An elevator pitch is a short overview of your business, products or services, and is typically used in business settings such as face-to-face networking. An elevator pitch can be one of the simplest yet most powerful tools for a small business owner.
Websites are a visual representation of your company and, many times, the first impression you will make on a potential buyer. The best way to make it easy for customers to decide whether your product is right for them is with your elevator pitch. Located on the homepage of your website just, ideally just below your strapline, your elevator pitch is a quick, concise description of who your company is and what it does. While the strapline or hero message is meant to inspire and evoke emotion, the elevator pitch is less like a headline, complementing the strapline by expanding on the sentiments.
So how can you gain that attention and set yourself apart from your rivals with a great website elevator pitch? Let’s look at each component in turn.
Use your buyer personas
The elevator pitch must speak directly to your buyer personas. You must identify what resonates with your buyers and find a way to incorporate those elements. Try and determine what keywords they are most likely searching for and incorporate them into the elevator pitch – however never force this as it will look stiff and fake. Having the right keyword strategy will make all the difference in getting found in search results.
Showcase your product or service
Sitting alongside the main personas you are trying to attract, is the next step – to craft your elevator pitch around the product or service itself.
Most people have been asked what your company do? Can you give a clear and concise answer? You must be able to describe succinctly what it is you have to offer your buyers in your elevator pitch.
Remember to include industry-relevant information that will speak to the buyers you are targeting. In journalism, the rule of thumb is that each story should have ‘the nut graph’ — i.e. the straightforward paragraph explaining what the story is about. On a website, the elevator pitch is that nut graph that tells the world what your company offers and why.
Bear in mind you are speaking directly to your buyers—describe your product or service in a short but compelling manner. Make it easy for those coming to your website to know right away you are the answer for them. Use positive, descriptive language to define your brand or traits that explain what you are working to achieve.
Use your competitive advantage
Next, you need to think about your competitors – what do you have over them? What do you offer that your competitors don’t? Make your business stand out by including your most defining qualities and always have in mind your customers who will be shopping around and looking at other websites that offer similar products or services. Study your competitors to help determine what quality you want to highlight in your elevator pitch and once you have this, work it into the copy. A prime example is Twitter who highlights what makes them stand out from other social networks – whilst it doesn’t directly mention its hashtag, its elevator pitch describes how it helps users find topics of interest by using the ubiquitous pound sign. While Twitter may not be the only social network to use hashtags as a method of searching for topics, it was the first and uses that point as a defining quality in its website elevator pitch.
Pulling it all together
Once you have created your pitch, read it out loud to be sure it is no longer than 20-30 seconds. It should not be too wordy or contain complicated jargon. The reader won’t lose interest because of the 20- to 30-second time limit, and since you have little time to capture a website visitor’s attention, you want to make sure it captures your unique selling proposition. Make sure it goes hand in hand with your strapline message to unify your website and send a cohesive message.