The Shortest Resume Ever – Your Elevator Pitch


You’re a darn good web designer. You know it. Clients of yours are happy. But you want more business, and you are always looking for it. You may have a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook page, and a website that showcases your best work. Still, you have to find a way to appeal to anyone you may deliberately or inadvertently encounter throughout your days and evenings – people who are potential clients or who know potential clients.



And you may only have 30-45 seconds to make your impression – to quickly and effectively explain what you do and why you are the best. This is better known as the “elevator pitch” because you have to “place” yourself in a fictional elevator and get that pitch out by the time you arrive at your designated floor.

Why an Elevator Pitch is Important

People are busy and/or preoccupied. When you encounter them, they are not in a “business” situation and are not prepared for a long explanation or sales presentation. You must grab their attention quickly and present yourself as an extraordinary and talented web designer in just less than a minute. If you can do that, then you have good potential for new business.

You will meet people in check-out lines; you will meet people at parties; you will meet people at seminars, workshops or conferences, wedding receptions, and on airplanes; you will meet people in coffee shops and bars – strangers with whom you just strike up a quick conversation. And when they inevitably ask you, “What do you do?” You have to have that elevator pitch refined and ready to go.

What Makes or Breaks Your Elevator Pitch?

An elevator pitch covers 4 things – who you are, what you do, what is the benefit to those who use your design services, and what results you have gotten for your clients. Once the pitch is over, you hand the individual a card with your name (or company name), a phone number and website.

Here are the things that “make” your elevator pitch:

  1. It is so well practiced that it sounds spontaneous;
  2. It is presented with lots of energy and enthusiasm;
  3. You keep eye contact through the whole pitch;
  4. You provide a CTA – “Here’s my card – you can check out my work on my website.”

Here are the things that “break” your elevator pitch:

  1. You hem and haw because your pitch is not practiced and polished;
  2. You are nervous and are too timid in your presentation;
  3. You fail to look the person right in the eyes and smile as you make that pitch
  4. Your body language “speaks” lack of enthusiasm. If you are sitting at a table, for example, sit up straighter and lean forward toward your audience. Use your hands for emphasis.

The 9 Steps for Crafting the Perfect Elevator Pitch

  1. Identify your purpose. What’s the goal of your elevator pitch? (Hint: it’s not to make a sale). You want to pique interest and get some further conversation at a later date;
  2. Identify the benefits of your designs over others. Write them down;
  3. Think of the biggest client or two you have had – write them down;
  4. What do you do for your clients in developing their sites? Here you will focus on creating a theme that meets their “cultures,” their products/services, and that appeals to their customer persona, on navigation ease, on on-going testing to refine, tweak, and improve, and on any number of other things you do well. Write all of these down;
  5. You complete a “pitch” worksheet which you can download here;
  6. You write out your pitch and focus on making it conversational and informal;
  7. You anticipate questions you might be asked and write down answers to them;
  8. You practice your pitch with friends and in front of the mirror until it sounds totally spontaneous. You also practice your answers to questions that may come up;
  9. You go forth and use it. Keep polishing it as you “pick up on” responses from real audiences.

Some Examples of Solid Elevator Pitches

In response to the question, “What do you do?” here are some pretty good examples of pitches for web designers.

  1. I design websites for clients who need to really showcase their products and services and get lots of traffic to their sites. A lot of my work involves really getting to know the products and the people who use them. Then I can come up with a site design that can relate to those customers and make it easy for them find just what they want. I love coming up with cool designs, like I did for ________________ and____________________. You know what? Here’s my card with my website. You can check out some of my best designs.
  2. Do you have a website? (Answer: yes). Well I’m one of those people who designs them. What I love about this job is that I can match my creativity with the right theme for a client. You know, designs are really different from businesses that sell tools and those that sell designer watches. My job is to capture that environment in a visual way, make it easy for customers to find just what they want, and keep updating sites with the newest design techniques. If you ever want me to take a look at your site and see how it might be better, here’s my card. You can check out some designs on my website.
  3. I make the Internet a more fascinating place by designing very cool websites for my clients. It’s a great job really. I get to take an idea and mold it into a big picture with all of the details that make a website pop. My approach is a little bit different, because I make sure my clients can get in there and change out their own text or pictures, rather than having to call me back and spend more money for simple changes. Here’s my card in case you or someone you know wants to have their site looked at.
  4. I beautify the Internet. My job is taking clients’ businesses and showcasing them in totally unique ways with great website designs. Most of the time it doesn’t really feel like a job, because my passion is making sites that will draw customers in and keep them there. Some of my most recent designs have been for ________________ and ______________. Oh, I almost forgot. Here’s my card – you can check out some of my designs and give me a call if you ever want to see how your site can be re-modeled.
  5. I have the best job in the world. I’m an artist at heart and now I get to use that passion to create website designs for so many different businesses – everything from ___________________ to ________________________. I love taking a client’s idea and turning it into a piece of artwork with all of the practical stuff that makes it easy for customers to use. It’s fun find new ways to showcase products and services. I’ve actually designed the sites for _____________________________ and__________________ recently. If you’d like to see examples of my work, here’s my card with my website.
  6. I design websites. Do you have one? (Answer: yes). Well, I take ideas and products that people like you have and turn them into incredible artwork and easy to use sites that customers love. And in between all of that, I actually trained and qualified for the Boston Marathon. Designing websites is a huge “high” because I love seeing my clients’ reactions when the site is finished. One thing that I do differently is user test all of my sites to make sure they are easy and fast. Oh, by the way, here’s my card – you can check some designs on my site.
  7. (Note: for this pitch you need to have one of your greatest site designs ready to pull up on your iPhone). I’m a website designer – been doing it for about ___ years now. It’s really the best job ever, because I love seeing how excited my clients get when it all comes together. Here’s an example of one of my designs. I always make sure that the site will be perfect on a PC, tablet, or a phone. By the way, here’s my card in case you or a friend wants a new look.
  8. PFD
  9. The Infantree
  10. Fuzzco
  11. Nudge

Final Words

Notice that none of these pitches includes high-tech jargon or technical terms that the average business owner wouldn’t understand anyway. The pitch must be simple, compelling and have a “soft” CTA at the end.