Yesterday I announced our December 2009 freelance writing contest -- you can win cash and prizes just for thinking about your own marketing for your freelance writing business. Write an elevator pitch / elevator speech of 4-5 sentences. That's all you have to do! But wait, how do you write an elevator pitch? Here's a quick "how to" to help you out:
Step 1: List what the elevator pitch should cover.
Your elevator speech needs to do more than say "I'm a freelance writer." It should tell a potential client specifically what type of services you provide, and to whom. It should also touch on the primary benefit clients get from your freelance writing services as well as something to set you apart from the competition. Write down these things briefly in outline form if you'd like.
Step 2: Write the pitch.
Once you know what information to include in your elevator pitch, it's time to write it. While they can be more than 4-5 sentences, that's the length we're going to go with here. Why? Because we want something incredibly concise -- a "teaser" if you will. We want something you can use in not only face-to-face encounters, but in emails, on your website, or even as boilerplate in other marketing collateral to help you build a consistent branding message.
Step 3: Practice, practice, practice!
Having an elevator pitch written down is a great step because you can always refer back to it when you want to use it online or in print. But what about using it as an actual elevator speech if you bump into that perfect potential client? You want this pitch memorized and ready to whip out at a moment's notice.
While the contest is focused on a 4-5 sentence elevator pitch, you can feel free to create a longer version based on it. If you do, try to keep the speech in the 30 - 60 second range (although I'd say 60 seconds of undivided attention from a relative stranger in passing these days might be pushing your luck).
Example Elevator Pitch
Let's take a look at a hypothetical example of a freelance writer's elevator pitch. In this case, we'll say the writer is a sales letter writer, specializing in writing sales letters for small to mid-sized software development firms that sell their software online to other small businesses. Their ultra-brief elevator pitch (speech version) might look something like this:
I write online sales letters for small and mid-sized software developers in the BtoB market. Thanks to more than a decade of experience in understanding what customers like yours are looking for in business productivity applications, my clients saw over a million dollars in added profits last year alone. Would your firm like to increase software sales on the Web by at least 30% over the next year? Here's my card. Give me a call if you would like to see some case studies or set up a meeting to find out what I can do for you.
Based on the information I said you'll want to include, here's how this example breaks down:
- What you do -- Online sales letter writing
- Who you do it for -- Small to mid-sized software development firms specializing in BtoB sales of office productivity applications
- Benefit to the potential client -- Increased sales / profits
- What sets you apart from the competition -- Over a decade of experience and proven results with case studies to back them up
In addition to those things, you'll see a call to action at the end. This is important. You want the potential client to do something, don't you? Call you. Set up a meeting. Email you. Request a quote. Whatever you want them to do, you have to actually ask them to do it. Otherwise your elevator speech kind of ends mid-pitch.
Try to write a short elevator pitch of your own. It's okay to test them and go back to revise later. Like most marketing tools, your elevator pitch is adaptable and scalable.