How To Craft Your Elevator Pitch as a Multipotentialite
Photo courtesy of Alex Barth.

How To Craft Your Elevator Pitch as a Multipotentialite

Written by Janet Brent

Topics: Self-Employment

Picture this. You’re at a networking event and people are introducing themselves and meeting for the first time. You enjoy meeting new people and feel energized by seeing so many like-minded people in one place. Then, that dreaded question comes.

“So what do you do?”

You freeze because you hate the standard elevator pitch spiel. You don’t want to be defined by any one thing and you’re not sure how to package up all that you do in one tidy sentence or two. Anxiety sets in and you’re left rambling on and on, wondering if anything you say is making any sense.

You don’t want to be limited to one title. In fact, normal titles bore you. You want to be remarkable.

Here’s a 3-step approach to help you come up with an elevator pitch that feels right to you.

1. Create Your Own Title

Get creative with your job description. You’ve created your own opportunities and projects. You may have your own body of work. You get to decide what your job title is. Are you a brand instigator or chief change maker?

By creating your own job title, you can pique people’s curiosity. You can show your personality and give people an opportunity to see your style. By being creative and different, you can alienate the people who would never get you and your work (this is a good thing!)

I’m not just a graphic designer. I’m a “creative badass”. My job title reveals some of my personality, while still giving you a glimpse into the kind of work I do.

The disadvantage to this approach is the unfamiliarity it generates. If your title is too far out there, people may have no clue what your title means or what you do. Think of a title that is unique but which still gives people a glimpse into what you do. Your title should still be descriptive, after all.

2. Hone in on Your Target Market

As a multipotentialite, it can be challenging to see the threads of commonality in the work, projects, and clients you take on. Think about the last five people you’ve worked with. What types of projects did you do? What types of people were you helping? See if you can find a common denominator. If you can’t find anything, figure out who you’d love to work with the most if you had a choice.

Niche is a word that makes me cringe, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it’s mostly good! Honing in on a niche doesn’t mean limiting yourself in terms of the products or services you offer; it means having a clear sense of who you’re serving.

Once you’re clear on who you serve, you can build your body of work with a specific type of person in mind. This will make your brand and message clearer, which will make it easier to attract clients.

I currently serve holistic, creative, heart-centered entrepreneurs, but even that’s a broad range of people. Although I love the clients I attract, I recently received the advice that I should hone in even more for better results. I realize my love of writing and my interest in book design are the perfect ways to focus even more on a heart-centered niche of authors, writers, and other messengers.

3. Putting It All Together

Once you have your title and target market figured out, use these prompts to put it all together. Just fill in the blanks.

  • I help [target market] with their [services and skills that you offer] as a [unique title].
  • I’m a [unique title] for [target market].
  • I help [target market] by [services/products] so that they can [results you provide].

Keep in mind that you are also more than a label and a job title. Don’t be afraid to ad lib your life and your elevator speech with the things that excite you, the projects you’re starting, and the problems you’re trying to solve.

Your Turn

How do you approach the elevator speech? Do you have it memorized or forgo it completely?

janet_aboutJanet Brent is an intuitive graphic/web designer for creative, holistic and heart-based entrepreneurs. She’s interested in passionate people making positive change. Find her blogging on Purple Panda and on twitter @janetbrent.

8 Comments

  1. Geoff says:

    This is pretty close to what I use. Depending on the audience/venue I may refer to myself in context of one of my startups. Or as a consultant. Or I use my “made up title” Anthropreneur.

    I also found a lot of value in Sally Hogshead’s Fascinate assessment. According to that, I am “the Secret Weapon” which combines my top traits of Mystique and Innovation. I totally recommend scanners check out both the Fascinate stuff and the Strengths Finder (Connectedness, Input, Empathy, Strategic, Ideation being my top 5) assessment to gain some broad traits to refer to oneself as.

    “I see the connection in everything and help entrepreneurs with business and online strategy. I have a startup called McStarter that helps non-technical entrepreneurs with customer and product development for their ideas. I’m their secret weapon for business operations.”

    I use variations on that AND I don’t EVER carry cards. I have a small moleskine and everyone I meet I write down their name, phone and email (or get their card), and then connect with them with a follow up introduction. Also, I wear a top-knot in my hair (like a samurai) so most people remember seeing/meeting me so I follow up reminding them of our conversation and connect with them. If they saw a way I can help them they respond to my email and ta-da we have a new contact! :)

    • Margaux says:

      Excellent! I love your approach, Geoff. I love the idea of ditching the cards. I’ve never felt right about having them anyway because I can’t ever finalise what I want on them.

      I’m the alter ego of Secret Weapon: The Provocateur; and my strengths are Ideation, Adaptability, Individualisation, Learner, Self-Assurance.

      This is what I’ve come up with so far:
      “I’m an Adaptogen: I use my unconventional flexibility to continually gain diverse skills and knowledge so that whenever there’s a new project or puzzle to explore, I can step in to provide surprising insights and ingenious yet beautiful design solutions until someone more uniquely able can take over.”

      I get that it’s long and unspecific, but that is actually what I do over and over again across all aspects of my life. When I get stuck doing repeat tasks because no one else “more uniquely able” takes over, I feel trapped.

  2. Josh says:

    Good article. I’m glad you brought this up.

    I study SEO, marketing, and web design. And I also write, play music and teach guitar, ride a bike, and work for a logistics company.

    Since I do so many things, I tailor it to the person I’m talking to. If I’m in an elevator with a musician with no business skills, I say I play and teach guitar and am learning computers and the business side of things.

    If I’m talking to someone in business I say either I’m into SEO and copywriting or if they don’t know what SEO is (most people outside of our little internet world kind of look at you like huh?), I say I’m interested in startups and helping with marketing with the search engines.

  3. Michael says:

    My reply has been, “I’m multipassionate and I do twelve things at once. Currently, I’m ___________.”

    I like your approach though, and it will help me fine tune.

  4. Willena says:

    I see absolutely no reason not to say

    “Hi, I’m a multipod.”

    It gets the conversation started…

  5. Simone says:

    Thanks for this Emilie. It’s similar to the process I use… But I also like to mix it up by saying “I set people on fire”… This guarantees a response, particularly in networking situations, and I go on to talk about my work as a creativity coach and mentor, speaker and author. So I focus on the outcome rather than the title… Like you I hate titles and change them as often as I can to focus in what clients can expect from working with me.

  6. Saul says:

    I have a few different business cards, some of which are slightly out of date. I usually hand one to someone, and when they say, “You do _______?” I say, “Oh, you picked that card? I also do _______” or “I don’t really do that any more, now I’m more focused on __________” So it’s kind of a fun introduction, since even I’m not sure which card I’ve handed them — which I can then tailor to whichever skill they’re in need of.

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