Your Most Important 30 Seconds of Life - SockSeed
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Your Most Important 30 Seconds of Life

Yes, yes, we know, the title might sound too grim, but we’ll explain all of it in a bit!

Imagine a situation, where you end up in the elevator with Bill Gates Jr. – the world’s richest person, who can make your dream of establishing a business come true. You have him all alone for 30-45 seconds, and let’s be honest here, these second can make a huge difference in your life!

Did you get pumped for such a situation? SockSeed is definitely sending its employees to have a random career-changing meeting. Kidding there! But let’s get realistic here, and look at this situation from the other side. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll have a small speech for such occasions, or what we call an Elevator Pitch. Don’t worry if you haven’t written yours yet, SockSeed is here to help you out!

Why Elevator Pitch?

You wonder why it is called Elevator Pitch?

Because it shouldn’t be longer than the time it takes for an elevator to rise or fall 20 stories, that’s about 30 to 45 seconds on average. In that time, you must:

  • say who you are;
  • describe the salient features of your business plan;
  • and get your listener excited about what you do, so that they want to hear more details.

Skill vs. Purpose

Most entrepreneurs do have the elevator pitches, but very few of them are effective. The three biggest mistakes people make in their elevator pitches are:

  1. describing skills rather than purpose;
  2. failing to tell an interesting story; and
  3. forgetting to rehearse and prepare.

Unfortunately, usually, an elevator pitch merely describes your skills, as in “Hi, I’m George Winters, a lawyer, and blogger.” While this is 100% accurate information, let’s be honest and say that it is totally useless. Why? Does it give a clue why the listener should care who you are? Not really, right?

There are many types of lawyers and bloggers in the world.What the person wants to hear is:

  • What kind of work do you do?
  • What is your specialty–the stuff you do best?
  • What types of clients do you represent? What is your blog about?

So, how do I build my successful pitch?

Instead of focusing on your skills, your pitch needs to describe the people you serve, i.e. your customers or clients, and how you add value to their lives.

Let’s take the same example:

“Hi, I’m George Winters. I help business start-ups solve their management and legal problems. I also have a blog, where I answer difficult questions raised by business owners, entrepreneurs, and self-employed professionals.”

That’s much more interesting now! No?

Tell your story. It’s critical that an elevator pitch “hook” your listener–get them interested in who you are. Consider the following two pitches for the same company:

  • “Hi, I’m John Doe, president of ABC Corp. We publish medical books.”
  • “Hi, I’m John Doe, president of ABC Corp. We publish books, newsletters, audio programs and seminars designed to help doctors and other medical professionals manage their careers better. Our best-selling title, How to Become Most Appreciated Doctor in 6 or less months, was named the book ‘most frequently stolen from med schools around the country’ in a recent poll of medical librarians.”

While both statements do the job, isn’t the second one is much more compelling? Even if you’re not at all interested in medical publishing, you are just a tad curious about John Doe, aren’t you? Maybe, just maybe, he’s got a hot new niche publishing company and you should consider an early-stage investment.

We’ve been saying this a lot, but let’s repeat it again! Practice, practice, practice. You never know when you will need your elevator pitch. Situations like the elevator encounter with Bill Gates happen all the time, usually without warning. If you’ve got a terrific pitch, but can’t call it to mind at a moment’s notice, it’s the same as not having an elevator pitch at all.

We’ve heard our share of Elevator Pitches, and trust us on this! Nothing and we mean it, nothing sounds worse than a badly prepared elevator pitch, or one that sounds overly “rehearsed.” If you stumble over your pitch, it may just be a case of the jitters, but many people will assume you don’t really know what you do for a living!

Just like an actor or a stand-up comedian or, you need to rehearse and improve your elevator pitch constantly, so it flows like butter from your tongue. It should come out of your mouth without forethought, as a Pavlovian reflex, exuding confidence, energy, and enthusiasm.

Are you ready to write your pitch? SockSeed is here to help you along your way!

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SockSeed’s platform can help you with all these tips so do not hesitate to contact us. We know that every beginning looks scary but those tips should help you feel more motivated. If you find value to this post then get ready for many more articles to come written just for you!

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Katie Topchishvili
katie@sockseed.com