Why Build an Elevator Pitch?

Who cares about an Elevator Pitch? Why is it important? The truth is, once you have a brand, you need to communicate it. Moreover, you need to convey your brand quickly and effectively. Perfect example… Have you ever asked someone what they do, and it starts with, “Welllll….” followed by a long, boring soliloquy of BS? You’re already turned off by that person’s “brand” in millisecond.

When the time comes and you’re in the spotlight, you don’t want to be that person. Whether you’re an employee looking for a promotion or a sales exec looking for your next victim, you have a brand to represent, and it all begins with your Elevator Pitch. In essence, it’s your ability to sum up unique aspects of your product or service in an exciting way.

Why is it called an elevator pitch? Wellll, it shouldn’t last longer than the average elevator ride (about one minute or less.) It is your chance to reach new buyers and clients with a winning message that explains what it is you do. The elevator pitch is how you’ll grab your audience’s attention quickly!

Here are some (funnier) ideas on how to describe what it is you do (courtesty of

  • Tax Accountant: Take numbers on pieces of paper, rearrange them and put them on different pieces of paper
  • Fireworks Stand Manager: Show you innovative ways to burn money in the spirit of patriotism
  • Sailing Instructor: Persuade kids that it’s really fun being wet, cold and scared out of their minds
  • Pizza Delivery Boy: Go to strange people’s houses and take their money
  • Technical Writer: Write words that no one wants to read
  • Divorce Lawyer: Help people hate each other

Obviously, you wouldn’t want to self-deprecate in your elevator pitch, but this surely gets people’s attentions. In some cases, if you have a good read on your audience, cracking a joke like those above would actually be to your benefit before jumping into your shpeel. It’s a disarming tactic and can work quite well. For example, as an online marketing consultant, I could say: “I poke tons of people on Facebook,” get a laugh (hopefully), then go into my elevator pitch.

How To Build An Elevator Pitch

There are tons of resources for building an elevator pitch if you search on Google. Everyone will have their own “secret sauce,” but in the end there are some basic fundamentals to consider. Personally, I like the Harvard Business School’s “Elevator Pitch Builder.” It walks you through the process and breaks down your elevator pitch step by step. It even suggest certain buzz words for your shpeel (some are a little too highfalutin for me, though.) After you’ve completed all four steps, the program will evaluate your elevator pitch for redundant words, length, etc. Really a great tool.

Here are some snapshots of the tool – definitely try it out for yourself!

I created my pitch using the Harvard Business School tool. Here it is:

I’m a well-experienced, no-nonsense online marketing consultant that will walk you through the strategy and process of growing your business with tools like Facebook, Twitter, Email Marketing and more. In my experience, social media fans and followers don’t just appear; the ones that magically do are not a value add to your business. I’ve been recognized as someone with the ability to attract and interact with real, interested customers and prospects to grow my clients’ businesses. People work with me because “I get it.” I take the time to understand a business owner’s vision while putting myself in the shoes of his or her customers. As a result, I can translate those visions into interactive media that will create a loyal customer base and motivate them to continually buy from the brand. The odds are that right now you’re missing out on a great deal of opportunity to increase your sales. I’d like to take 30 minutes to sit down with you, review your social media strategy, and see how you’re leveraging your brand online. Let’s set up a time in the next week to reconnect and further discuss your strategy.


Jake Burns