If networking events are in your future, but it’s been a while since you’ve had to introduce yourself to a crowd, use these tips to help you brush off your elevator pitch and stand out.
1. Start with your value prop
A value proposition helps people understand how you can help them.
This does not mean listing of all your products and services. Rather, it’s the core of why your business operates.
Example: Social Light helps small business owners grow their business online.
2. What makes you special?
At some point you’ll be in a room where there are people that offer the same products or services as you do. Think through why someone would choose to work with you over that other person.
Perhaps you have tons of experience on a focus area or have achieved awards.
Perhaps you’re just fun to work with and really care about your clients. That matters to people just as much as your experience, so don’t be afraid to show a little personality.
Example: My clients tell me that working with us is like having an easy button to push whenever they need help.
3. Keep it short
We’ve all been at events and heard someone ramble on endlessly. When that happens, you tune out. You are much more likely to remember the pithy person than the one that droned on.
I take part of a group online via Zoom in which each person has 15 seconds to introduce themselves – and it’s plenty!
4. Know your audience
What you say to a room full of lawyers should be different from what you say to a room full of therapists. While your services may not change, the way you introduce them should, so give some thought to the room you’re walking into.
We’ve helped lawyers gain efficiency by integrating the ability to e-sign contacts through their website.
We’ve worked with a number of therapists to bring their patient intake forms online, and give patients the ability to schedule appointments through the website.
When you’re talking to someone one-on-one, let them introduce themselves first so you have a sense of who they are, and how you might help them.
5. Pick One Product or Service
At Social Light, we do a lot of stuff – websites, email marketing, social media, SEO…that’s a lot to cover in one introduction. If I tried, it would be so general that it’s unlikely to stand out.
Sure there’s likely people in the room that could use the different services, but I would do better to focus on a single one, ideally one geared to the audience.
So let’s say I’m in a room with new entrepreneurs, I might say:
I believe everyone needs someone they can call when their website does something funky. That’s why one of the things we offer is a low-cost package designed to take away the headaches of managing your website.
If you have a group you meet with regularly, change it up and cycle through different services each time. That keeps your pitch from getting stale, and helps people understand the full extent of what you do.
Networking is a form of public speaking, which makes many of us nervous. Practicing helps.
While you don’t want to practice so much that you sound robotic in your speech, you should practice enough that the words come easily, even if you’re nervous.
Here are a few more tips to help you feel comfortable in front of a crowd.