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Imagine you’re a freelance copywriter…

You visit a major marketing convention. There are hundreds of prospective clients there. It’s the perfect networking opportunity. Someone comes up to you and asks, “So, what do you do?”

You say, “I’m a copywriter.”

If that’s your answer, you may have lost a big opportunity.

Will that prospect remember you? Will she position you as an expert at anything in particular? Will you stand out from the dozens of other copywriters who are roaming eagerly around the same convention?

Probably not.

That’s why having an effective elevator pitch – or positioning statement, or 20-second audio commercial, or whatever you choose to call it – is so important.

And not just in networking situations.

Your elevator pitch is the core message that drives what you say on your website, in your prospecting emails, on your LinkedIn profile, and in other communications. It’s your brand.

A lot of clients I work with struggle with their elevator pitches. Agonize is probably a better word! But it really isn’t that complicated.

An elevator pitch is simply a clear statement that describes:

  • What you do
  • Who you help
  • What makes you different or better

In fact, clarity is king when it comes to an elevator pitch. You don’t have to be fancy or clever or try to sound oh so impressive.

Consider this example:

I’m a copywriter specializing in white papers. I work mainly with marketing managers of healthcare IT companies.

Short and sweet. Very simple. It’s also effective because it communicates – with brevity, in this case – what this professional does, who he helps, and what makes him unique.

Of course, you can – and should – have a more expansive version of your elevator pitch. For example:

You know how difficult it can be to create a good white paper for marketing campaigns, right? Well, that’s what I do. I’m a copywriter. I work with marketing managers in healthcare IT and help them plan and write white papers that establish thought leadership, generate leads, and move the sales process along more quickly.

If you were a copywriter and said that to a prospect you met at a conference, would you gain her attention and interest? Likely. Especially if she’s ever struggled to create an effective white paper!

And, finally, here’s another example:

I’m a copywriter specializing in white papers for healthcare IT marketing. What makes me different? Unlike most copywriters, I have 15 years experience in healthcare IT and, as a result, have a deep understanding of the products and customers. That enables me to craft a white paper that’s on target, written well, and works well in your marketing.

As you can see, you don’t need to follow any particular formula. All you have to do is write a blurb that answers the questions above: What do you do? Who do you help? How are you different or better?

It’s that simple.