September is the perfect time to go networking…
So, you’ve booked your place and made it to the meeting, ready to talk to people about the wonderful world of Image Consultancy and Personal Styling, then someone asks you “What do you do?”
Blood rushes from your head to your toes and back up again and you stumble. How do you give this brilliant job that you love, that inspires, and gives people confidence and joy, the justification it deserves in a couple of sentences.
Argh… If caught off guard you might play down your role, especially if you start muttering about just having launched your business.
Shout it out. Celebrate the fact that YOU have chosen to work in this industry, to take the angst out of shopping and dressing. Whatever your niche, you help people feel good about themselves, giving them the confidence to find a new partner, lose weight, find a new job etc. Whatever their situation you need to be able to get this across to your audience concisely and authentically.
What is an Elevator Pitch?
It’s quite simply a way to introduce yourself and your business whilst encouraging your audience to engage and ask questions.
The concept behind it is that you should be able to introduce yourself in the time it would take an elevator to travel to the top floor of a building (max 30 seconds).
This doesn’t give you much time, so you need to be interesting, engaging and focussed so that the other person is intrigued and wants to learn more.
Remember, networking is all about relationship building, so if you can create an interesting introduction that makes people curious, intrigued and actually want to talk to you, then they are ultimately more likely to buy from you or recommend you.
We all know that first impressions count so if you come across as professional with a memorable and positive elevator pitch then people are more likely to believe you. A fantastic elevator pitch will also help to breakdown any misconceptions people might have about your profession – I have had people back away from me many times, looking worried when I’ve said “I’m an Image Consultant”!
You need to use something different from just saying your job title or profession eg accountant or divorce lawyer – people’s eyes may start to glaze over!!
Plan what you are going to say
What you say needs to be memorable to the right people and it should give a congruent message – in line with your website, business card and personal branding – you will obviously need to tweak it depending on your audience.
People will be assessing you, your ability and your potential value to them – that’s what networking is all about and all within a few seconds. Therefore, you need an effective opening paragraph that taps into people’s emotions, their senses, their minds and their needs.
A good elevator pitch will build your credibility as you describe how you help your clients improve their businesses or lives. You will, however, need more than one elevator pitch depending on your audience and how long you have to speak so it is worth developing and practising a few options.
Think about your niche – what you do and for whom – and the value that you offer them. It is all about appealing to their emotions and stressing the benefits of what you can offer them in a clear and concise way. eg Save time, save money and increase confidence!
Your elevator pitch should mention:
- Who you work with
- The problem that you solve and
- The positive result of working with you.
After you have spoken, the listener will say something like, “That sounds really interesting, tell me more”. Then you have the ideal opportunity to have a conversation and expand on the services that you offer.
Good luck and enjoy practising!
If you want any support with networking and finding your niche, our Business Planning & Marketing Module includes lots of helpfult advice and ideas to get you thinking…