, social media, and more.
- (Results) We’ve found that when we follow this process, brands are able to target the right customers with the right message. They feel confident about their marketing efforts, because they’re not just shooting in the dark.
Your elevator pitch’s purpose is to briefly and clearly explain how your company makes people’s lives better, so people you talk to will ask, “How do I take advantage of that?” But your elevator pitch isn’t only for use in-person. You can, and should, add it to your website’s home page, and you could use it as the script for a corporate video. Your elevator pitch is also a good lead-in toward Explaining Your Process – which is the subject we’ll cover in next week’s tip.
Using the above formula, craft your company’s elevator pitch. Make it as short and simple as possible. Then, use it to pitch your company to a teenager. Ask them if they understand what you do and how your company makes people’s lives better. If they get it, you might just have a winning elevator pitch.
And remember, if you can’t wait for the next part of the Writing Good Copy series, you read through all our tips at once by downloading the Writing Good Copy workbook! Just click here to get your free PDF copy.