Has anything like this ever happened to you? You’re at a networking event or conference… or even a family get-together, when someone asks a simple, “So, what do you do?”
And you freeze. You forget everything.
Or you blurt out tons of unorganized information and keep talking and talking even though you know you sound confusing as hell.
I’ve so been there! And I’ve coached a bunch of small business owners through this same struggle. Because a lot of us– and I mean a lot— stumble for words when this question comes up.
It’s not that we don’t know what we do. It’s that we’re so close to our own business and projects and all the moving pieces that things tend to get a little muddled. And that makes it hard to deliver a concise, yet eloquent, answer to the “what do you do?” question.
But talking about your business with clarity and confidence is crucial to growing your business. Because when you can describe what you do well, it not only makes sense to the person you’re talking to. It also resonates and connects with your ideal client and the people whose support you need.
Even when you’re talking to someone who’s not your ideal client, having the right words can get them thinking about people they know who do fit into your ideal client profile and might need exactly what you offer.
The good news is, it’s not that hard to come up with a clear and compelling description of your business. Here are the 4 steps I use to help my one-on-one clients through start talking about their business with clarity:
Step 1: Reframe what you do
When we describe our work, we tend to lead with our product or service. And that makes sense. The thing we’re selling is probably the easiest part of our business to describe. And it’s definitely the most obvious.
But I want you to switch things around and start thinking about your why as what you do.
Your why is the purpose behind your business. It’s the bigger optimistic underlying motivation behind everything you do. It’s the change you’re wanting to create for your clients, your community, and even the world.
Your why is the piece of the puzzle that resonates with people. It’s the part that makes what you do interesting and gives your business it’s own unique spin. And even though it feels a little awkward at first, it makes sense to lead with such a strong part of your brand.
Example: Replace “I’m a massage therapist” with “I help busy moms find peace and rest”
Step 2: Talk about how you do it
Once you’ve landed on your new what it’s time to move forward to your how.
This is where your actual product or service comes in. You don’t want to wait too long to introduce it because without a tangible offering, your why is left floating around on it’s own. Your how anchors it and gives it a context your listener understands.
Narrow in on the most specific description of your offering you can, staying away from industry-specific jargon as much as possible. If you’re split between several different offerings, choose the one you’re best at or want to draw more attention to right now.
Remember that this isn’t a forever commitment and you can always change it down the line.
Example: Replace the long-winded list of massage types with “through aromatherapy massage”
Step 3: Summarize why it matters
To end on a really strong note, you want to conclude your intro with the benefits you create for your ideal client.
Why should your ideal client care about your why and your what? Highlight the impact you want to make in their lives, in your community, in the world, or all three!
Having this at the end of your intro makes it easy for the right people to feel an instant connection with you. You’re sharing your grandest vision and purpose with them. And if they’re the right fit, that will resonate instantly.
Example: End with, “so they can tackle their most important job without sacrificing their well-being.”
Step 4: Put it all together!
Now it’s just a matter of bringing all those pieces together into a single gloriously long run-on sentence!
Example: “I help busy moms find peace and rest through aromatherapy massage so they can tackle their most important job without sacrificing their well-being.”
I hope that helps you write a solid way to introduction for your business. You can use this as your social media bio, on your about page, and at in-person events as your elevator pitch.
Rehearse it with someone else, ask for feedback, and when you’ve landed on something you like, practice saying it a few times. Soon enough, this little intro will become second nature and you’ll never stall for the right words again.