Craft an Exceptional Elevator Pitch: Tip #21 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book

by | Sep 9, 2014 | Book Marketing Basics

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We’ve heard from a lot of you telling us how much you love these tips. We’re so glad you do! Well, here are a few more you can expect over the following weeks.

Tip 22: Getting on LinkedIn

Tip 23: Your 10 Point Website Checkup

Tip 24: Eight Strategies to Use Breaking News to Buzz Your Book

Tip 25: 12 Secrets to Selling More Books at Events

You ready to sell more books? Here we go! Want the complete book of tips? Get it here!

Craft an exceptional elevator pitch

So what is an elevator pitch and why do you need one? An elevator pitch is a short 1 to 2 sentence description about the book. It’s the briefest of the briefest descriptions you can come up with. The reason elevator pitches are important is that we have an ever shrinking attention span, and so you need to capture someone’s attention in a very short pitch.

So how do you begin crafting an elevator pitch? Well, the first thing is to look at the core of your book. So what is your book about, really? Looking at the core of your book will help you determine the primary message. The next piece of this is to look at the real benefits to the reader. Not what you think the reader wants to know- what they actually need. So, what’s in it for the reader?

When I worked with people on elevator pitches before I find that they often keep the best sentence for last. This comes from being an author and saving the crescendo of the story till the final chapter. You don’t want to do that in an elevator pitch. You want to lead with the tease that will pull the reader in.

When would you use an elevator pitch? You might use it to get yourself to the media, or a book or speaking event, or to a blogger. Elevator pitches can be used for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways. Once you have a great elevator pitch you may find yourself using it over and over again. That’s a good thing!

Components of a great elevator pitchTip 21

All elevator pitches have particular relevance to them, but for the most part every elevator pitch has at least one or more of the following bullets:

  • Emotion
  • Helpful
  • Insightful
  • Timely
  • It must matter to your reader!

Essential Elements of a Powerful Elevator Pitch

  1. Concise: Your page needs to be short, sweet, to the point.
  2. Clear: Save your five dollar words for another time. For your elevator pitch to be effective, you must use simple, language any layperson could understand. If you make someone think about a word, you’ll lose them and the effectiveness of your elevator pitch will go right out the window as well.
  3. Passion: If you’re not passionate about your topic, how do you expect anyone else to be?
  4. Visual: Use words that bring visual elements to your readers mind. It will help to make your message more memorable, as well as bring the reader into your story.
  5. Stories: And speaking of stories, people love stories. So the one, and perhaps the biggest element of the elevator pitches: tell the story. I also find that when the pitch is woven into the story it often helps to create a smoother presentation.

How to Craft Your Killer Elevator Pitch

  • Write it down: First you want to write it down. Start by writing a very short story. See if you can tell the story of your book in two paragraphs. This will get the juices flowing. As you start to wiggle your story down from let’s say 200,000 words to 2 paragraphs you’ll start to see why it’s important to pull only the most essential elements from your story to craft your elevator pitch.
  • Make a list: Make a list of 10 to 20 things that your book does for the reader. So this can be action statements, benefits, or book objectives.
  • Record yourself: Next, you’re going to want to get a recorder to record yourself. See how you sound, I can almost guarantee you that you will not like the first few drafts of this that you do. That’s actually a really good thing. If you like the first thing that you write, it probably won’t be that effective. Recording yourself will really help you to listen what you’re saying and figure out how to tighten up various areas of it.
  • Rest: I highly recommend that you give yourself enough time to do your elevator pitch. Ideally you want to let it rest overnight, if not longer. Remember the elevator pitch is perhaps the most important thing that you created in your marketing package. Don’t you want to make sure it’s right?

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