Effective marketing is all about communicating brilliantly. And great copywriting is a major component of the creative projects we deliver. Elevator pitches are one of the most important tools you can use to market your business. But what is an elevator pitch, and how do you write one that will resonate?
An elevator pitch is a short, sharp, attention-grabbing statement that tells your audience who you are, what you do, and why they should care. The best way to write an elevator pitch that resonates is to focus on three key elements: what you do, how you do it differently than everyone else, and what benefits people can expect as a result.
Why is it called an elevator pitch?
The elevator pitch, or elevator speech, is a very short, persuasive presentation about your business, product, or project. It’s called an elevator pitch because it should be able to fit into the time it takes to ride in an elevator from the ground floor to the top floor of a building.
How long is an elevator pitch?
While elevator pitches can vary in length, the best examples are typically around 30 seconds to 2 minutes long. This is just enough time to introduce yourself, explain what you do, and leave your listener wanting more.
In terms of word count, an elevator pitch should be around 100 to 150 words long.
When is an elevator pitch important?
Any time a new opportunity arises, what could be more important than good communication? Every time that somebody asks, “What do you do?” an elevator pitch is your chance to make a great first impression and capture their interest in just a few seconds.
That’s so important if you’re going to make the most of your opportunities. A good elevator pitch can get your message across quickly and clearly. And by making every second count, you’re showing that you respect the person’s time and attention.
Places you’re likely to need an elevator pitch
There are countless everyday scenarios when having your elevator pitch scripted and rehearsed can pay dividends. They might include:
- Networking events, trade shows and conferences
- Job interviews, careers fairs
- Sales calls and presentations
- Marketing collateral, online profiles, email signatures, and social media posts such as LinkedIn
Every business, every individual, and every scenario presents a different set of circumstances. But each is an opportunity to use your elevator pitch to explain who you are and what you do to your audience.
How to write an elevator pitch: 3 key elements
So how do you write an elevator pitch that resonates? Start by focusing on three key elements: what you do, how you do it differently than everyone else, and what benefits people can expect as a result. Write it down exactly as you would speak it. Then, practice your elevator pitch until it sounds natural and fluid. Your script will become more refined with every edit and every iteration. The more you practice, the better you’ll become at delivering your pitch clearly and concisely.
Here’s one of the best elevator pitch templates we’ve ever come across. It comes from Allan Dib, author of one of our favourite books, The One Page Marketing Plan. Alan is a serial entrepreneur from Australia who has successfully started, marketed, scaled, and exited multiple small businesses.
You know [problem]? Well, what we do is [solution]. In fact, [proof].
Allan gives this example for electrical engineering:
“You know when there are power outages that bring down critical systems in large businesses? Well, what I do is install backup power systems for companies that rely on having a continuous supply of power for their operations. In fact, I installed the system at XYZ bank, which has resulted in them having 100% uptime since it was installed.”
An elevator pitch for our business might be:
“You know how many business owners and marketers are overwhelmed today? Their markets are flooded with competitors. They’ve got more marketing channels than ever. Their to-do lists are huge, and knowing which way to turn can seem impossible. Brand consistency is the number 1 casualty. Well, we provide turnkey creative services for their marketing collateral. We create, design, produce, and deliver effective marketing tools that keep them on track and on-brand. In fact, we produced a company profile for Alshaya Group, which has helped the company sign franchise agreements with world-renowned retail brands.”
Allan’s method is a brilliant way to keep yourself focused on what matters: the customer’s problem, and the solution you provide. But there are many ways to format your elevator pitch for your company. If you’re still unsure how to write your pitch, below we’ve gathered some good examples to help get you started.
30-second elevator pitch examples
Rather than looking at more templates, let’s examine how other businesses do this. Below are 12 elevator pitch examples used by real-life businesses.
AirBnB’s elevator pitch
Most tourists booking online care about price- and hotels are one of the highest costs for when traveling.
On the other hand, platforms like Couchsurfing have proven that over half a million people are willing to lend their couches or spare bedrooms.
We have created a platform that connects travelers with locals, letting them rent our rooms, or even entire places. Travelers save money, and locals can monetize their empty rooms- we just take a 10% commission.
Apple’s elevator pitch for the Mac
Easy to learn. Astoundingly powerful. And designed to let you work, play, and create in ways you never imagined. It’s the computer that comes packed with apps that are ready to go right out of the box. Free, regular software updates keep things up to date and running smoothly. And if you already have an iPhone, it feels familiar from the moment you turn it on.
Slack’s elevator pitch
We help businesses and organizations communicate with a simple chat interface.
The average office worker receives 304 emails per week. They also attend an average of 62 monthly meetings, half of which they consider ‘wasted time’. Slack was made to make work more efficient. It organizes conversations by channels and drastically reduces the need for emails or meetings. It’s integrated with 100s of productivity tools like Google Docs, Calendars, Email, Dropbox, Zoom… so you can receive automatic notifications and take action without leaving the interface.
Pressed’s elevator pitch
“Pressed is an intelligent personal assistant designed to keep people focused on whatever goals they have; like working out, eating healthier, or even just drinking more water.
Want to run a 5k? Pressed will learn that your office isn’t the place to remind you to train. However, it may notice you’ve been at home for a while and may have the time to get out there and break a sweat.”
SEMrush’s elevator pitch
“Understand your niche to make better marketing decisions, capture higher page rankings in Google, make valuable new connections and boost your earnings quickly. Don’t waste time guessing what it takes to win valuable search keywords. Work out who is winning. Find out who links to them. Build your own backlinks. Try it out. Research a website right now.”
WeWork elevator pitch
There are 40MM independent workers in the US: consultants, freelancers, and small business owners. Solving office space is tough and expensive, especially in cities like New York. We created the concept of space as a service. We have 20 locations in the city- where people can rent a desk or an office without any of the complications of a traditional lease, effectively saving at least 25% of the cost. They get access to a shared front desk, mailroom, and a community of like-minded people.
JustPark’s elevator pitch
“Let’s face it. Parking can be a real nightmare. It can be infuriating to find, extremely pricey and by the time you find that spot you would have lost time, petrol, and caused a lot of unnecessary traffic and pollution. Well, there’s an answer, parkatmyhouse.com. We are an awesome little company, backed by an awesome big company called BMW. Now, listen in: You can reserve parking in a private property and save up to 70%. Need to park at a sports match or local station? Sorted. … Just go to parkatmyhouse.com and simply type in where you want to park and what dates. It is that simple.”
Merchant Machine’s elevator pitch
“Merchant Machine helps small businesses quickly and easily save money on their credit card processing costs by comparing the leading options in the market. It’s completely free to the end user, there are no obligations and takes just one minute to do.”
AccessDirect’s elevator pitch
“We provide hosted telephone systems for small companies.”
“We provide virtual phone numbers, either a local or toll-free telephone number. We can also host your existing phone number. Our system includes an automated attendant to answer all calls with a professionally-recorded outgoing greeting so your company sounds more professional. We can customize a menu of options with multiple extensions, call transfer, voicemail to email and fax. What is best about a virtual phone system is that your staff can work from anywhere with an answering system that makes it sound like you all work in the same office.”
Text Request’s elevator pitch
“Your business relies on communication with clients, but calls, voicemails, and emails are less effective with people under 40. But almost all texts are read within three minutes. Text Request makes live two-way texting possible for your business with our easy-to-use dashboard. People can text you, too, and we can even use your current phone number in many cases. Other businesses use Text Request to increase leads, grow revenue, improve operations, and drive customer satisfaction, all because of the power to connect instantly.”
Elevator pitch for Hux Pitch
“Hux is an online platform directly connecting local consumers with house cleaners. With Hux, you can easily compare local house cleaners on total price, reviews, availability and instantly book a service. Our technology empowers local house cleaners by replacing costly overhead found in the traditional service industry and makes it easy for consumers to book services online in just two minutes. Just think of us as the Uber of house cleaning!”
Ready to write a good elevator pitch?
Hopefully, we’ve inspired you to explain what your company does in an elevator speech. With the examples above, you should be well on your way to writing an elevator pitch that resonates with everyone you meet. If you need any help at all with your marketing, write us an email and we’ll do our best to help you out.