The indefatigable Cathy Goodwin has come up with another great idea. This time, she’s suggesting that we drop our tired old 30-second elevator pitch and replace it with something that’s more likely to bring us the results we want—the elevator “story.”
I agree. There are probably times that we all suppress a groan when asked to introduce ourselves. We’ve practiced and polished our pitch, but it still sounds canned, a bit lifeless, and not really inspiring. Instead of a pitch why not tell a story about what we can do for prospects? Here’s a quick example:
“I’m a copywriter who specializes in creating compelling marketing communications pieces for technology companies. I’ve written everything from press releases and white papers to landing pages and blah, blah, blah…”
“I write for busy people. When you hire me to do a project, you automatically add 10 hours to your week—10 hours that you didn’t really have but had to find. And when you work with me, you get writing that’s up to you and your company’s standards…”
Tell a story, says Ms. Goodwin, but be aware that “good copy is invisible.” You want people to grasp what you do and how you can benefit them immediately, rather than getting wrapped up in how cleverly you’ve phrased your message.
I think it’s worth the effort to create a few stories that will grab people’s attention and help differentiate you from other who do what you do. I recommend giving it a shot on a Sunday afternoon when you’re preparing for a new week and have a couple of networking events on your schedule. Treat this project as though you were doing it for a customer, and that may get the creative juices flowing.