How to Write an Elevator Pitch for Your Online Business (With Examples + Templates)
I’ll be totally honest with you, friend — when I hear the words “elevator pitch”, my mind immediately goes to some stuffy, corporate networking event from my 9-5 past. You know the ones — where the laughs are forced, the handshakes are necessary, and everyone who steps through the door makes a beeline for the bar.
(Can you tell I hate traditional networking events?)
We get away from that icky feeling sometimes by referring to our “summary statement” or our “one-liner”, but whatever way you swing it your online business needs an elevator pitch if you really want to communicate what you do in the clearest, most compelling way possible.
As a copywriter for female entrepreneurs, one of the first things I ask any new client to do is give me their elevator pitch. This gives me the very best sense of where they are with their brand messaging, especially how clear they are on their unique positioning and how easily they can use language that resonates with their dream buyers.
But… easier said than done, right? Summing up what you do in a compelling, 20-second sound bite never gets easier, no matter how long you’ve been running your business. (Actually, the longer you’ve been in biz the harder it tends to get because you start doing SO many different things.)
So, without further ado, here are my top tips for writing your best elevator pitch yet — and, if you really want to clear your mind and do this the right way, don’t forget to snag my free elevator pitch templates.
Tip 1: Use your dream buyer’s words
The biggest and most common mistake that I see people make with their elevator pitch is to use industry jargon — and a lot of the time, we don’t even realize we’re doing it!
Chances are you’re a total expert in what you do, and that means you use terms on a daily basis that the average, non-expert person may not understand right away. The problem? That means your dream buyer (aka your ideal client or customer) also may not understand those terms right away.
These industry terms do have a time and place (yes, even jargon — I can feel my fellow copywriters cringe at that one), but it’s not in your elevator pitch. This summary is your chance to introduce yourself and your business in the clearest, most easy-to-understand way possible… and that means you have to use the words your dream buyers are already using to describe what you do.
My biggest tip? If you’ve been in business for a while, go back to reviews or testimonials from some of your favorite buyers (the clients who you loved working with, or the buyers who gave you glowing reviews). Scan them for words that come up time and time again. You could even plug them into a word cloud generator to see what pops up the most.
If you’re more on the new side of your business and don’t have a lot of testimonials or reviews, pop into some Facebook groups where your dream buyers hang out. In the search bar, do a quick search of words related to your industry. What language are people using in their posts to talk about what you do? That’s the language that needs to be in your elevator pitch (and the rest of your copy, for that matter.)
When deciding on a specific term, ask yourself…
- Is this how my dream buyers describe themselves? (Do they use the term girl boss, for example?)
- Is this really how they would describe the problem they’re experiencing?
- Is this how someone else would describe the results I deliver?
- Would they use these words before working with me?
That last one is a biggie. If your dream client has no idea what an “abundance mindset” is before you start working with them, don’t include it in your elevator pitch, even if it’s a BIG part of what you do.
Tip 2: Scrap the ‘how’
Another mistake I see time and time and again is that people focus too much on how they do what they do in their elevator pitch.
Remember that the purpose of your elevator pitch is to clearly explain what you do, who you do it for, why it’s important, and to get your listener (or reader) interested in learning more.
You don’t want to jump ahead of yourself and dive into your ‘signature 3-step method’, or your ‘unique approach’ to whatever it is that you do. Those details come later when the lead drops into your inbox, you get them on a sales call, or they start discovering your products.
The ‘how’ of your story is so important, but it’s not as important as the who, the what and the why. And if you only have 20 seconds in an elevator to grab someone’s interest (or, in our digital world, 7 seconds of them landing on your homepage), you need to get the most important info out first.
The short and sweet of it? The most compelling elevator pitch focuses on the end result you deliver, not how you get them there.
Tip 3: Focus on the ‘why’ instead
So if you’re not telling your audience how you do what you do… what should you focus on instead?
The why, baby.
I’m not just talking about your personal why (but if you haven’t watched Simon Sinek’s TED talk on finding your why you are missing OUT girl). That’s super important and has a place in your brand messaging, too. But your elevator pitch isn’t exactly the place to dive into a monologue about what inspired you to start your business, or what gets you out of bed in the morning.
When it comes to your elevator pitch, I need you to tell me why the heck what you do matters. Why should I care that you’re a photographer who captures special moments, or a business coach who works with holistic practitioners? What does that mean for me?
Do a little bit of digging into the actual problem that you help your dream buyers solve, and the problems you help them avoid. Why would they seek out your services or products in the first place? What end result do you deliver for them? Now go deeper.
One of my favorite exercises (I use this one all the time with my Messaging Clarity Conversation clients) is the “So what?” exercise.
Think about the problem that you solve for your dream buyers. Then ask yourself, “So what?” Then ask it again and again, until you feel like an annoying toddler but have really dug deep into the reasons someone is buying from you — the internal reasons, the external reasons, and the philisophical or psychological reasons.
Write down your answers, come back to them, and think about which of those problems connects most with why your service or product makes a difference in your dream buyer’s life. That’s the ‘why’ that belongs in your elevator pitch because it’s the ‘why’ that will really compel your readers and make them want to know more.
Tip 4: Keep going!
Like anything in business (and especially in copywriting), you’re going to need several drafts to get it right — and that’s 100% okay! Trust me, friend… if you’re writing draft after draft, you’re doing it right.
Your first elevator pitch might be riddled with jargon, or be way too long. That’s great. Keep going back over it until you have something you feel comfortable with. Because at the end of the day, your elevator pitch needs to speak to your dream buyers, but it also needs to speak to you.
Even when you’ve landed on an elevator pitch that you love, come back to it every 6 months or so to see if it still feels right. Cause let’s face it, as online entrepreneurs we are constantly shifting gears, serving new people, and finding new ways to bring our awesome into the world. And your elevator pitch needs to reflect that.
My elevator pitch example
You won’t find my elevator pitch anywhere on my website — at least not word-for-word. But you will find the language I use in my elevator pitch literally everywhere in my marketing: on my homepage, on my about page, and in every one of my emails.
That’s because I go back to my elevator pitch right before I write any piece of content for my business, to remind myself of what I do, who I do it for, and why the heck it matters. Because let’s be real — when you’re in the trenches of your business day in and day out, it’s easy to forget the big picture.
Here’s the elevator pitch I have sitting on my Asana board and on a sticky note on my desk, there whenever I need it:
I help female online business owners find the right words to connect with the people they want to serve and sell to them with ease, so they can build a thriving business that brings them joy, stability, and a sense of purpose.
Want more elevator pitch templates and examples?
I’ve got you covered. You can download my elevator pitch templates here, so you can finally write a summary for your business that perfectly describes what you do (in language your dream clients + customers can actually understand) in just 15 mins or less.
When using these templates, remember to be flexible. You’ll see that my elevator pitch example above doesn’t perfectly fit either of these molds, but I did use them as a starting point.
Have any questions about writing your elevator pitch? Let me know in the comments below!
Meet the Host
Welcome! I’m Megan Taylor — copywriter for online entrepreneurs, bookworm, and founder of The Copy Template Shop. I believe that anyone can write strong copy, and I’m here to teach you how to write words that sell your online offers while prioritizing real connection, serving your audience, and simply being who you are.
Grab my free Website Copy Roadmap and learn my five-step process to writing website copy that connects with & converts dream clients.
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