Episode 23: The Art of Persuasion in 30 Seconds

Lauren: 

I used to do this. When somebody would ask me, oh, what do you do for a living? And I would say I’m a graphic designer, they would say, oh, cool, and the conversation would just end there. There is a time that was many years ago and I went to some baby shower and there was a lady there who asked, oh, what do you do? And I said, oh, I help Amazon sellers to create branding that attracts the right consumers and helps them stand out from competitors. And then I remember this lady was like, oh wow, that’s really cool. I actually know somebody who’s starting an Amazon business. She went on to tell her friend and that friend turned into a client and the referral cycle continued. So the power of this is mind blowing with this simple, simple elevator pitch, and that’s why I’m doing a whole episode dedicated to this point.

Lauren: 

Welcome to Earning by Design, a podcast dedicated to guiding graphic designers and creative freelancers towards building successful businesses from their passions. I’m your host, lauren Gonzalez. With over 14 years in the design industry, including both in-house, corporate and freelance design roles, I’m here to share insights and strategies to help you thrive in your design business. My journey was not without its challenges, including finding well-paying clients, and struggling and managing an overwhelming workload for minimal return. But through perseverance and strategic planning, I was able to transform those obstacles into a six-figure design business that allows me to work from home, set my own hours and select projects that truly resonate with me. So, whether you’re embarking on your design career or you’re already an experienced designer, earning by Design is your companion to help you stay competitive in the fast-paced world of graphic design.

Lauren: 

Welcome back to another episode of Earning by Design. I am so happy to have you here Today. I’m going to be talking about how to master your elevator pitch, and this is going to be about how to persuade somebody to work with you within 20 to 30 seconds. And before we get into how to do it, I’m going to define what an elevator pitch even is, and this is essentially if you were getting in an elevator with somebody and you’re going between floors. It’s about a 20 to 30 second ride usually, and in that time, you have to be able to tell somebody what you do and how you help others, without getting into a long, complicated speech, without making it too short and also realizing they’re not looking at your website at that point. So that is where the term elevator pitch came from. It is something that you use to maybe spark some interest in what you do, or you can even use it about a project or an idea, but usually when somebody refers to an elevator pitch, it’s about talking about what you do and how you help others. So just some key elements of what an elevator pitch is, and then we’re going to get into more specifics and examples and what people usually do wrong and also how you can then yourself start thinking with putting together your own elevator pitch, because that’s the purpose of this podcast is to not just give you blah blah blah, but to give you some real help tools to then go and apply them to your business to then be able to get more clients, grow your business, charge higher prices.

Lauren: 

What does an elevator pitch contain? Well, it needs to be really short, like I mentioned, needs to be concise, to the point. You can’t go into a whole blah blah blah. Like I mentioned, and that’s going to be really important you want to keep it under 20 to 30 seconds, very much, not longer than 60 seconds. If you can get it to 20, 30 seconds, that’s going to be wonderful. You need to also be very clear in what it is. So instead of just saying as an example oh yeah, I do graphic design, I use the Adobe programs and I make sure that the layers and the masks are all really clean and that there’s no traces of other little outlines and strokes, people are going to just tune out, just like when a scientist or somebody who’s very has a very specialized field starts to try and explain some concept and it just goes over your head it’s. You need to be talking to somebody as if they have no idea what you are talking about and they’ve never heard about the subject. They don’t know who you are, they don’t know what your field is and framing it in normal language that anybody can understand. So that’s where clarity is super important in this.

Lauren: 

Then the next point is you have to highlight what you do to help. What is the value you provide, not just the technical skills to help. What is the value you provide? Not just the technical skills, not just the actual technical name of graphic design, but what is it that you help people do? This goes back to something I’ve talked about a lot on my YouTube channel and on the podcast is understanding the problem you help to solve. Where does your service fit into the overall marketing of that company or the overall goals of the companies that you work with. So that’s something, and we’re going to talk about how you can define that a little bit further and give you examples.

Lauren: 

And then you want to make it engaging so you know again, when somebody’s just talking and maybe let’s say that they’re a scientist and they say, oh yeah, what I do is I make sure that the atoms all make the, make sure that they have the right energy and that they are able to go and ionize into the sky and create the molecular phenomenon of blah, blah, blah. It’s just going to normally for anyone who’s not a scientist, go in one ear, out the other and they’re going to be taken back to third grade when they’re learning science and then they never use it again. So that’s what you do not want to create that effect. You don’t want them to leave trying to remember what you said. It needs to be understood, engaging, interesting and if you want to, at the end, if it’s applicable, you can always use a call to action. This is not always necessary, but that could be saying something like if you’d like to find out more, I would love to show you. That could be an example of a call to action, or you could always go to my website to check it out more. And that just gives them an opening of the door to do something and take action after they have heard what you do.

Lauren: 

So ways that I used to do this. When somebody would ask me, oh, what do you do for a living? And I would say I’m a graphic designer, they would say, oh, cool, and the conversation would just end there. There is a time that was many years ago, I believe my son was still a baby. There is a time that was many years ago, I believe my son was still a baby, and I went to some baby shower and there was a lady there who asked oh, what do you do? And I used this. It was the first time I ever got to really use this in real life. I was so excited and I said, oh, I help Amazon sellers to create branding that attracts the right consumers and helps them stand out from competitors. And then I remember this lady was like, oh wow, that’s really cool. I actually know somebody who’s starting an Amazon business, and she referred me organically. I didn’t ask about it, I didn’t even say hey, do you know anyone who’s an Amazon seller or do some sort of call to action? At the end it, organically and naturally because she understood the value I was and I provided, and I didn’t just say I’m a graphic designer she went on to tell her friend and that friend turned into a client and the referral cycle continued. So the power of this is mind-blowing, with this simple, simple elevator pitch, and that’s why I’m doing a whole episode dedicated to this point. There was also somebody very thankfully to that person, who mentioned that she was wondering about elevator pitches in a comment on YouTube, and I thought that would be amazing topic to talk about in this podcast.

Lauren: 

And then there’s another example where, if you are so confused about what you do, you’re not going to be able to have an elevator pitch either, and an example of that is my husband was working for a company and he was. It was very unclear. He knew his role, his job, but the overall company. It was very vague and ambiguous as to what their real purpose was. He didn’t work there for long because it was not a very good place. So he never understood when somebody asked he didn’t have a good elevator pitch.

Lauren: 

And when somebody comes to you and says what do you do? And you don’t know what to say. That’s going to be really bad, because if you don’t understand it, how is anybody else ever going to understand it? So, in order to, I just want to give you some examples of other design fields, other niches and what kind of elevator pitches you could be doing. Let’s say you’re targeting the tech industry and you are that’s your, that’s what you do. You could say that somebody says, hey, what do you do? You could say I create sleek and modern designs that resonate with digital audiences from app interfaces or website layouts. I ensure tech companies stand out in a crowded marketplace. So that gives not just you could have just said I’m a UI, ux designer or I am a graphic designer but instead it reframes it so that they understand the type of designs you do, the kind of style, who it’s for and the reason. You do this for the companies. You help them to stand out in a crowded market. A lot of companies will have that as one of their pain points, but when you specify it to an exact niche again going back to this marketing basic it only makes your communication and your marketing abilities that much more powerful.

Lauren: 

Let’s say you are in the hospitality industry and that means you work for restaurants and hotels and travel anything that’s in this realm. There’s a lot that goes into this niche but it’s very specific. So you could say, if somebody asks, you could say I create inviting visuals for the hospitality sector, from menu designs to event promotions. I capture the essence of the brand and enhance your guests experience. So that gives the importance of the, the hospitality niche. One of their biggest, biggest pain points and goals really is the guest experience. If the guest doesn’t have a good experience, that is a big, big problem. So your designs if you’re talking about how, you already know that the, the whole purpose of this business is to make that guest have a good experience they’re going to give referrals, they’re going to write good reviews. That’s what this industry thrives on. So there, if you’re saying I know your goals, I can help you get there, and it really reframes it also. It just makes it feel like you are showing how your job is so important. It gives the importance to what you do.

Lauren: 

Another example let’s say you’re in the health and wellness industry. You could say I specialize in health and wellness by creating designs that inspire and motivate. Whether it’s fitness brands, wellness programs or health products, I’ll help you communicate your message effectively and beautifully. So that’s something because obviously the fitness and wellness space is all about beauty and doing well and having a holistic, better living. So if you’re putting yourself right into that to make their specific message get communicated correctly and attract the right person, they know that you’re a good person for them.

Lauren: 

And then the last example I want to give is for the food and beverage industry. Let’s say someone asks what you do. You could say I am a designer who loves bringing food and beverage brands to life. With mouth watering visuals for menus, packaging and social media, I’ll help your culinary creations look as delicious as they taste. So you don’t have to get so corny necessarily with the wording, but that’s a nice way to put it. It obviously would get a laugh out of the person. They’ll realize that you are really thinking with what they do and you’re using adjectives that are specific to their industry, which just makes it more fun.

Lauren: 

And so, in the way that you let’s look at you how you can apply this to your business. Let’s say you’re a designer and you are a branding designer, so what you should do is write down what you do, make it really clear your branding, designer. Well, is that the right way to word it for the target audience? Do they understand what that means? If not, maybe there’s a different way of wording it that you create the visuals or the packaging, something that is aligned with their understanding. You also need to know, of course, who it is. So define that clearly, and it could change depending on where you’re located.

Lauren: 

So let’s say what I mean by that is, if you’re going into a convention and it’s a convention all around health and wellness and maybe sometimes you work with health and wellness, maybe sometimes you work with e-commerce businesses, maybe sometimes you work with health and wellness, maybe sometimes you work with e-commerce businesses, maybe sometimes you work with real estate agents. So you could have different elevator pitches depending on who you’re talking to. But in the case that you’re going into a health and wellness, you would want to narrow your elevator pitch specifically to them. And let’s say you’re going to a huge chamber of commerce where it’s businesses that are local, you would want to also adjust your elevator pitch to the specific locality and for that again going back to those points that we talked about at the beginning of what is included in an elevator pitch. So you need to make sure you know what the value is you provide to that group. So if you do branding, let’s say that you are now really know at this point you’re going to a convention for health and wellness Research what the health and wellness brands really really care about.

Lauren: 

You can do this by looking on blogs just marketing blogs and seeing what do they talk about? What are the kind of the angles that these blogs are talking to them in? Is it about how to stand out against competition? Is it about how to attract the right people who are looking to change their lifestyle and be more healthy? What are the wording from a marketing perspective? That is the pain point you can hang on to and attach what you do to what they need. You can also ask chat, gpt and say what are some common pain points for health and wellness or whatever the specific niche is, but you want to then write down a bunch of them.

Lauren: 

Just get it all on paper. You don’t have to come up with your elevator pitch right in two seconds. It’s a good idea. Just get it all on paper and then what is going to make that interesting for them? So if you’re working with the health and wellness you’re doing branding, what is the result? You help them get and by doing what? So that’s where you take this whole concept and you just want to write out a bunch of different ideas. You can just jot down two sentence paragraphs that are just really really anything possible from these different ideas I gave you. Like I help blah by doing blah and, as a result, this is what happens. So that if you take it in that framework that you help this industry by doing this in order to this, so it doesn’t have to be really complicated if you just break it down into these three sections.

Lauren: 

You want to know who it’s for what you do and how you help them. So you can go out there and you can do this specific thing on any industry, any type of service. It doesn’t matter what you do or who it’s for. The elevator pitch is something that can work really really well. And then, after you have some concepts, you can just go and say them out loud, say them out loud to your friends. You can record them, see how long it is and make sure it is within that 20 to 30 second period. You don’t want to be too long. Obviously, if you’re having a conversation with someone in a conference, it can go a little bit longer, but I think that you should allow the conversation to naturally go from that initial elevator pitch.

Lauren: 

Let’s say you’re going to meet somebody and they come up to you and say, hey, do you have a second? I would like to talk to you. And they don’t say anything about what they do or who they are and they just keep saying, yeah, so I’m here because, hey, how’s your day going? Oh, yeah, oh, I also have a dog like that. And they just start going on a roll and you have no idea who they are. Wouldn’t you, at the beginning, have wanted to know and understand a little bit more about who they are and what they do before they just start spilling their life to you? It’s obviously, I understand.

Lauren: 

Sometimes it’s good to just build some rapport with people at the beginning, but you don’t have to make it. It shouldn’t be to the point where people are like, okay, what’s the deal here? Who are you? Instead, what if this guy had come up to you and say hi, I am a painter and I create incredible murals that really help to embody the flavor and the mood of restaurants so that it attracts the right customers and clients to their business. What if that was something that was said? You would get a much bigger picture of what he does, as opposed to if he just started talking about random things and you had no idea where it was going to go.

Lauren: 

You want to make people feel comfortable and be upfront from the beginning as much as you can, and not in a way that’s going to go. You want to make people feel comfortable and be upfront from the beginning as much as you can, and not in a way that’s going to be pushy or saying so do you want a mural on your restaurant or do you want this brand design? Now? Come on, come on, you got to do it now. That’s not the point of the elevator pitch.

Lauren: 

A pitch is about communicating something in a way that will make people understand it and if it makes sense to them, they’ll take action. But if it doesn’t make sense and it’s just going nowhere and you know, things just kind of get a little bit awkward. That’s why having that elevator pitch makes you confident. You don’t have to scramble when somebody says what do you do? You know, and you can always rely back to that elevator pitch and realize, like I said, you can change it based on the audience. You don’t have to have it set in stone Once you establish your elevator pitch. It’s something that can come and go as time evolves and you evolve as a designer and as a business owner.

Lauren: 

This is something you can also use on your website and in your social media. Think about that in the profile. You know you have a very short time to in that profile when somebody looks at your Instagram to communicate what you do. Same thing on LinkedIn. Figure out how you can use this same communication if the same people are going to be seeing it on Instagram, linkedin. It just reiterates it more and more. So elevator pitches don’t just have to work in a face-to-face way. It can also be used in the digital world to get people to understand concisely what you do and how you help them. So remember the different points. Just to sum up, an elevator pitch needs to be concise, ideally 20 to 30 seconds. Needs to be very clear, clearly explain what you do, without using a lot of jargon or wording that is going to go over people’s head and is more technical to the design world. You want to make sure you highlight what you do, your benefit to them, and you want to make sure it’s interesting too, can’t be boring, can’t be blah blah blah, and you want to make sure that they’re going to have a good response at the end and know very well how you help, what you do and who it’s for.

Lauren: 

Thank you so much for tuning in today. I would be forever, ever grateful if you would write a review on Apple Podcasts and rate the show on Spotify. It really, really helps me. It helps me get good feedback and I love hearing from you. I love understanding what, why you like the show and how I can do more for you and who you would like to listen to. Maybe some interviewers and other different topics. I always listen to suggestions and I do podcasts around the suggestions. I’ve already done about four around different questions and things that people have asked. So please, please, make sure you communicate with me. I love that. Love getting the DMs on Instagram as well. Have a really good rest of your day and, as always, keep creating.

Lauren: 

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of earning by design. If you found value today, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a review on your favorite podcast platform. Your feedback not only helps this podcast to grow, but it also helps to get in front of more designers who need help too. So thank you sincerely for being here and for more resources to help you succeed in the world of design. Please visit forthecreativescom. That’s the number four, thecreativescom. We offer a variety of courses, programs and free resources, all tailored to enhance your design skills and your business knowledge. Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram at For the Creatives for more updates and tips and, if you haven’t already, join my growing community of over 100,000 subscribers on the For the Creatives YouTube channel that has more content, all designed to fuel your creativity and your professional growth. Until next time, keep creating, keep exploring and continue to push the boundaries of your own creative journey. I’ll be here to guide and inspire you every step of the way.

Listen to this podcast episode on…

It's about communicating the essence of your value proposition in a way that is instantly understandable.

The power of an effective elevator pitch cannot be overstated. An elevator pitch is not just a quick description of what you do; it’s a strategic tool that, when crafted with precision, can open doors to new opportunities, client referrals, and substantial growth. But how do you create an elevator factor that truly resonates with your target audience and compels them to engage with your business?

In the latest episode of “Earning by Design,” we delve into the intricacies of constructing an elevator pitch that captivates and converts. An elevator pitch should be concise, clear, and compelling. It’s about communicating the essence of your value proposition in a way that is instantly understandable and highly appealing to potential clients or partners.

By focusing on the unique needs and goals of various industries—be it hospitality, health and wellness, or food and beverage—your pitch can resonate deeply with the specific pain points and aspirations of your target market. It’s not about bombarding listeners with technical jargon or an exhaustive list of services. Instead, it’s about painting a picture of how your skills and services can solve real problems and deliver tangible benefits.

Creating a pitch that converts requires a deep understanding of your market, the ability to articulate your value proposition succinctly, and the capacity to deliver your message with confidence and enthusiasm. The episode guides listeners through a step-by-step process to research target markets, identify value propositions, and practice delivering pitches that are not just heard but remembered and acted upon.

Moreover, the podcast emphasizes the importance of tailoring your pitch to fit the context in which it will be delivered. Whether you’re speaking to an individual at a networking event, addressing an audience at a conference, or even optimizing your digital profiles, your elevator pitch should be adaptable while maintaining its core message.

With the insights shared in this episode, listeners are equipped with the knowledge to refine their elevator pitches into powerful tools that effectively communicate their unique offerings. This, in turn, lays the groundwork for business success by making every introduction an opportunity to spark interest and drive growth.

As we conclude, remember that your elevator pitch is a living component of your business strategy. It should evolve as you gain new insights into your industry and as your business grows. Keep it fresh, practice it regularly, and watch as it transforms the way you connect with clients and expand your business.

For more on how to create and leverage your perfect elevator pitch, be sure to listen to the full episode of “Earning by Design” and join the community of designers and creative professionals who are mastering the art of business communication.

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