I’ve found that an important part of the message development process when copywriting for coaches, speakers, and authors is crafting a strong 30-second pitch, which is also called an “elevator pitch.”

Having a solid 30-second pitch about you, your book, or program is vital when speaking with people at keynote events and conferences. 

But let’s face it, there will be a lot of instances in personal and professional settings when you’re not going to have 30 seconds to tell someone what you do. Certain situations dictate that you be able to engage someone’s interest …in just one sentence.

This is why it’s vital to have a strong one liner that hooks people and makes them say, “Gee, that’s interesting.”

Once you’ve grabbed their interest, their eyes and expression will let you know if they’re interested in hearing more. This is when you can transition into your full 30-second pitch.

But the first thing you have to do is hook them with your one liner.

In Screenwriting, It’s Called a Logline

I spent my 20s perusing a screenwriting career in Los Angeles. It typically took several months to write a screenplay. But, before anyone would read your screenplay, you’d have to “pitch” your idea to them.

And, before anyone would listen to your pitch, they’d ask to hear your logline. A logline is a single dynamic sentence designed to get people interested in hearing more about your script.

If your logline sucked, nobody wanted to hear your pitch. And if they didn’t want to hear your pitch, there was no chance they were going to read your screenplay.

So, your logline had to rock. This is a similar situation facing coaches, speakers, and authors in today’s highly competitive markets.

Your logline …or one liner …has to grab and engage people to get conversations going. Remember, whether it be in person or online …conversations are king!

You Never Know When …

A tight, concise one liner may come in handy in situations you least expect. Here is an example from my own life.

A few months ago, I was walking my dog and I ran into a neighbor who only had a vague idea about what I do for a living. The neighbor said to me, “Casey, what is it that you do again at home?”

I simply said, “I write compelling marketing messages for authors, speakers, and coaches that help them sell their books, consulting services, and online programs.”

My neighbor instantly “got it” and told me he had a business consultant friend who was struggling with how to describe his services on his website.

My neighbor put me in touch with his friend, and within 10 days I was writing a Core Message Platform™ for him. All because I delivered a crisp one liner to my neighbor while I was walking my dog.

So, you never know when having a tight one liner will come in handy.

Your Simple Template

Your one liner can be very brief and to the point. In fact, you can create one by following this simple template.

I ____for ____that (add benefit statement).

As you can see, all you have to do to create a strong one liner is …

  1. Say what you do
  2. Say who you do it for
  3. Describe how they benefit

Again, here is the example from my business, with each of the above elements numbered.

1) I write compelling marketing messages 2) for authors, speakers, and coaches 3) that help them sell their books, consulting services, and online programs.

Have a Hook and Be Detailed

While keeping things tight and concise, make sure your one liner begins with a crisp hook, and then provides some detail. Avoid generalities! Be clear and specific.

For example, when I first started my business 18 years ago, my one liner sounded something like this …

I write copy for authors, speakers and coaches that helps them market their books and products.

This isn’t exactly going to grab someone’s attention. Especially given that a lot of people don’t know what “copy” is.

I write compelling marketing messages” is much more specific than, “I write copy” without being too long-winded.

“…that help them sell their books, consulting services, and online programs” is much more detailed than … that helps them market their books and products.

Again, the key with a strong one liner is to keep your writing sharp and tight, while still being specific and detailed.

Be Authentic

Lastly, your one liner should flow from your heart and out of your mouth. Don’t try to be too smooth or cute. Just be yourself. When you deliver your one liner, it should sound genuine and authentically you.

If you have a witty personality, allow it to influence your one liner. If most of your opinions and conversations have a direct edge to them …allow this to reflect the style of your one liner.

But, don’t try to be someone you’re not. Be real and be you. When I deliver my one liner, I don’t have to pop into sales mode or become “the copywriting guy.”

My one liner just flows easily from me whether I’m at a business conference …or I’m out walking my dog.

Again, when your one liner is smooth, concise and effortless, you’ll get a look from people that tells you they’re interested in hearing more.

Now, reach for the top and go for it!


Will this post help you write one liners that get positive conversations going? Please leave a comment and let me know! If you need more information, just shoot me an e-mail.

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