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How to Create a Compelling Elevator Pitch (FS018)

From now until you die, how many times will you be asked, “what do you do for a living?” Here’s how to make your response exceptional.

When someone asks about “what you do for a living” you can try to make it up on the spot.

But this can have you sounding like a doofus or a douche or someone who doesn’t care about their work.

Your work matters. Why not make how you talk about your work matter too?

Spend some time with us in this conversation (it’s about 1h 20m), you’ll walk away knowing exactly how to put together your compelling 30 second overview of your business.

Listen to the episode:

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“Your work matters. Why not make how you talk about your work matter too?”

Tell me about your business in 30 seconds or less.

When Corbett, Caleb or I see you at a conference or talk to you on Skype or coach you or eat lunch with you it’s very likely we’ll ask this question. Prepare your answer, because a). the work you do on this will help every other area of your business, and b). the clearer and quicker you can communicate your business, the deeper and better the advice you’ll get.


Our Fabulous Guest Panelists

In this episode you hear the opinion of the following folks on how to put together a great elevator pitch. We asked these folks because they either make or hear loads of pitches per year. Our thanks to these folks for supporting the show.

  • Mike Paccione — presentation coach of the stars. Currently coaching clients (like Corbett and Pat Flynn) and delivering Duarte’s phenomenal training seminars across the globe.
  • Chris Johnson — head client wrangler at Simplifilm and the best sales guy I know.
  • Jason Glaspey — the bathrobe CEO of Paleo Plan (and many other amazing ideas come to life… check out his Fizzle.co founder’s story for more).
  • Jae’than Riechel — running a startup accelerator in lovely Kamloops, Canada (among other ideas too big and businessy for me to understand).
  • Josh Shipp — author, tv host, educator, wearer of adorable hairs, public speaking mogul. Literally.

Show Notes

If You Can’t Explain What You Do In A Paragraph, You’ve Got A Problem – Feld Thoughts — a great little note from Brad Feld who’s the inspiration behind this conversation. I think the original elevator pitch idea comes in this TWiSt episode. Techstars & Foundry Group are a couple things Brad runs.

“Don’t get sick of telling your story.” ~ Brad Feld

NonStartr.com“WTF is my startup pitch?”

Small Message, Big Impact: The Elevator Speech Effect – Terri L. Sjodin — This is the book about elevator pitches Chris Johnson mentions. Here’s a great 3m video from Terri on how to craft your elevator speech.

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence“A technique for organizing persuasive speeches that inspire people to take action.”

Write Epic Shit — Think Traffic“Sorry, but that’s simply wrong, and not what this site is all about. Learning promotional tactics is not the key to building a bigger audience.”

Business Republic: Build a business that can’t be ignored — Corbett tells the story of how Omar put together his elevator pitch.

Barron Cuadro and Jodi Ettenberg are mentioned in the roundtable of bloggers where Corbett watched how differently each talked about their businesses.

Douchebaggery in Online Business (FS 013) — we mention this episode a few times. If you haven’t yet, it’s worth it.

6 Successors to the Elevator Pitch | Daniel H. Pink — 3 short videos.


Closing Thought

The entire quote-unquote “pro blogging” industry — which exists as the sort of pimply teenage brother to the shirt-and-tie SEO industry — is predicated on the notion that blogging is a meaningful verb. It is not. The verb is writing. The format and medium are new, but the craft is ancient.

John Gruber (emphasis added)


The Top 10 Mistakes in Online Business

Every week we talk with entrepreneurs. We talk about what’s working and what isn’t. We talk about successes and failures. We spend time with complete newbies, seasoned veterans, and everything in between.

One topic that comes up over and over again with both groups is mistakes made in starting businesses. Newbies love to learn about mistakes so they can avoid them. Veterans love to talk about what they wish they had known when starting out.

These conversations have been fascinating, so we compiled a list of the 10 mistakes we hear most often into a nifty lil' guide.

Download the guide

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