“I’m new to town and looking for opportunities.” Eek! That opening line is bound to shut some new connections down before they even get to know you.
“I have 20 years of experience designing viewbooks for private schools and want to grow my network in the private school community.” This elevator pitch is a stronger opening. This statement shows the value that you provide, the challenges you can help others solve, and your reason for launching into your elevator pitch.
The goal with an elevator pitch is to share enough about yourself briefly that people will think about you. They will think about you if they hear that someone is hiring. They will think of you if someone is talking about a project they need to complete at work. They will think of you if they are talking to someone who does something similar to you.
If you’re at a networking event, it’s apparent that you have a reason to be there. People won’t be shocked to learn that you are looking for new clients, trying to connect more with influencers, or adding to your tribe of people like you. And, they are at the networking event for a reason too. Don’t be shy about why you are there and also learn why others are there.
After you have shared a strong opening line, get ready to share more with be prepared to answer some of these questions:
1 – Why did you come to this event tonight? Here is a great chance to offer some more personal details. “I moved to Denver a few months ago. I have a strong network in my old city and want to build a strong network here.” Maybe you are looking to build your network because you have clients that use you for branding work and now they need help with Powerpoint Design (which you don’t do), so you need a group of referrals.
2 – How do you find your clients?
3 – What’s your process for solving <XX> challenge?
4 – When have you been most proud of work you’ve done?
These are authentic conversations that will help you build a solid network of people that will refer work to you, collaborate with you on future projects, or may even hire you.