When you’re out networking, attending a seminar or otherwise meeting new people and are asked, “What do you do?” how do you respond?
Do you label yourself? (i.e. “I am an Interior Designer”, “…Financial Planner” or “…Virtual Assistant”.)
What happens next? The person you’re speaking to may say “Oh, that’s interesting” or change the subject and go on talking about something else. Worse yet, you could get that “deer in headlights” look because they can’t relate to what you’ve just said.
The truth is, associating yourself with a particular profession doesn’t mean much because the person you’re speaking to may have no idea what you’re really talking about. And even if they do, you likely have a unique skill or specialty that sets you apart from others in your industry. For example, how many different types of lawyers are there? You could meet three attorneys at one event who all have different specialties, expertise, and knowledge. So if each one says, “I’m a Lawyer” this hardly showcases the value they provide to their clients.
Instead of labeling yourself with a particular title or profession, it’s better to focus on the benefits and the results you create for the clients you work with. You could say something like:
- “I help stressed-out moms eliminate the clutter in their homes.”
- “I help women business owners to create financial freedom.”
- “I help busy entrepreneurs create more money in their business”. (That’s what I say!)
By having a descriptive sentence like this, you’ve accomplished 3 things:
- You’ve identified your target market (i.e. stressed out moms)
- You’ve described what you do and show that you solve a problem: eliminate the clutter in their homes
- You’ve made your work relatable and opened the door for more questions about what you do. The other person will likely ask you additional questions that will allow you to showcase your expertise.
It will take some time and practice to get used to describing your services in this way, but doing so is well worth the effort. Many small business owners struggle to talk about themselves, but can easily talk about their clients. So when you implement this formula, you’ll likely find that it will become easier to talk about your business. This is because you are approaching the conversation from a place of service. Instead of focusing on yourself and trying to recite the “perfect” elevator speech, you’re simply talking about how you help people, how they’ve benefited from your expertise and how their lives are different as a result of your work.
In addition, you’ll make what you do much more relatable. Perhaps you’re an Acupuncturist or a Virtual Assistant or in some other profession that many folks still don’t understand. Talking about the benefits and results your clients enjoy when working with you gives the person you’re talking to a point of reference. If you say, “I help pregnant women enjoy a more comfortable pregnancy”, that’s something everyone can relate to. We’ve all known someone who’s been pregnant at one time or another and can understand the challenges that are associated with being pregnant. You may find that the person you’re speaking to says, “Wow, that’s awesome! My sister is pregnant right now and she’s really uncomfortable. I would love to help her get some relief and have a chance to feel good for a change. How quickly can you help her?” With one sentence you could very well open the door to a pre-qualified referral and a new client for your business. More importantly, you create more opportunities to serve others and make a difference in their lives.
So from this day forward, work hard to not label yourself as a __Blank___. When you describe what you do for a living, make sure it’s descriptive, it’s focused on results and it’s easy to say. Talk about the problems you solve and the pain you eliminate in a way that a young child would understand. (What would you say if a six-year-old asked you, “What do you do?”). You’ll find that when you are out in the world talking about your business that you exude confidence and show genuine personal interest in the clients you serve!
Remember, the best marketing strategy isn’t a strategy at all. It’s all about focusing on the people you serve and developing strong relationships with them. By changing your “what do you do” speech to describing the problems you solve you’ll be much more conversational and more approachable. Everyone feels comfortable having a conversation with a new friend. And THAT is the best smart, simple marketing strategy of them all!
Your Action Plan For This Week:
- Get clear on EXACTLY who will best benefit from your services and who you are meant to serve.
- Brainstorm about the benefits and results your clients enjoy when working with you.
- Combine these two points into ONE succinct sentence: I help [GROUP] [ACCOMPLISH SPECIFIC BENEFITS & RESULTS]
- Post what you come up with here on our blog for feedback and support! We look forward to hearing from you!