One of the main problems I see with startups that are Getting Started is that they are unable to communicate a short simple message about the company. This is oftentimes called the elevator pitch as the goal is develop what you would say to someone in an elevator between floors if they asked what your company does.
This is not an easy task and these key messages set the foundation for your marketing efforts as they should be used time and time again to communicate a simple and consistent message to the right audience. To help you along in creating the elevator pitch, or boilerplate as it's also called, I wanted to share the 5 key questions you need to answer.
Journalists are told to answer the 5 Ws (who, what, where, when, and why) in the first couple of paragraphs of any story. This explains what the story is about early on and also lays out the details that can be built upon in the rest of story. If we think about this for a minute, that is exactly what your elevator pitch needs to do too.
So we'll use these same 5 Ws as the base questions for developing an elevator pitch and then if the person riding the elevator is interested they will either stop and get out to talk more or setup a meeting where you can explain the how and give them more details.
Here are the 5 Ws behind your key messages:
- Who are you? The name of your business but more importantly what type of business you are in or what bucket would you want your audience to place you in.
- What problems do you solve? At a high level, expain the the needs of the people you serve or their pain points.
- Where is your target market? Define your market and outline where you sell your product and to whom.
- When would your audience benefit? This is your value proposition to your target customers.
- Why do they pick your solution? You will not want to mention the names of your competitors but group them and then clearly define what
makes you different.
Remember that the key here is to keep the answers short as you only have few seconds or words to explain what you company does. At the same time, it needs to be compelling though and differentiated so the person you are talking to wants to hear more.
In the next couple of posts, we'll explore your key message in more detail by showing how you create your elevator pitch from the answers to these 5 questions and also how critical it is to choose the 3-5 words that become the label for your company. Stay tuned...