Do you own your own business? Or are you pursuing big goals in your career? If so, you need to be able to represent your brand in person.
Whether its a new product, new project or new position you are seeking, you want to feel confident speaking about it to others. But how?
This week I was asked how to create an elevator pitch. A friend and colleague of mine reached out to me on social media, asking me for tips for a course she was teaching. Coincidentally, I had my own workshop coming up for the YMCA’s Self Employment Program, and we usually kick off our three part workshop series with my giving feedback on the elevator pitches the participants have created. As I started to send my friend the advice I usually offer on this topic- other people joined the thread asking for help. I realized it might be a good idea to write a blog post that could be helpful for my own workshops, and everyone who wants to boost their brand!
It turned into a 2-part post as I like to share two approaches to “selling your self” or making your pitch. There is the well-known “elevator pitch”- which I believe has a real purpose and is something you should spend some time crafting and practicing. That’s part one.
The idea is that you never know when you will have the chance represent your brand, pull in that next big client or find yourself actually stuck in an elevator with a potential investor! But these short, rehearsed speeches can feel forced and awkward– and only make sense in formal networking situations when you have to stand up and introduce your business to an audience.
What about when you just meet people in the grocery store, a park, a fun event? Do you really want to hit them with your formal pitch? If you don’t bring up your business, you might miss an opportunity, but if you do, you might put people off- people who might have otherwise been interested in learning more.
That’s why I teach an alternative approach- preparing talking points that you can use in conversation when it makes sense. This allows you to speak authentically about what you do or what your business offers, and it gives others the opportunity to ask you question if they want to. It pulls people in, rather than pushing people away. That’s part two.
You can read both posts at Today’s Workshop– a project I created with Tanya Bennett several years ago which we continue to build, adding tips and articles for small business owners, entrepreneurs, students and anyone interested in marketing, social media and business.