"So, what do you do for a living?"
If this question makes you feel squeamish, you probably don't have a solid and comfortable Elevator Pitch. And, it probably means that you've been avoiding key networking opportunities because you're not sure what to say about yourself.
Aptly named, the Elevator Pitch is a simple, quick, 60-second sell - of either yourself or your company. It's intended to break the ice and spark a deeper conversation about your expertise and value (how you can help the person you're speaking with).
Developing a pitch that draws people in and makes them interested to learn more doesn't have to be difficult or uncomfortable.
To help you develop a natural pitch that you can deliver with confidence, I've created this fill-in-the-blank script:
"I am a __________"
What is your title or position? You want to keep this somewhat simple. If you happen to have one of those long titles, like "Director of Business Development, Corporate Accounts Western Canada", you can shorten it to "Business Development Director".
You can also adapt your title slightly to use: Specialist, Professional, Manager, Executive, or Leader.
Social Media Marketing Specialist
Customer Experience Executive
Pharmaceutical Account Manager
SaaS Sales Professional
Corporate Branding Consultant
"...who helps _________"
Who do you help? Are you clients internal or external? Do you help customers or businesses? Who benefits from your professional contributions?
What is your ultimate goal? What is the impact you deliver? Do you drive sales, customer acquisition, loyalty, or experience? Do you support internal groups with technology or process improvements? Pick your best strengths.
Revitalizing customer engagement
Go-to-market strategies for new product launches
Implementing robust quality assurance and staff training programs
Customized technology solutions to support rapid growth
Now, put your sentence together:
"I am a Social Media Marketing Specialist who helps small businesses with building their online presence and customer base."
"I am a Customer Experience Executive who helps telecommunications companies with implementing robust quality assurance and staff training programs."
"I am a Pharmaceutical Account Manager who helps industry leaders with new product marketing and launches."
"I am an IT Architecture Professional who helps start-up companies with customized technology solutions to support rapid growth."
"I am a Corporate Branding Consultant who helps Fortune 500 companies with customer engagement and loyalty transformations."
Of course, you can play around with the wording to make it sound a little less stiff and a little more like you. But, it's a perfect opening introduction to who you are and the value you offer.
Your personal Elevator Pitch is your branding statement and can be used almost everywhere to market you skills and expertise - use your Elevator Pitch (or a version of it) in these instances to strengthen your career marketing:
Job Interview (part of your "tell me about yourself" answer)
Initial Email (Job Application)
Email Requesting an Informational Interview
LinkedIn Message Requesting a new Connection
Social Media Bio Sections (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blog Bios)
Corporate Bio (internal or external)
For interviews and networking events, you may want to lengthen your elevator pitch. The most natural extension, is to showcase a major result, current project, or career accomplishment. Examples:
"I recently assisted one of my clients with creating a viral video that drove over $1M in sales."
"For example, 6 months ago I introduced a new oncology drug that was recognized as the fastest, most profitable launch in the company's history."
"I'm really proud of the work I've done with Tee.com. It's a small online retailer that was struggling with system stability. Within just 3 months, I was able to drastically improve up-time and security, while also integrating CRM and logistics programs.
Your turn! Show me your elevator pitch in the comments below, or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for some feedback!
Tammy Banfield is a professional resume writer and certified career coach who specializes in helping talented and ambitious women advance their careers and find rewarding, fulfilling jobs.
Tammy has helped over 600 career seekers from around the world secure coveted positions. Connect with Tammy on LinkedIn or at her Website. Want to know how to get headhunted? Download my free guide here: tammybanfield.com/freelinkedinguide