Is 30 seconds a long time?
Depends on the situation. If you’re being asked to sprint as hard as you can for 30 seconds, or skip rope on rollerskates for 30 seconds…
…this can feel like an eternity. But if you’re given 30 seconds to pitch your business—something you have poured your heart and soul into and that offers so many great benefits to customers—well this is not nearly enough time.
But that’s all you have—whether you’re talking with a prospect, writing website copy, your business description, or an email.
And this is where your elevator pitch comes in. In this post, I’m going to show you how to write an awesome elevator pitch for your business, complete with templates and real examples.
Table of contents
What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is a short promotional speech or written blurb presented to a particular target audience to communicate the value of a product or service and get them to take action. Elevator pitches can be used by all types of people in all disciplines:
- Students pitch to colleges, internship programs, and scholarship funds.
- Job candidates pitch to employers.
- Businesses pitch to clients, investors, and job candidates.
- Professionals pitch to stakeholders.
How long should an elevator pitch be?
The ideal elevator pitch is 30-45 seconds, or the amount of time people spend in an elevator. And as I just mentioned above, it comes in written form everywhere. 30-45 seconds of speaking is about 75-100 words, making it perfect for your:
….so basically, your elevator pitch is everywhere.
What makes a good elevator pitch?
This all depends on what you’re pitching, who you’re pitching to, and what level of familiarity your audience has with what you’re offering. But broadly speaking, all good elevator pitches captivate, communicate, and convince because they are:
- Short: 30-60 seconds and to the point.
- Interesting: Whether it’s through storytelling, humor, data, fear, or something else, your elevator pitch needs to be able to capture attention, keep attention, and be memorable.
- Personalized: Just like good ad copy, a good elevator pitch is catered to the audience. The approach, word choice, and features/benefits offered are all carefully chosen based on what is most important to the people receiving the pitch.
- Confident: A good elevator pitch requires a combination of confidence (without being condescending or cocky) and assertiveness (but without being aggressive).
How to write an elevator pitch
As mentioned above, elevator pitches come in different shapes and sizes depending on the circumstances, and you’ll see a number of different styles in the templates and examples later in the post. But for the core of it, here is a basic framework:
- Establish the problem
- Introduce the solution
- Share the benefit/value
- Include what makes you different
- End with a CTA
1. Establish the problem, ideally with a hook
The problem/pain point is what will resonate most with your audience, so it’s the best way to start off your elevator pitch. You can simply state the problem, or you can make things more interesting with a hook. Try these on:
- When was the last time you…
- Picture this:
- Have you ever noticed…
- You know how…
- Is it me or…
- You know that feeling when…
- Ever wished you could…
- Let’s be real here:
- Did you know that….
💡 Pro tip 💡
Avoid the obvious questions like “Are you looking to get more customers?” or framing questions like “Are you looking for an all-in-one platform that will help you manage subscription invoicing? Be creative here. Be real. Your goal is to capture attention here, not sneak in features or benefits.
2. Introduce the solution
Once the problem has been established, you can then introduce yourself or your business as the solution, the hero. Be specific about how you solve the problem. Mention features here rather than benefits. And if it’s not obvious through your business name, make it clear what type of solution you are—a platform? An agency? An app? This is important so listeners/readers can orient themselves and form a mental picture as you speak.
3. State the benefit
So your audience now knows that you can solve their problem and take away their pain point, but you need to also talk about how this benefits them. Why is the elimination of this pain point important? What do they stand to gain by solving this problem? This is essentially your value proposition.
4. Differentiate yourself
So the audience now knows what you do, how you do it, and what’s in it for them, but why should they choose you over competitors? How can they be sure that they’ll get this benefit? This is where you include things like your unique selling proposition, social proof, trust signals, or anecdotes.
- [Solution] is the only Copywriting that [unique feature].
- For over [x years], we’ve helped over [X target personas] [achieve benefit].
- Backed by/recommended by [known/influential/trusted institution or person].
5. Close with a CTA or question
Finish off with some sort of action item. This is typically a classic call to action—like buy, register, call, download, sign up—with a reinforcement of the benefit.
- Try [solution] today to [achieve benefit].
- Sign up now so you can experience feature or benefit for yourself.
- Give me a call so we can plan your [ideal outcome].
In other cases, you might end with something a little more thought-provoking, like
- So let me ask you, how are you going to [solve] your next [problem].
- So the choice is yours. You can either [old way] or [new way].
Elevator pitch templates
Putting the above steps together, here is a basic, bare-bones elevator pitch template:
State the need. Fill the need. State the value prop. Differentiate yourself. Call them to action.
And here are three fleshed-out elevator templates using the above framework:
1. Basic elevator pitch template #1
When I first started [your trade], I found a common issue: People needed [solution].
For [time period], I’ve been [specializing/provding] just that. [State how]. I also [additional differentiator/advantage].
With this [three adjectives to sum up the above], my customers not only [benefit #1], but they also [benefit #2].
Automotive example using this template
When I began automotive repair, I found a common issue: People needed a choice for transmission repair on late model vehicles other than the dealer.
For three years now, I’ve been specializing in just that: catering to the unique transmission needs of vehicles 10 years or older. I’m also the only shop that provides online guidance first, to help my clients establish a firm price on the transmission replacement first, before their vehicle even comes into my shop.
With this confidence, convenience, and unique specialization, customers not only get more mileage out of their vehicles but also don’t have to cringe when viewing the invoice.
2. Basic elevator pitch template #2
Between [pain point] and [pain point], [goal] is a challenge no one should have to face alone.
I help [target personas] [achieve goal] through a combination of [product/service], [product/service], and [product service]. Not only [differentiator #1], but [differentiator #2], so you can [benefit].
Over [X customers] have [achieved goal] with my [help], and you can too.
Real estate example using this template
Between bidding wars and market fluctuations, navigating the home buying process is a headache.
I help first-time homebuyers achieve their dream of homeownership through a combination of education, financial counseling, and proprietary tools that grant access to off-market listings. Not only do I meet with each client personally to make sure we cover all of your questions and goals, but I also share regular updates with new listings, price changes, and recent sales so you can gain an understanding of market trends.
Over 90 first-time home buyers have gained the confidence to make this all-important decision with my help, and you can, too. Schedule a consult call today to find out how.
3. Basic elevator pitch template #3
For many [target customers], it’s not the [common/obvious pain point], but rather the [pain point your competitors don’t solve] that is most [painful].
But not at [your business]. In addition to feature #1 feature #2 and you can even feature #3.
Intrigued? Our [x] five-star reviews will tell you more, but you really have to experience it for yourself to see just how [adjective] and [adjective] [achieving goal] can be.
[Call to action].
Dentist example using this template
For many people with chronic dental issues, it’s not the issues themselves, but rather the trip to the dentist, that is the most painful.
But not at X. In addition to being a judgement-free and friendly space, you’ll never wait longer than 15 minutes, and you can even pick the music.
Our 78 five-star Google reviews will tell you more, but you really have to experience X for yourself to see just how convenient, or dare we say enjoyable, a trip to the dentist can be.
Schedule your first appointment today.
Business elevator pitch examples & templates
The examples above are good, but if you want to kick things up a notch, you can take a more unique approach. Here are some more business elevator pitch examples and templates to try out.
4. The wooing elevator pitch template
With this approach, speak to what your audience is most proud of.
[Describe audience’s scenario in a flattering way]. Built for [target customer] who [want to achieve X/need to solve X], [your offering] is a Copywriting that [benefit]. Unlike [competition], [product] [unique differentiator.] [CTA] so you can [experienece benefit or feature].
Your [SaaS] platform is awesome.
Too awesome, in fact, for new users to see its capabilities right away.
Built for awesome SaaS platforms, Cinch is a user onboarding platform that helps your users discover just how awesome it is.
And unlike other solutions, Cinch also uses engagement analytics to predict churn and send customized prompts to prevent it.
Don’t let the learning curve into a churning curve. Try it out now.
5. The data-focused elevator pitch template
Use data to illustrate the problem and prove your value. You may need to put some data into context, as with the example below.
[Topic] is a big problem. In fact, [statistic]. [Business/product/service] has helped over [X customers] [solve this problem] and [achieve benefit]. By [special feature], [another stat proving your value]. [CTA] or [thought-provoking question].
Home services example
The average home wastes half of the energy that flows through it. For context, the amount of energy wasted in just one day by California and Texas alone equates to how much was wasted in the 2010 BP Oil Spill.
NRGSaver has helped over 3,000 people save money on their utility bills, reduce their carbon footprint, and make the world a healthier place. By incorporating your unique lifestyle and budget into our assessments and then providing 24/7 monitoring, our clients save, on average, $3,000 more per year than those who use other services.
So my only question for you is, what are you going to do with that $3,000? That’s a nice vacation…
6. The fear-based elevator pitch template
This elevator pitch style is similar to the pain-agitate-solution copywriting formula. Fear is a big motivator, but you can cater this elevator pitch style to any emotion. These 273 emotional words and phrases can help you out here.
[Introduce problem through an alarming fact.] [Illustrate consequences of the fact]. [State how you’ve helped prevent the consequences]. [Provide differentiator]. [CTA].
Spinal misalignment isn’t just about back or neck pain. In fact, it starts out painless, but when left untreated, can lead to dysfunction in every system of the body—immune, digestive, nervous, endocrine, and more.
I’ve restored countless patients to health after years of suffering chronic conditions—and their only regret is not finding me sooner.
That’s why I offer all clients a free first-time full evaluation. So save yourself time, money, and pain and get an assessment that will catch things that no annual physical will.
7. The storytelling elevator pitch template
There really isn’t a template to offer for this type of elevator pitch. It’s all about painting a picture and choosing which emotional lens or copywriting technique you want to apply—humor, sadness, inspiration, sarcasm? The world is your oyster here, but consider this one humorous example.
You can get away with being a little bit longer with this type of elevator pitch, as long as the story is entertaining enough to hold your audience’s attention.
The Montgomery family is sitting quietly out on their beautiful patio furniture. Looks peaceful, right?
What you don’t realize is that they spent the day lugging it out of the shed, spraying it down, bending over backwards trying to figure out the setup. Tears were cried. Sweat was poured. Blood was shed. There were expletives.
The Montgomery family actually is sitting quietly because they (a) can’t move and (b) are no longer on speaking terms.
EZFurniture is on a mission to make spending time outside easy and hassle-free. EZ Furniture is on a mission to make spending time outside easy and hassle-free. Our fold-up, lightweight, and mold-resistant furniture is so simple, you’ll think there are pieces missing.
Stop into our showroom today.
The best elevator pitch examples to inspire you
And finally, real elevator pitches spotted in the wild. Like I said, they’re everywhere…
1. App elevator pitch example – YouTube ad
This elevator pitch example comes from this LSATMax study app YouTube ad.
On my first LSAT, I scored a 148. I ended up with a 174 and a Harvard Law degree. My experience as a student and as an in-class instructor led to the creation of LSATMax, a vastly superior LSAT prep experience. And now, with the LSAT being administered on a tablet, our once radical idea has become the norm for LSAT prep. So what are you waiting for? Download our free app and see for yourself.
2. Personal services elevator pitch example – Podcast ad
I hear this Better Help elevator pitch in podcasts all the time. Have a look:
Better Help is online therapy that offers video and phone and even live chat-only therapy sessions so you don’t need to see anyone on camera if you don’t want to. Better help is much more affordable than in-person therapy and is available worldwide. Better help will assess your needs and can match you with your own accredited therapist in under 48 hours. Visit betterhelp.com and join the over 2 million people who have taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional.
3. SaaS elevator pitch example – Facebook profile
The description in your Facebook business page is the perfect opportunity for an elevator pitch. Take Stryve’s:
Hiring’s hard. We’ve made it easy. Stryve is a revolutionary cloud-based ATS helping you find, nurture and hire the talent your business needs to succeed.
Our mission is to help growing companies thrive and using our technology, build brilliantly diverse teams. We want to positively impact both humans in business and our planet; our commitment to B Corp helps us do just that.
4. Freelancer elevator pitch example – cold outreach email
This elevator pitch example comes in the form of a guest pitch for a blog post.
Did someone call for a small business genie? Now I don’t have as many years in the field as Genie from Aladdin, nor am I as powerful…or blue BUT, three wishes I can grant for you and the team at WordStream are: adding value, reducing workload and providing knowledge!
A reward awaits you, should you choose to take part. All you have to do is pick a number between 1 to 3.
Here are your choices based on your decision:
- Title #1
- Title #2
- Title #3
The next step? Let me know which title you landed on and before you can say ‘hey presto’, I’ll have the content conjured up and delivered to your inbox ;).
Wishing you a magical day,
5. Product elevator pitch example – About us page
In addition to excellent visual imagery, Zolt’s about us page has excellent elevator pitch inspo:
Plants survive and thrive by releasing endogenous biochemicals that help them flourish under various circumstances, and many of those plant botanicals can help humans perform at their best, too. That’s why Zolt superdrinks are powered by plants (a whole entourage of ‘em) and optimized for performance. Each formulation of adaptogens, antioxidants and terpene botanicals is tailored to key areas of human function like sleep, immunity, energy, balance, and overall cognitive performance.
6. Chiropractor example – Zocdoc
This chiropractor’s ZocDoc bio uses a combination of data, social proof, and emotional copy to prove her value and differentiate herself from others:
Dr. Diane Arrigo is a graduate of the Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic in 2006. She founded Chiropractic Health in 2007 to offer the benefits of chiropractic care to the citizens of the Metro-West Framingham area.
Dr. Arrigo has dedicated her life to healing the body, spirit, and mind. She believes that chiropractic treatment is the most sensible and effective way to treat many common health problems. She also believes in the preventative power of chiropractic care.
Dr. Arrigo is a proud member of the Federation of Straight Chiropractic Organization, and the Massachusetts Chiropractic Society. In her spare time, Dr. Arrigo enjoys cooking, hiking, and spending time with her family
6. Virtual services elevator pitch example – Linkedin bio
And finally, your LinkedIn company page is another place for your elevator pitch. Teladoc’s LinkedIn bio is great elevator pitch material:
Teladoc Health is on a mission to empower all people everywhere to live healthier lives by transforming the healthcare experience. Recognized as the world leader in whole-person virtual care, Teladoc Health addresses the full spectrum of health and well-being — powered by human expertise, advanced technology and insights—to deliver improved clinical outcomes at scale. Serving more than 175 countries and ranked Best in KLAS for Virtual Care Platforms in 2020, Teladoc Health leverages extensive expertise and data-driven insights to meet the growing healthcare needs of consumers and healthcare professionals.
Final tips to achieve your best elevator pitch
Let’s close off with some final tips for making your elevator pitch the best it can be:
- Customize it: Cater it to your audience.
- Practice it: If this is, indeed, a speech, practice it until it’s blue in the face. Write it, rewrite it, say it, recite it, record yourself and listen to it. Recite it in front of someone. Completely internalize it so that you’re speaking as naturally and organically as possible.
- Make it easy to understand: Don’t try to impress your audience with fancy jargon or complex statements. The simpler it is, the easier it will be for them to remember. And speak conversationally.
- Be ready for objections/questions: You’ll get a feel, over time, for common objections and questions. And you may even have a secondary spiel to address those. But be careful not to address them (or too many of them) in your pitch. If you take too much of a defensive approach, you could be discounting your confidence.