Ditch the Elevator Pitch

Ryan Foland is an entrepreneur who oversees digital marketing for 25 programs at the University of California, Irvine.

His revolutionary concept for communicating a story quickly is called the 3-1-3.

Here is how it works:

Step 1: Tell your story in 3 sentences.

Ryan identified the 3 most important elements:

• Problem
• Solution
• Market

What makes Ryan’s approach unique is the limitations he puts in place. He challenges people to explain each of these 3 components in  1 sentence.

Ryan helps clients discover the biggest problem they are solving, then works to explain that issue in only 1 sentence. The same process goes for describing the solution and the target market.

If you can limit yourself to explaining each in 1 sentence, it will help you get your core message to your audience without overwhelming them with unnecessary information.

If the person you are talking to is truly interested in your idea, he or she will then start to ask questions.

Step 2: Refine your story to 1 sentence

Ryan shares that the way to shrink your story from 3 sentences to 1 sentence is easy. You take the problem (P), solution (S) and market (M) and combine them into one sentence.

Here’s an example of a 1 sentence pitch:

I help career driven people (M) build their personal brand through teaching them how to gain more social proof (S), so they stop getting overlooked for jobs (P).

Ditch the elevator pitch...

Ryan is disenchanted with the popular concept of an “elevator” pitch. He is on a mission to eliminate it. He feels that it makes entrepreneurs seem rehearsed and disingenuous.

On the other hand, the 1 sentence story has been tested hundreds of times. It has never failed to pique someone’s curiosity.

When you only share the essence of your idea, people are are curious and want to learn more.

Step 3. Refine your story to 3 words.

Yes, 3 words!

If you can find words, ideas, or even companies that have already invested millions in a marketing message, or that are easily recognizable by your audience, you can use them to describe your idea or business in relational terms.

Here’s some examples of a 3 word story:

• Blacksmith of Branding
• Carpenter of Surfboards
• Uber of Massages
• Oprah of Blogs

The biggest advantage of describing your idea in 3 words is how quickly your idea resonates with the person you are talking to and most people have a really low attention span.

Ryan’s 3-1-3 process allows the listener to keep asking questions and keeps them hooked on learning more.

(Edited from post by Leonard Kim)


The Bellis Method™
Simple & Effective Marketing