I figure since the winner of the elevator pitch contest is imminent that I should share with you some of my own pitch. I was reluctant to do so as I think often when you hear an effective one it can really intimidate you, so here's what I have decided to do: I'm going to share my method, but not my pitch. Sound good?
I have the (mis?)fortune of living in New York City, where arguably no one has time to do anything. That's probably why everyone here is so goshdarn cranky all the time. I grew up in the South and used to smile at every stranger I met. Now that I live in a city that clocks in at just under 10 million denizens, that's a lot of smiling on a daily basis. To give my poor cheeks a rest, I can't flash my winning grin at every passer-by. I save it for friendly-looking people, mostly. And homeless people and babies.
The reason I mention this is because, of course, elevator speeches have to be REALLY fast here. In fact, due to express elevator service in some buildings, you don't even get an elevator pitch. I'm barely at the windup before the prospective client is halfway down the hall, calling security. (Oh yeah, don't forget to check in with the front desk in New York. That is vital.) Plus, there are a trillion people who all want to do what you want to do, so you have to stand out from the crowd.
In light of both of those facts, here's what I do. When I'm actually in an elevator with someone I want to talk to, I wait until we're both in there on our own (sometimes this takes months). But here is my trick: I fake a sneeze. And not a normal one either--like one of those that cause you to lurch forward and maybe stumble a bit. When I stumble, though, I "accidentally" hit the elevator emergency stop button.
Do you see what I just did there? I created an opportunity to open up to a client. Now, while we scream for the fire department to please, please come and get us (by the way I forgot to mention that you should disable the emergency phone in advance) so that you can use that to segue into your writing services. Since you have the shared experience of having survived an ordeal, the client is much more willing to work with you in the future. Just don't let them find the wire cutters.
I wish you all the best in finding new clients with your newly acquired skills. Let me know how it goes!
Disclaimer: do not ever do this as you would face jail time or at least the humiliating prospect of being in an elevator for an uncomfortable period of time, especially if the client prospect turns you down