In today’s podcast, Anna looks at how to create a compelling elevator pitch #askanna
This is part of a new monthly series on the podcast, in which Anna is answering questions submitted by the audience. Want Anna to answer yours? Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DESIGN A SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS AND ESCAPE THE 9 TO 5 FOR GOOD
Download the 5 pillars scorecard and learn how to accelerate the growth of your brand and business - without sacrificing your health, and your sanity, along the way!
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
Book a call – If you’d like help with crafting your personal brand, getting clear on what it is, how you’re going to build it online and offline, then get in touch by booking a call at onestepoutside.com/call
Join the Business Accelerator – To work on this, along with other aspects of your business, join us in The Outsiders Business Accelerator, a mastermind for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners who want to build a sustainable life outside of the 9 to 5. Apply at onestepoutside.com/accelerate
Hello there. Welcome back to the podcast. I’m your host, Anna Lundberg. And we’re talking elevator pitches. And this is a question that came up again in my community. And it’s such an important one, it’s such a foundational one, really to knowing your strategy, being able to communicate clearly and with conviction. And yet it’s so hard. It might feel salesy. It might feel really unnatural, however how many times we practise it. We tweak it again and again and again, and it just feels really strange. And so I wanted to dissect this a little bit and try to help you out. It’s something that I’ve evolved again and again. I feel pretty good about it now, but of course it will surely evolve in the future and that’s okay. That’s a good thing. But it’s important to have this headline or talk about it, what an elevator pitch is, but to have this phrase, this introduction that kind of rolls off your tongue, to know however you’re going to use it, what you do, who you’re helping, what value you bring.
So let’s dive into that. How do you come up with a compelling elevator pitch that you feel amazing about? Now, first of all, before we do that, of course you want to ask why do you want an elevator pitch?
How are you going to use it? Now, once you have this and I will give you a formula for it, it’s not that you’re going to necessarily use these exact words all the time, but it can be a basis for, for example, introducing yourself in person at a conference or something. Hey, I’m Anna. I do this [inaudible 00:01:28] the other, if they ask you in particular. It could be in your videos. At the beginning of my videos for a long time I was saying, hello, my name is Anna Lundberg. I’m the founder of One Step Outside, author of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5, and hosted the Reimagining Success podcast, or I help experienced professionals, et cetera, et cetera.
I’ve since removed that from the beginning of my videos, just to see how it goes to be more engaging and not necessarily tell my existing community every time what I do. But of course, that’s something to play around with. You’ll definitely use it on the about pages on your website, for example, your bio in your social media, your media bio, your official bio, your little blurb that they’re going to read when you go on podcast interviews, articles and so on. So it’s endlessly useful. Oh, and the headline of course on your website too and we’ll talk about that. But beyond this, knowing exactly who you are, what you do and for whom you do it, is going to help you. Again, own what you do. Have that niche. Enable you to write copy on your website, create social media posts, even create programmes and packages that are going to solve the problems of your ideal target, because you’re so clear on your fundamental message of what you do.
And I have different versions. I mentioned there, my introduction on the videos. I now have a version of a formal bio that I use, it’s a bit longer, for media publications, for podcast interviews and so on. And I have headlines for my updated websites coming soon as well, so we can talk through those. And by the way, to complicate matters, you might pitch in a slightly different way depending on who your audience is, especially if you have a portfolio career, of course, where you do different things for totally different people. Or if you perhaps have a slightly nuanced way of working with people. It depends on who you’re working with. Right?
So I might sometimes choose to focus more on my corporate background with a more, I want to say, serious corporate clients. I might not talk to them necessarily about the sort of what they might think of as fluffy aspects right away. Whereas when I’m talking to somebody who is already deep into things like life coaching and yoga and shiatsu and travelling and they’re much more open to those ideas, I might pitch it slightly differently. So it’s about being authentic, but it’s also about, again, curating a brand and being relevant to your audience.
So the formula is basically, who are you? You’re helping them with what and how do you help them? Right? So how. I said that a little bit unclearly, so let’s try again. So who is your ideal clients? What is the result you help them achieve? And how do you help them achieve that result? So let’s break that down first of all. And let me give you an example. So who am I? I’m Anna Lundberg. Now I could say, and this is where it gets fluffy around sort of coaching and mentoring. And so I could say, I’m Anna Lundberg, a personal development coach and business mentor. Or I could say, I’m Anna Lundberg, I’m the founder of One Step Outside, or author of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5, and hosted the Reimagining Success podcast. Or I could just say, I’m Anna Lundberg.
So depending on, am I a graphic designer, am I a research analyst, a shiatsu practitioner, yoga instructor. Of course, if you have a portfolio career, again, this can get a bit specific or difficult to get specific rather. You might then choose to just say, I’m Anna, I work for myself, as a beginning way. And then if they dig deeper, you might again choose the aspect that’s most relevant, or I have a few different projects going on at the moment. But let’s assume for now we have one thing, right? So who is your ideal client? Look, the problem is as ever, and this is a whole other podcast episode, but we want to help everyone, right? And we have this fear that if we’re too specific, too niche, we’re going to limit ourselves. But the truth is even if we get super specific, we’re never going to be able to service every single person in that niche.
We also have a fear of saying no to our clients, because we should be grateful that everyone wants to work with us. But by the way, the fact that you have a particular elevator pitch doesn’t mean you only can work with those people.
You’re welcome to say yes to somebody else if you feel it’s a fit, but again, it’s much more effective to be specific. And by the way, in trying to appeal to everybody, we appeal to no one. The example I always like is, let’s say, you’re a web designer. If you just do websites for everybody, okay. If you’re a web designer for dentists, suddenly I’m like, oh yeah, if I’m a dentist obviously, you totally get me, the industry. I can see that you understand the structure, the elements that need be on there.
I’m working with an agency now that really focus on personal brands and understanding. And I had a call with a guy. In fact, [inaudible 00:06:03] Greg Merrilees from [inaudible 00:06:05]. Unfortunately, it’s quite hard to have calls together because of the time difference. He founded Studio 1 Design and [inaudible 00:06:12] and the call I had with him, I was so persuaded by his knowledge and understanding of what I did. That I was right away wanting to work with him rather than somebody who just does websites for everybody. So just something to think about. The example my coach always gives is, oh, you’re a health coach. Oh, I help people get healthier. Blah, okay. But I help single mothers who are time poor and want to lose weight after a painful divorce, then you get much more specific, for example. Right?
And as my friend, Serena, always says, humans who breathe is not a target group. We say that a bit tongue in cheek, but unfortunately lots of people come to me and say, oh, but I can help everybody. I work with everybody. I have so many different people. Fine, and coaching of course is the ultimate example of this because I can coach you on anything, that’s the whole point, but it’s not so helpful from a marketing perspective. So you want to work out who you’re helping and really who are you speaking to when you’re writing your copy and so on, right? And that’s then the [inaudible 00:07:15] that comes into your elevator pitch. Now, again, this is a whole other training about choosing your client, but just to think about, it could be demographics, in terms of if it’s individuals, their age, their gender, their location, education, whatever it could be. If it’s companies, the type of company, the size of the organisation and so on.
But importantly, it could also be psychographics. Psychographics. I should emphasise the psycho bit rather than the demo bit, because this is a problem that you’re solving. Their values, their opinions, their attitudes. And it might be that you don’t only work with women or you don’t only work with people in their forties. I certainly don’t, in any way, identify with any of those odd labels. I’m much more about, okay, people who’ve reached a certain point in their career where they feel they’re stuck there and feel like there’s something more, but they’re not sure. They want the flexibility of working for themselves and so on, right? And people in my programme range from, I wouldn’t say, certainly not straight out of school, university, because they don’t have the experience and both the advantages and the challenges that come with a decade or more, two decades, in the corporate sphere.
But I do have people who are nearing retirement as well, who are looking to either give themselves sort of an exit strategy if they aren’t able to stay in their high-paid job for much longer, or even have a project to work on in their retirement. So just to say, it doesn’t have to be age and all those things, right? It can be a particular problem. They’re reaching burnout in their jobs. They’ve just come out of a divorce, whatever the focus might be. So I’ll move on because, again, this is not a training about choosing your client, but that’s the first part of the elevator pitch. Who do you work with?
The second part is, what’s the result you’re helping them achieve? What’s the A to B journey you’re going to take them on?
Maybe they want to go from A to Z, but which part of that journey will you focus on? For me, I’m quite end to end, but then I have been in business for awhile. I could focus on only, hey, you don’t know what you want next, and I’ll help you figure it out. I could focus on, that’s A to B, let’s say, then the B to C of, okay, you know you want to start a business, now you want to do it. B to C. And then C to D, I have the business now and I want to make it success. And interestingly enough, those are my three programmes, right? So I do actually go A to B, B to C, C to D.
In your case, if you’re starting out, you probably want to start with a more specific [inaudible 00:09:34]. I’m going to choose to take them from G to H, for example. And that means they will have had to be in a certain point in the process before they come to me, and it means after they work with me I’ll pass them on to somebody else who can take them further.
And then finally, how do you help them achieve that result, right? Is it via coaching, consulting, training, teaching? What’s the sort of methodology, I suppose, that you help them do that with. In my case, I might say by a mixture of life coaching and business mentoring, for example. You might think about whatever your particular niche is. And in fact, I’d love to hear from you. So do email me, or message me on your favourite social platform, wherever we’re connected. DM me on Instagram, send me a message on LinkedIn, with your personal elements of your elevator pitch, and I’m happy to give you my feedback. You can also email at email@example.com. So think about, who am I? Who do I serve? Who is the ideal client? What do I help them with? How? And then importantly, the so what? This is the bit we’re often missing.
So what? Me saying, I help entrepreneurs with their admin, don’t care. I help busy early stage entrepreneurs with all their boring admin tasks in order to free up their time so they can focus on what really matters. If you’re a graphic designer, I help them with their graphic design. No, you help them create bold and exciting brands that will communicate their message to their ideal clients so that they build beautiful brands and successful businesses themselves, for example.
So for me, who am I? I said, Anna Lundberg. Founder of One Step Outside, author of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5, hosted the Reimagining Success podcast. That could be throwing in a bit of credibility there. Who do I serve? I help experienced professionals, I could say, and that’s generally the phrase I use because it’s to differentiate from people who work with really entrepreneurial people who’ve been sort of hustling away since they were babies, but also not experienced graduates who are coming out. So I say experienced professionals. And what do I help them with? I help them build a life outside of the conventional 9:00 to 5:00, with a combination of life coaching and business mentoring, I can add, so that they can create more freedom, flexibility, and fulfilment.
I have a few versions. I think here I’m just reading from my old bios. For example, I’m the founder of One Step Outside, where we help people around the world build businesses, create a lifestyle that allows them an unimagined sense of freedom, flexibility, and fulfilment. I then added, since leaving my corporate job in 2013, I’m now re-imagining what success looks like, and I’m passionate about inspiring and supporting you in doing the same, for example. But really important, again, focus on the problem you’re solving. If you’re a customer service specialist, say that you communicate with customers, you keep them happy throughout their experience with your brand. Or you’re not, again, just a copywriter. You help entrepreneurs and businesses create content that converts users or words that matter, words that tell stories.
Some other examples I found, I create illustrations for websites and brands. My passion is coming up with creative ways to express a message and drawing illustrations that people share on social media. It could it be better maybe. This is nice. I run a trucking company. It’s a family-owned business, and we think the personal touch makes a big difference to our customers. Not only do we guarantee on time delivery, but my father and I personally answer the phone. It’s not an automated system. Pretty nice. Right? And I probably would encourage you to pause this and go back and listen and grab a pen and paper. But just to help you, if you don’t want to do that, if you want to be super efficient and get the formula again, let’s do a really simple version of it, right?
So I am a… Who helps… With… So that they… So I’ve seen a few examples here. I am a personal trainer who helps middle-aged men regain the fitness of their youth, so that they have the energy to play with their children after a tough day of work. I am a copywriter who helps, and I said this one, entrepreneurs and small businesses create content that converts users into customers, so that they can grow and scale their business. I saw one in a Facebook group the other day, I won’t name the person, but I am… I teach women consultants, service providers, and coaches, how to convert clients and increase revenue through public speaking. And that’s the how I do it. Right? So many of us teach consultants and service product coaches to convert clients and increase revenue, but how do you do that?
Is it through public speaking? Is it by using a particular channel like Pinterest? Is it, what else could it be? It could be using Facebook effectively. I’m not such a fan of using a specific channel like that. But if you are using PR, public speaking, brand design, whatever, that’s pretty important to bring to life. Now, in order to not make this the longest episode in the whole wide world, I’m going to try to wrap up. But in the meantime, you know a few do’s and don’ts to help you out as well.
Your elevator pitch should be solving a problem. It should be specific, and by the way, most importantly, you should use what we call consumer language.
It feels natural even over the dinner table. Now I might have a written version, which is a bit more convoluted and fancy sounding, but really practise it. And if someone goes, hey, so what do you do? And if you feel ridiculous saying your thing, then probably it’s not right. So dial it back, use simple languages. I really challenged myself to do this. Instead of with coaching, we always want to say, I help people live their best and most fulfilled life. What exactly does that mean? So that they’re happier or so that they feel more confident. Or what’s the benefit providing?
Let’s see, any more points to make. I suppose I was just looking at some of my other old ones, which have been better or worse. Oh, I did promise to share from my websites. Let’s see if we can pull them up. They should roll off your tongue, right? So I should be able to do this without any kind of hesitation at all. My two websites, so I have my annalundberg.com and I have onestepoutside.com, and I’m really trying to differentiate them a little bit now. So annalundberg.com is my higher level headline, which is going to read, helping you redefine and achieve your version of success. Or I think it says, helping you redefine and achieve success on your own terms.
And my business website, one step outside, is going to read something along the lines of helping you build a life outside of the 9:00 to 5:00, and then with a subtitle going more into detail about a profitable business and freedom, flexibility, fulfilment. Now I appreciate I’m throwing lots of things at you. And this was, again, a question that came from the community. As you can hear, I have so much to say about this topic. I will wrap up here. But I hope I’ve got the point across of how important this is to know your strategy, first of all. To be confident and clear about who you work with, what you do. It’s not just a salesy tactic that you have, it really does hit right at the heart of what you do and the value you bring.
And then again, if you don’t have something yet, try these different formulas I’ve given you. Take someone’s. If you have someone you noticed their LinkedIn headline, by the way, is another one to look at. Somebody else’s website headline. You’ve heard somebody introduce themselves on a podcast, take notes, dissect it. And of course don’t copy it because you’re different to them, but break it down into the elements and see how your version would read. Making sure you’re getting that value across. You’re getting across who you’re working with, what you help them with. And the so what is the most important.
So I’ll leave it there. This was part of my series on ask Anna. So you can ask me any questions at all, and I’ll be sure to answer them here on the podcast. I’m sure if you have the question, however how stupid you feel, it’s never a stupid question. So many other people will benefit from hearing the answer as well. So do get in touch. Again, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can send me a question on Instagram, on LinkedIn, Facebook, wherever we’re connected. And if we’re not connected, do connect with me. And I really look forward to getting your questions. That’s why I’m here. I’m here to answer your questions, to bring you value, and to make sure you have what you need to move forward and build your life outside of the 9:00 to 5:00. Thanks so much for listening and I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.
If you’re ready to start to reimagine what success could look like for you, here are some of the ways in which Anna can support you:
Get private mentoring for your business – Partnering with a business coach can help you see those blind spots and get both external accountability and expert guidance to take your business to where you want it to be. www.onestepoutside.com/freeconsultation
Get private career coaching – Individual coaching is fully tailored to your specific goals and desires so we can create the programme that works best for you, with the support that you need to move forwards. www.onestepoutside.com/claritycall
Grab a copy of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5 – After interviewing 50 people who have left the corporate 9 to 5 to forge their own path, Anna has collected their stories in a book that will inspire you with the possibilities that are out there and reassure you that you’re not alone in looking for an alternative. www.leavingthecorporate9to5.com
Join the One Step Outside the 9 to 5 Business Incubator – This is your roadmap to transitioning from a corporate job into setting up a meaningful business that will bring you more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment outside of the corporate 9 to 5. www.onestepoutside.com/9to5