Making a connection – 5 tips for a better elevator pitch in interactive media
People often ask me what is interactive media and how online marketing really works. At first I found it difficult to explain in one or two sentences. I wanted to come up with an elevator pitch that summed up the benefits of marketing online without being overwhelming or too technical.
“What do you do?” is a perfect opportunity to make a connection and tell people about yourself and your company. I’m not talking about even selling a product or service – this is a chance to create a hook that is memorable and promote your skills and the industry as a whole.
The elevator pitch is an icebreaker, a first conversation. It usually lasts no more than 30 seconds, which is all it takes for someone to decide whether they like you or not and want to invest more time in you and what you have to say.
Here are 5 tips that I have picked up along the way:
1. Create an emotional connection. Make people care about what you are doing or have to share.
Get them excited about the potential of the industry and what it can do for them. I usually tell a story or use humour to break the ice and build personal rapport. Ask questions that show your interest in the human being and not just a potential client.
2. Make it easy to understand. Interactive media sounds complicated and most people won’t invest in something they don’t understand or think is difficult. The industry is changing so quickly that we can’t expect the average person to be following all the trends. Give real examples of how UX and content strategy can help a company grow brand awareness and increase market share.
3. Inspire a desire. Don’t talk too much – remember that the elevator pitch is meant to catch someone’s attention and make them hungry for more. Give a few details that show your knowledge without revealing all your secrets, so that you leave an impression that you have something that they want. Ask leading questions that show you understand their needs.
4. End with a call to action. Make sure you have a goal at the end of each pitch, whether it is to meet for a coffee, secure an internship or get a job. Remember to be polite and direct without being pushy. If their person is busy or uninterested, ask for a business card and follow up – congratulations, you have a new contact that you never know might turn into something more.
5. Be yourself. At the end of the day, people like to spend time with people they like. You don’t want to be stiff or fake when you give your pitch – in fact, embrace your quirkiness and be natural. Show your passion and personality, because that will create a genuine connection (see tip #1. Remember, as human beings we are all connected, we sometimes just don’t know it yet.