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stay ready so you don't have to get ready

An elevator pitch is a classic tactic. The concept? You are riding an elevator with someone who asks "What do you do?" As an entrepreneur, this is a great moment to make a 1:1 connection with another member of the community, investor, future customer or new acquaintance.

But the catch? An elevator ride is short, you can't bring a long-winded vision statement to a 2-3 minute ride. We may not spend our lives riding up and down elevators but we can all agree that the attention span of people and the amount of time you have to "hook them" is a brief window that is around 90 seconds at best. There is the standard business definition is created and recreated in articles like: "The four components of a compelling elevator pitch" from Full Focus. I'd argue that whenever something is age-old, its a great idea to put your own modern spin on it, make it your own. In a world of dry conversation, transactional interactions and competitive/compelling distractions (a cell phone). Its important to remember that an "elevator pitch" is just a quick invitation into knowing you and your business without monopolizing your time (because these are usually done on stranger, the equivalent of in-person cold calls).

To me the formula has a built in freshness that has served me well. I don't want to tell you how to make yours, I want to share mine and let it guide your natural speech patterns to become a uniquely yours, malleable conversation nugget to optimize the impact of your conversation with a clear understanding of you and your profession/business,

"Hey I'm Kendra, I run an all-female collective of artists to create end-to-end marketing strategies for business, strategy, creative copywriting, all that. I call it Honest Hive, because I really want to reinvent the idea of marketing from being dishonest manipulation to an artistic & helpful expression of a company's vision." At the end I leave a customized message. If we've talked about doing business I might say, "Let's exchange numbers I have a lot of free resources and you can always book a consultation." If we met on the street I might say, "That's just my passion. What do you do?" If we are at a cafe I might say, "I love coming to places like this because it helps me feel connected while I click away on my laptop." There doesn't have to be a clear call-to-action or transaction at the end, I would argue there really shouldn't be a hard-sell at all. An explanation, an offer, some personalized context and boom, you've got an adjustable 'elevator pitch' that flows smoothly as you self promote and live life as a business owner (and as such self-marketer) on the go. I encourage all my clients to come into the 1:1 Consultation Session with AT LEAST an idea of what they would use for an elevation pitch or how they would casually share what their business does. It helps kick the conversation off with an understanding of the most important/top of mind parts you've identified with your business and it forces you to think of your complex business model in a simplified version so that a non-specialist will still be able to digest and understand it. Most importantly, people are sick of chat-bots, stale AI and talking to computers. The warmth of a genuine, casual and thoughtful business summary should feel helpful and organic, not like you're cornering a person with automated responses meant to corner them into feeling like they need you. This is who I am and what I do, I'm here if you need me is always the best frame of mind to go into when developing your company or personal elevator pitch. For the more formal instructions check out this document from Princeton University on elevator pitch structure.

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