Think about it. Your elevator pitch and your personal brand are co-dependent. The two share a mission-critical objective, to create a positive and memorable first impression of you and your enterprise when you meet personal and professional contacts. The all-important self-introduction known as the elevator pitch is, while brief and simple, nevertheless your most important marketing tool, because it’s often how people first get to know you and your business.
From the opening line to the final sentence, your elevator pitch is Step One in communicating your personal brand. Its content must be clear and concise, and persuade people that you are worth knowing and doing business with. Build a branded elevator pitch by choosing two or three of your products or services to use as talking points. Then draft the pitch, edit and rehearse. Like a singer or musician, memorize the melody of the song that is your elevator pitch and improvise as needed.
Also like making music, your delivery is as important as the content. Polish your presentation by speaking in a pleasant and energetic tone of voice. Exude a welcoming and friendly demeanor as you greet people with a smile, all the while standing up straight and maintaining eye contact, as you extend your right arm to initiate a comfortably firm hand shake and give your name.
Networking is a 365 days a year activity and your elevator pitch can easily be tailored to fit any context, whether you’re at a holiday party or a business program. Purely social events usually do not require mention of your business life, unless the topic comes up a little later, as you chat with your new acquaintances.
What matters most is that your pitch ensures that you are perceived as competent, credible and authentic. When introducing your professional role, use easy-to-understand, jargon-free language as you succinctly describe two or three of the products or services you offer (What you do) that provide solutions for problems that your clients encounter and must resolve (Why you do it). Depending on whom you meet, you may choose to reveal the types of organizations you work with (For whom you do it) and the value derived (benefits and outcomes) when clients work with you.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, famously said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Take time to develop an elevator pitch that creates a trust-building first impression for prospective clients and referral sources, one that serves as an effective first touch point for your personal brand.