As a growing marketing company, we are required to pitch our agency in our own words, with our own story in a very short period of time. In most cases, we only have a few minutes to get our prospectus’s attention and move the conversation forward – all the while speaking slowly.
And not try to sound like a sleazy car salesman.
Yeah, it sounds impossible…
In case you’ve ever found yourself in a similar situation, or you have and you want to erase the complete embarrassment of that moment – buckle up and get comfortable in your seat as we’re about to open your eyes to a completely new world of possibilities.
Are you ready? Great!
How did Elevator pitches come to be?
A quick history lesson.
There are several legends about how the elevator pitch originated, but the one we love dates all the way back to the nineteenth century.
It’s about Elisha Otis, creator of the Otis Elevator Company, and his ingenious invention.
According to legend, it was 1853, and while many buildings had elevators at the time, they were regarded as dangerous and only as stable as their weakest cable.
As the story goes, Elisha Otis was employed at a bedstead manufacturer and wished to automate the process of moving rubbish to other floors.
Otis was aware of the earliest elevators, but he also recognised their inherent danger.
Indeed, if an elevator cable SNAPS, the elevator will PLUMMET to the bottom of the shaft. On collision, it would destroy the elevator’s contents and almost certainly injure him as well.
Many other individuals, like him, were frightened of elevators, let alone placing them inside buildings.
That meant one critical thing in terms of business: he identified a significant gap in the elevator industry to fill.
As a result, Otis and his boys began brainstorming solutions to this problem.
To calm the public’s fears, he devised a series of safety locks. If an elevator exceeds a predetermined speed, the locks deploy, preventing the elevator from free-falling.
As with any new technology, many were sceptical that Elisha Otis could halt such weight in such a short period of time.
If this system failed, catastrophic annihilation would result, something no one was prepared to risk. Otis was unable to generate interest in his new innovation as a result of this concern.
Therefore, he needed to take action in order to begin marketing his idea.
Otis saw that the best method to persuade people was to simply demonstrate and allow them to experience the product he was marketing.
He then staged a public demonstration in front of a big crowd in New York City.
There, he uncovered an elevator shaft for the audience to see, stepped on top of the elevator car, and instructed his helper to cut the cord.
Everyone gasped, believing Elisha Otis would perish at the conclusion.
Just before the elevator reached the bottom, the locking mechanism activated the brakes, saving both Otis and the elevator. The crowd exploded in applause, with everyone asking Otis how they could get these new and better elevators in their buildings.
They now believed in the notion, saw its significance, and soon realised the amount of time they would save.
Otis created Otis Elevators shortly thereafter.
This is the point at which the elevator pitch was born.
And let’s be honest. It was a successful pitch when you consider that Otis elevators currently transfer roughly 2.5 billion passengers every day and are located inside some of the world’s tallest buildings.
That’s it. Short history over.
The Era of Zoom
Just like Elisha Otis, a new era dawns in front of all of us job seekers, business owners and any that are managing online sales funnels. A perfect elevator pitch is no longer the literal elevator ride, networking event or an in-person presentation.
Now, an elevator pitch can be a video with never-ending possibilities of being creative. It’s no longer thinking on your feet but is now thinking outside of the box.
So, this begs the question… how do we keep the elevator pitch alive?
And even more importantly, can we?
Online alternatives to elevator pitches
We’ve all spent the best part of the last 2 years in what we’d like to call Zoomiverse and have all become quite proficient in it, but let’s just note down a couple of important points first:
- Zoom generated over $3 billion in online revenue in 2021 which equals a 317% increase in year-on-year growth.
- In a nutshell, it’s a tool completely based on a cloud that lets you host and join video calls. Corporate FaceTime, anyone?
What did we learn from our little bullet point section above? Well, besides from whoever owns Zoom is incredibly rich and the main unique selling proposition of the tool, we learned that Zoom is popular and Zoom is used in businesses. A LOT.
That’s exactly what makes this tool one of the number one automated solutions for a good elevator pitch, sales pitch, networking event and any sort of pitch – from small businesses to big corporations!
Other online alternatives
Now that we’ve looked into Zoom as an elevator pitch online alternative, we have spied a couple of other interesting apps and cloud-based solutions that would be a great alternative to using Zoom.
In very short terms, Livestorm is an end-to-end video engagement platform that enables businesses to create large-scale meetings and webinars.
Basically, it’s another version of Zoom, which makes it a pretty great platform for an elevator pitch.
As elevator pitches can include product demos, using Livestorm allows you to create a perfect demo and generate more qualified leads. A big part of an effective elevator pitch is to create a unique business proposition that online customers enjoy!
If you don’t want to use Zoom and you are not fond of Livestorm, Kaltura could be a great option.
With Kaltura, you may webcast any event of any magnitude in real-time.
Whether it’s for business town halls, international conferences, or everything in between, Town Halls delivers end-to-end live broadcasting.
Plus, because your live session is recorded, it may be replayed at any time.
This could be used for other business opportunities, job fairs, overall job search or different scenarios.
Preparation before doing an elevator pitch
Now that we have the tools in hand, we need to prepare the workspace.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty examples, you need to know the thinking process before starting an elevator pitch.
Think of it as preparing the kitchen before you get out the ingredients and cookbook.
1. Start with a question.
You have the benefit of being able to address a problem that somebody has encountered.
Or a question that they need answering.
You may also use the question to convert this into a managed dialogue rather than a pitch.
The goal here is to be relatable – address an issue that the potential customer or investor is likely to have encountered.
Although not all businesses will be able to do so, attempt to locate anything that pertains to your business concept. The same can work for job interviews at online career fairs.
2. Provide quality information.
What is it that you offer that is unique? To grab the audience’s attention, what is it about your own elevator pitch example that jumps out and says “aha!”?
This is essentially what an elevator pitch is: a preview of the company and a preview of you – just enough to pique people’s curiosity.
3. Who is your audience?
Remember watching those television ads as a child that made no sense?
The elevator pitch is the same. Design it with the listener as the focus.
We don’t use fancy terminology like AI, online cooperation, or viewer monitoring. When too many technical terms are combined, they sound like jargon.
And jargon = boring
Here at Monumental, we’re all about explaining things in a normal way. No special elevator speech is necessary for you to have that one perfect elevator pitch. Some other elevator speech examples can include speaking slowly and using humour.
For Game of Thrones fans out there, pretend to be Jon Snow doing his simple elevator pitch to Queen Cersei on white walkers.
4. A glimmer of hope.
You may or may not wish to provide information about customers and revenue, but displaying a number that indicates the potential gain for the company is quite important.
Nothing quite jumps a person into action as the thought of making more money. Or not losing more money.
Elevator pitch examples using Zoom
Now you understand the thought process behind elevator pitches, let’s get into the actual cooking of one.
So we’re going to give you our guide on how to communicate, convince and close an elevator pitch on Zoom in less than 90 seconds. This quick guide includes:
- An actual Loom video recording of a 90-second elevator pitch that convinced a cold prospect to hear our business proposal (which we won)
- A presentation that’s given for FREE to every prospect and has resulted in much higher conversions.
Now you can use any of the tools mentioned before in this exercise but our chosen favourite is Zoom.
The secret ingredient is to have all your bases covered. Remember, just one thing that is missing and the whole thing will be a complete flop.
David S. Rose, CEO of Gust and a famous angel investor, responded a while back to our Quora thread on how to create the perfect online elevator pitch using Zoom. He listed the following requirements:
- A one-sentence (or sentence fragment) tagline 🎯
- A logo 🎯
- A physical business card 🎯
- A digital business card
- A short paragraph email description 🎯
- A 30-second verbal elevator pitch 🎯
- A customized Zoom background
- A personal LinkedIn profile 🎯
- A business LinkedIn profile
- A personal Twitter handle
- A headshot
- A set of short bios (20, 100, 200, 500 words)
- A Calendly scheduling page
- An online meeting account (Zoom preferred)
- A publicly accessible, mobile-friendly, web site
- An Instagram account
- A “one-pager” standardized company overview
- A 60–90 second explainer/ demo video
- A two-minute, high quality, self-contained, video investor pitch
- A two-page executive summary
- A five-minute “quick pitch” live presentation
- A short introductory PDF deck 🎯
- An 18-minute full, live, speaker-support presentation deck in PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi (with a backup in PowerPoint if you’re using one of the latter two) 🎯
- A detailed leave-behind PDF deck
- A spreadsheet of financial projections
- A concise-but-comprehensive lean business plan
- A filled-out Gust profile
- An accurate Crunchbase profile
- An online media room with logos, headshots, bios, intros, product shots and b-roll
- A sales funnel tracker
- A live management/investor dashboard
- A complete online diligence deal room.
We now use most of these ingredients in our overall sales strategy but we refined the ingredients for our 60-90 second pitch.
We compressed and divided the ingredients into 2 parts:
- A 7-slide presentation that is shared via PDF, containing:
- The “one-pager” standardised prospective company overview as David suggested
- Financial projections
- A short but concise SEO and/or social media and/or PR business plan
- A 2-page summary to further explain how Monumental can help
- Use the above presentation to create a 60-90 second video that:
- Gives a SUPER quick intro to the presenter
- A short rundown of the company’s current SEO/social media/PR position
- How Monumental can help the company
- What money can be gained
- Has a filtered background with the company logo
Average time spent:35 minutes on every Zoom elevator pitch
And there’s more
If the above was not to your fancy then we put on our Sherlock Holmes gloves and dug deep into our network to find you some great other pitch examples.
Three other brief elevator pitch examples using Zoom
All of the pitch examples in the video above are great intake for an elevator pitch. They all have a quick introduction, they mention the business, as well as the company. They are also quick and give value to listeners.
In a nutshell, the elevator speech is on point.
The above elevator pitch example video shows how easy it is to put together an elevator pitch for not only a business but also job seekers.
What is really great with this elevator pitch example is that it can be looked at as a sort of business card that uses an elevator speech to represent the job seeker to the potential employer in a short, creative simple way.
Online alternatives to elevator pitches: video pitch vs presentation vs email
Hopefully, by now, you’ll have put together your very own pitch deck. But a valuable asset to have in that is a video pitch video.
Words are great, of course, however, in today’s quickly-moving world, getting information across succinctly and promptly is very much needed.
A video is the most direct way to communicate any ideas in, what can be, less than one minute.
Videos are easily digestible, especially with younger audiences, and help to articulate something with visuals and an eye-catching “trailer”.
Your video can show your project and its value in action — whether it’s just a preview of your ideas or a detailed account of the benefits you provide. Video gives you the opportunity to speak directly to those who would like to invest in a project.
There is already proof that videos are superior: people are 60% more likely to buy a product after they watch a video about it in comparison to other mediums including texts.
So, does this give you a hint… what should investors receive from you? Right, a video.
A pitch video.
Plus, it doubles up as a useable asset for social media, your website and any other marketing collateral.
A pitch via presentation is probably the most common method we all know, and tend to turn to when pitching.
And it should still be part of your pitching mix, as it provides the opportunity for any questions to be asked and can turn into something extremely collaborative.
It can be designed like a story, telling whoever it might be (investors, partners, clients) who you are and what you’re about.
There are still many people within the business world who enjoy sitting down and being pitched to in person. And, whilst the pandemic has disrupted that, this way of communicating will be sure to return.
Why is that? Because it works.
It’s an engaging way to speak to the people who are important, as you will get their undivided attention throughout the entire time.
Just like a presentation, email is still a very popular way of pitching.
For some, it might seem a little informal and a waste of time, but actually, it’s very effective as it’s entirely trackable.
Nowadays there is software that can help you to see exactly when your email lands, if it’s been opened – and how many times, for the curious people out there – and when it’s been opened.
This data is then useable to help generate the most effective pitch in the future – including when is the best time to send, what lengths they should be, the subject line, and the list goes on…
Similar to any other form of pitching, the email will need to answer the question “what’s in it for me?”
After all, it’s a value proposition, and therefore needs to add value straight away.
If it’s simply explaining what you do and how good it is then it’s not going to get a response.
Add an attention-grabbing statistic on exactly how this will benefit the person you’re emailing – maybe you’ve already tested and done your research on them in particular – they will be more inclined to reply and engage in conversation.
And that’s the hardest part over with. They’re in the process, and it’s the chance to add even more value at each of the next stages.
Online alternatives to elevator pitches: social media
Whilst various tech platforms are a great way to change the original elevator pitch and accept the digital transformation that has happened – they don’t work for everyone.
Not all elevator pitch examples should be focused on live conference videos where project management and sales skills sound natural and come easy for everyone.
This is why it’d be good to delve into social media platforms and create sample elevator pitches on them.
Twitter pitches are 280-character hooks.
These are designed to attract people to read your book, check out your new company, find your potential employers, catch your audience’s interest and get that desired outcome you wish to get. Be that to:
- Dramatically boost sales
- Develop a personal story
- Score a job interview
- Do a great sales pitch on one of the most popular platforms in the history of the Internet.
What is really eye-catching and specific when it comes to a Twitter pitch, is its unique value proposition.
Name another place where you can sell yourself in 2-5 sentences?
You can’t, because it doesn’t exist.
The question is… how to make use of that value proposition and write a Twitter pitch?
- Introducing your company name/cause/idea/yourself. Make a point of mentioning any nuances that distinguish yourself and your cause (be that a company or a product)
- Next, describe the event that sparked the curiosity. What is it that propels you away from your everyday life and onto this company’s path? Why are you the right fit?
- Choose the most fascinating step (without giving away any surprises!) of your proposal where you tie in your story and how it has numerous steps that lead your product from point A to “I’ve got the best solution in the world!”
- Last but not least, what is at stake for your company or for you if you fail? A bizarre point to make when selling yourself but hard data hits different and one sentence can cause a ripple effect in your job interview.
Instagram Reel Pitch
Great for a 30-second elevator pitch
If you want more of a creative way to present a 30-second elevator pitch, an Instagram reel just might be the thing you need
One of the best parts of using Instagram Reel as a 30-second elevator pitch is the fact that you can ask an engaging question, propose an idea and target the right audience all in the same video. All of these points tied together is exactly what makes a good elevator pitch!
Now, how does one do an Instagram Reel pitch?
All you’ve got to do is sit down at your desk, on your bed or, well, wherever you’d like and write down a creative plan.
You have to write down everything you want to say – from the job title, your last client or anything about the company you represent and the business plan (this is where your project management skills come really handy).
When you start filming, you gotta make sure you going to speak slowly and stay focused to grab the audience’s attention. There has to be plenty of natural light in the room and the camera height has to be appropriate to create the best user experience!
Don’t forget to use a trending sound. In case you are ever worried about a sound and if it’s trending, just check your latest feed and whenever you see a sound that jumps out – use it.
Pre-pandemic popular approaches before Elevator pitch with Zoom
Times have changed for pitching, with Zoom still destined to be a popular choice, but there are existing methods that are proven to work.
The telephone pitch. Believe it or not, this is still a very popular way to outreach, mainly because it’s fast, happens in real-time and it’s much harder for your prospect to ignore.
It can instantly build rapport, demonstrate value and remove the fuss of creating a complex document that might be completely disregarded.
Connected to the telephone pitch is the voicemail version.
This should consist of the opening line that you would have said if the recipient answered, whilst adding your contact details to get a response.
And don’t be disheartened if that doesn’t initiate a callback, as you’ll more than likely have a follow-up planned anyway.
This leads nicely to our next method.
Follow-up pitch. It’s hard to close a customer on first contact – in fact, on average, it takes up to eight tries just to get a meeting.
So there will almost always be a follow-up version of your pitch needed.
With this, it’s important to reference your last interaction (however that might of been) to figure out whether they’ve ever seen or acknowledged it.
The key to a good follow-up is to make it timely and relevant without bothering the person.
How long to get a response
It’s hard to gauge the amount of time you can give someone to get back to you on your elevator pitch. There are a lot of different influences that could potentially mean a shorter or longer response rate.
Have you left a business card?
Was your elevator pitch to a business or to an employer?
Was it a live recording on Zoom or have you used the creativity social media gives you and uploaded a reel?
Or have you decided to use Twitter as a pitch deck?
Usually, a business aims to get back to a pitch within a couple of days. This again is based on the fact that you have provided a business card (when it comes to having an online pitch this can involve a simple email as a way to be contacted), that your elevator pitch example has been prerecorded and was sent to the prospectus as a follow-up email and that the pitch was, with the lack of better wording, liked by whoever was on the receiving end.
It’s always smart to follow up with an email about 24 hours after the pitch was pitched.
Don’t chase before the 24h window has passed because if you follow up too soon, you risk appearing desperate, annoying, or any of a thousand other bad characteristics that receivers could potentially associate with you.
That being said, don’t get discouraged if it takes a bit longer to hear back. It’s completely normal to wait up to a couple of weeks to hear back so don’t panic until you know for sure.
After all, no news is good news.
So there we have it.
We’ve gone through a brief history of the elevator pitch, talking through its many uses and how to make it as effective as possible.
If you’re interested in hearing more from us regarding the elevator pitch, or anything digital marketing related, then please get in touch.