The Thirty Second Sell – What’s Your Website’s Elevator Pitch?
You have thirty seconds to tell me why your website matters, and what it can offer me. Go!
Did you panic? It’s a simple enough request, but did you manage to simplify everything down to half a minute? That’s the idea behind the elevator pitch.
What’s an elevator pitch?
It’s a simple 30 second explanation of who you are and why you matter. The original phrase comes being able to pitch yourself in the time the average elevator takes to travel from lobby to top floor. It’s most commonly found with start-ups pitching their business model to venture capitalists for funding. The short and sweet sell.
This is just as important for your website/blog. Can you describe the key points in under thirty seconds? It’s a valuable thing to have in arsenal. Once it’s done you’ll end up using it many more times than you’d expect.
Visitors are Customers
It doesn’t matter if you run a web application or blog, visitors are the currency of any successful website. What pulls them into your site in particular? What does your site actually provide? What can you expect the average visitor to get out of it? Build Internet has a pretty simple elevator pitch:
Build Internet is a web niche blog focused on web design, development, and business. We focus on writing articles and tutorials to benefit web workers of all levels. Tutorials are written to be accessible for all skill levels, and we have a focus on highly supportive community for further help and networking.
It’s certainly not perfect, but it’s a good start. If a person is still interested after hearing the summary, they are welcome to continue the discussion. You’re never permanently locked in, so expect to adapt as needed.
You’d be surprised how many web directories or other sites require a short description. Have one saved and you’ll put yourself in a great position for future publicity.
Sell Results, Not Possibilities
This is the major difference between pitches for investors, and pitches for web traffic. When a start up is trying to convince a investor to fund them, the investor wants to know they will be making money in the future. They want to hear about potential.
Visitors don’t care if you have the potential to write compelling content. The only thing they invest is their time. They care about accessing compelling content today. The website pitch is not a practice in possibilities, it’s grounded in real results.
The elevator pitch is a much more personalized form of marketing. You connect to an individual, and show them why you are beneficial to their needs.
Lessons from 140 Characters
Twitter is a great exercise tool for building convincing elevator-esque pitches. The character limited forces concise points to help promote what you’re posting. If you’ve ever promoted a link through Twitter, you’re familiar with how difficult it can be sometimes to say everything you need.
Consider the following two examples:
- Basically the article is about selling your website. It covers how to make a short version of your pitch so you can sell someone quickly and get them to read your site more.
- Pitch your site in thirty seconds and get more visitors
Which one would you click on? Straight and to the point titles like the second option build intrigue. It’s clear what the reader will get out of it, and it is their own desire to continue that gets the click.
If I feel like I’ve read the article in the description, I’m not going to continue as often. Cliffhangers? It’s an interest goldmine…
The Cliffhanger is Good
A good elevator pitch will have a hook to grab further attention. You don’t need to tell them everything at once. A good elevator pitch leaves the other person wanting to know more. Why visit something you’ve already gotten everything out of?
Use Delicious traffic as an example. It demonstrates the kind of sites that get bookmarked. It’s the sites that become references that receive a callback. Roundups are popular because it’s unlikely someone would go through all items in one sitting. Instead it becomes an ongoing reference.
References from the Business World
Even though you tend to here more about elevator pitches in the context of investment propositions, but it is relatively easy to convert the same idea to website visitors. Here are a couple useful resources to help you build a surefire elevator pitch for your website or blog.
Impress Us, Get Readers
So how about it? Can you sell us on your website/blog? Now that you have a direction, let’s see what you can come up with.
I want you to promote your website below in the comments using a 3-4 sentence elevator-esque pitch. If it’s particularly good, you may even pick up some new readership from the other commenters. I leave it up to you!
Thumbnail photo by Beard Papavia Flickr