Make your bio sticky, clear, and short

elevator pitchPhoto by ismagilov on iStock

The best elevator pitch I ever heard was from Cory Huff. Cory has a website called, and when I met him at Pioneer Nation, I said, “What do you do?” He replied,

I help people sell their art online.

Sticky, clear, and short.

I immediately thought of everyone I knew who was an artist, struggling to sell their art online. And I sent every one of them to Cory’s website. He has such a tightly defined market, and he’s so clear about what he does for them that it’s easy for new customers to find him.

A Great Elevator Pitch Is Sticky, Clear, and Short

When people can quickly and easily understand who you help, what you do, and how you do it, great things happen.

Chance meetings from years ago can lead to new clients and customers showing up (seemingly) out of nowhere. The truth is, people can easily connect you to people they know (people who already want to hire someone like you) when your elevator pitch is sticky, clear, and short.

Your elevator pitch can follow this simple formula.

“I help [these people]

dealing with [this problem]

by [this solution].”

Clarifying your elevator pitch with this formula can dramatically increase your referrals and the likelihood that you get business while networking.

By using this formula, you clearly state the type of customer that you work with and define specifically what you do for them.

When people are struggling with their business, they’re usually struggling with their elevator pitch or their bio. Fixing the foundation can build a stronger platform, one that will last you for years to come.

How Long Is an Elevator Pitch?

An elevator pitch, as defined by Geoffrey Hayzlett, is 118 seconds. This is the average length of time of an elevator ride in New York City.

If you’re sharing a small confined space with someone for a couple of minutes, you have enough time for a basic introduction. This brief window of time can be used to plant a seed that can sprout referrals for you for years to come.

elevator pitch

Your elevator pitch should be easy to remember, easy to understand, and easy to endure. It should be hard to forget, hard to complicate, and hard to interrupt.

How Your Elevator Pitch Gives Your Business Momentum

The first few years in business are the hardest. You’re trying to figure out what you’re doing, how you make your money, who you serve, and what you’re doing for them.

After a few years, people start coming to you out of the woodwork. They talked with someone you barely remember, but they are facing exactly the kind of problem that you’re best suited to solve. Referrals become common. You don’t have to hustle so hard.

Your elevator pitch has been planting seeds among your weak ties, and over time, those seeds have sprouted.

What Is a Weak Tie?

Your close friends and family members don’t have access to an entirely separate network of people, but your weak ties do.

The power of our network relies on the strength of weak ties. Our weak ties are people that we don’t talk to regularly and we don’t see every day, but we do remember them when something relevant comes up.

In his landmark sociology paper “The Strength of Weak Ties,” Mark Granovetter surveyed 282 workers in Boston and found that 84% of them got their job through a weak-tie relationship. Weak ties are acquaintances who know you, but they’re not close to you. You may go weeks, months, or even years without speaking to one another, but you would answer their call or reply to their email.

Having a large circle of acquaintances, Granovetter argued, is better for discovering opportunities. They talk with dozens (or hundreds) of people who you do not have in your network at all, and they may have heard something they can pass on to you.

Your Personal Biography

A bio is a clear introduction to who you are, what you do, and why you’re amazing. It’s a signal to your future customers and collaborators.

But a bio should not include all of your accomplishments.

A tightly written bio should clearly articulate the types of people who find you valuable and describe the types of things that you do for them. The problems that you solve and the solutions you provide are clearer signals than an exhaustive list of all your accomplishments.

Do people have to interpret your bio? Do they have to figure something out? If so, it’s not done yet. It should be one paragraph — or maybe two — that serves as a beacon for the people that you want to meet in the future.

Your bio is a menu for the types of topics that you can discuss forever. These topics become the calling card for interviewers and members of the press who are looking for experts like you.

Copy-Paste Bio Template (Replace Words in All Caps)

Known for her ADJECTIVE and ADJECTIVE style, NAME is a top-rated, sought-after PROFESSION for TOPIC, TOPIC, and TOPIC. Her audiences range from CLIENT to CLIENT and she is a DISTINCTION. She has ACCOMPLISHMENT.

Before her work with COMPANY, NAME spent TIME on EXPERIENCE, helping AVATARS to OUTCOME. Learning SIGNATUREOFFER changed her life, and the lives of all the AVATARS who want OUTCOME.

NAME is an award-winning TITLE and lives in LOCATION, with FAMILY.

Your Bio Is Like a Flyer on a Bulletin Board

Bulletin boards are full of mess by their nature; they collect a lot of random announcements that people want to broadcast out into the world.

wall with posters

Photo by Tom Birch on Unsplash

Think about the flyers that have gotten your attention in the past. Was it because they had really long prose, describing all the different details? Or was there just one really powerful headline? Was there something that was particularly relevant to you?

How can you manufacture that same kind of attention?

Writing a tight bio that is sticky, clear, and short will allow the right kinds of people to self-select into working with you.

What Is Your Personal Statement?

We could align your elevator pitch (the verbal delivery) and your bio (the written delivery) under the title ‘Personal Statement.’

Is your personal statement sticky, clear, and short? Is it easy to remember, easy to understand, and hard to forget?

I’m Caelan Huntress, and I help entrepreneurs make more money in less time by setting up smart marketing systems.

That’s my personal statement. What about you?

Who are you? Leave a comment below with your personal statement.

This article is an excerpt from my book, ‘Marketing Yourself.’ You can read the whole book here.