Elevator Pitch

July 28, 2010

Since I won the PSA Holland “Elevator Pitch” contest, I am receiving a lot of questions about tips for a great Elevator Pitch. Some called it an Elevator Story, Sticky Story or Pushy Pitch.

So, here are some tips of how I sometimes start the conversation:

1. When people ask me where I am from:

I am from the land of Chocolate and I live in the city of Diamonds.

Then I wait a couple of seconds while they are thinking. Most people get it right and start smiling, especially women 🙂

Oh, for those who don’t know : Antwerp, Belgium

OK, I admit, sometimes they say Switzerland as well, but the diamonds are pretty convincing…

Anyway, what I am saying is : start with something different, original or funny. If you can make people smile and/or teasing them with the first thing(s) you say, you are already halfway!

When I was in New Zealand, I often told people I am from “Old Zealand”. Then I saw them thinking again and so I grabbed their attention…

So, what can you do with your location? Have fun!

2. When people ask me what I do:

I make people happy!

The first thing people do is either smile, show interest and ask me how, because they could use some happiness…or they just want to know more details. Their attention becomes interest! That’s exactly where I want them to be.

I am hacking away frustrations in people’s lives…I am a lifehacker

When I use this sentence, I also make a gesture of really hacking away stuff from their shoulders or backs. Some people are rather visually oriented and it helps them. Most people have never heard of the word “lifehacker” and find it ‘creative’ or ‘refreshing’. Of course, some think about negative stuff when they hear ‘hacker’ and they do ask. So the next bit positions it well:

Most people are looking for the easy way or the shortcuts, right? That’s exactly what I do : Genius Shortcuts! Examples are learning people how to write a 100 mails in 1 hour or if you are looking for a perfect picture in your presentation : how to scan 200 images in less than 20 seconds? You see, challenging stuff at first, but by using Genius Shortcuts you’ll see how easy it really is.

I share my Genius Shortcuts through keynotes, workshops and coaching.

Now it is time to really explain what it is that I do. I start with bringing in my own flavour of lifehacking (and for those negative people moving away from that negative feeling): Genius Shortcuts. Since I already gave them several pieces of info that might be new to them I share examples immediately after. It makes it more tangible. Now they get a clear understanding what it is that I do. Of course, I adapt the examples to their context!

I also advise you to give at least 2 examples, just in case 1 is not relevant for them (exceptions do exist 🙂 ).

Finally, I tell them how I add value and how I share it…through keynotes, etc. Now they know how they can hire me, right?

So, what exactly is it that you do?

3. Satisfy their needs

Isn’t it frustrating for a xyz (fill in their occupation) like you to loose so much time on abc (an activity they find frustrating)?

Think about one of your big frustrations that consumes a lot of your energy. Now, how would you feel if you got rid of it?

Imagine how it would feel if you have 2 hours extra every day?

These are just example sentences, which I am using depending on how well I already know the other person(s). Now, I get them thinking and feeling how it would be when they hire me. Definitely fueling their desire and showing them that I can deliver (or really hack away their frustrations). Yes, one of my signature workshops guarantees that I save people 2 hours/day! Yes, I do have references 🙂

Which needs do you satisfy? Use them in your Elevator Pitch!

4. Call to action

Hold on to that feeling and …

any sales person can tell you that this is important. Ever wondered why you have to sit in a car when they sell it to you? Or why they give you the product in your hand while they sell it? Exactly, so you can experience how it really feels…how real it all is. I do the same. If people feel how it would be without this particular frustration, how their lives would look like, they will get in a good (great?) mood. that’s exactly where I want them, right?

come and talk to me afterwards and I’ll share some free Genius Shortcuts with you, so you can actually be happier!

when I am on stage giving my Elevator Pitch. People who got triggered come and see me afterwards. Sometimes the response is a bit overwhelming 🙂

enroll for my free ecourse at my website and start enjoying some free Genius Shortcuts, so you can actually be happier!

If it is in a 1-to-1 conversation, I am handing out my businesscard and show them where my website is. By giving away added value to them, I am already solving some of their frustrations. And a lot of people actually sign up for this free ecourse…

If there is more time I could invite them to read my blog, where I have written a number of articles on lifehacks and Genius Shortcuts. Or I even tell them about open workshops. Occasionally ( I am not a hardseller) I might ask them if they would be interested in an inhouse training or keynote and what the next steps would look like.

You probably get it by now. My Elevator Pitch has different moments where the other person can/will be triggered and will ask for more details. The more they ask, the more I can give. I am convinced it is also paramount to give them some added value right away. This means that in most cases I will share one (or more) of my Genius Shortcuts on the spot (or when they come and see me afterwards).

Note: Most (marketing/sales)people are familiar with the AIDA-model (no, not the Opera 🙂 ) and will have recognized it. In step 1 I aroused Attention. In step 2 I really got their Interest. During step 3 I give enough info to go to their Desire and finally in step 4, if they really want a taste of Genius Shortcuts, they are called for Action. Needless to say that it often works like a charm. I invite you to develop your own story! And share it with us…

Final tip: Avoid too many technical terms! People will not understand you or it might take you too much time to explain it. Search for easy-to-understand synonyms.

Promote Your Blog on LinkedIn

July 26, 2010

How to promote your blog on LinkedIn?

There are multiple ways to do it. Here are 5 toptips that you can implement immediately:

1. Add your blog in your profile, under Websites. Most people have standard links to their website : My Website, My Company or My Blog. Change”Your Blog” into the actual title of your blog (or keywords). How? Choose ‘edit’ at websites, add a field ‘Other’. Here you can add a title and a URL.

2. Add Application. Here you can also insert your blog if you are blogging with WordPress or TypePad. Go to ‘More’ in the menu and click on ‘Application Directory’. Click the blog of your choice and install the application. From now on, your new blogs will appear automatically on your LinkedIn profile.

3. Update your status. When you write a new blog article, you can let your network know by updating your status. Add the link to your blog in the update. Of course, you can repeat this step everytime you are publishing an update on your blog.

4. Participate in Discussions in your favorite groups. Go to your groups and participate in the ongoing discussions. See where your blog has an answer to one of these discussions. Mention it while you answer them.

5. Answers. It is a great place to get more visibility and get more ‘expert’ status. Go to ‘More’ in the menu and click on ‘Answers’. Look for questions people are asking. Answer them by referring also to your blog. Or turn it around: write a blog article where you answer questions and put the link in the answers. It will create additional traffic to your blog as well!

Of course, these tips will only work if you have a blog 🙂 I am using WordPress and I recommend it to anyone.

Bert Verdonck is an extraordinary life coach and an inventive lifehacker. Bert is also one of the official Certified LinkedIn Trainers worldwide. Next to pragmatic trainings and personal coaching, he is an international keynote speaker to inspire and help professionals with their efficiency. As a published author and the founder of ‘Genius Shortcuts’ he already saved thousands of people at least 2 hours per day!