Is there anything more intimidating to a new entrepreneur or service practitioner that explaining what it is you do? Especially if you are an multi-preneur where you do so many things – how could you possibly limit that down to one category that explains it all?
Yet, it is essential we know how to talk about what we do. We need to be able to speak about it with confidence. When we can’t, it looks as though we are uncertain about our talents.
When people ask what you do – it should be an opportunity (and the goal as your own best salesperson), not a moment you want to run and hide.
So you need to get clear on your elevator pitch. It’s so much easier that you will believe. You only need to know three things: 1. what you do, 2. who you do it for (including their biggest problem) and 3. how you do what you do. That’s the whole basic formula.
Let’s see an example.
Let’s say Sally is a health coach and she is really interested in helping people with more holistic ways of living. She teaches women about skincare and parents about healthy home environments. She also writes kids books on how to live more sustainable, healthy lives. So she does a lot and finds it difficult to limit what she does.
So just like a mission statement, we use a formula to help us define what it is that she does. She’s discovered her mission statement and her target audience already and these two pieces help put the rest together.
Often, it helps to start with the who, and you can start in order or whatever strategy works for you. So Sally’s who is her target audience. Who is her ideal customer? Who would buy what she has to offer? And then – what is that target audiences perceived biggest struggle?
So Sally knows that her audience is women, parents, children. We don’t want to say all that so we could go with families, or we could specify it down to women if we are talking to women, parents if we are talking to a man, etc.
What is the problem they have that you can address? Why do these people search you out? In this case, Sally’s clients want to have a healthy home environment where sustainability and health are the main concern. She may go deeper if she works with a large groups of people who have children that have allergies or if there is some great problem many of her clients share.
So Sally’s who could be:
- women who are worried about using chemical in their home
- parents of allergy prone kids
- people who are concerned with their health
- children (yes it could be this simple)
So Sally writes, she speaks, she coaches, and she does a ton of other things. The important thing to remember is they all lead back to one main goal in your mission statement. So what is it that you do?
Sally teaches, she inspires, she shares, and much more. These verbs are more general and at the same time, true. The idea is to get general enough to include all, but not so general that people are uncertain.
What is it you do? Not the production points – the underlying goal. How do you solve their problem? It’s not the writing or the speaking or coaching. It’s the result. That’s the only thing people really care about. So think back to your who. What is that problem you solve?
- create chemical-free, healthy atmospheres
- teaching the importance of healthy environments
- build complete healthy lifestyles from our bodies to our environments
What + Who + How = What you do
So her full elevator speech can be any of those or similar put together like the ones below. I often put a dozen or so of these together to really get a feel for what feels good and to have several versions depending on who I am talking to and what would best fit for the moment. For example:
- A woman: I help women who don’t know where to start build healthy lifestyles from body to environment.
- A man: I teach families who are struggling with allergies how to create healthy, chemical-free homes.
- School or networking for kid’s speaking gigs: I work with children to learn about the importance of healthy and sustainable homes so they can share with their parents.
The important thing is to find the wording that feels right to you. You want to be able to say it with confidence and passion. You’ll start waiting for people to ask you what you do.
So go do it now! Even if you already think you know, refresh yourself and try it again. Sometimes our audience gets more defined with time or certain wording can feel overused or outdated.
Take just 20 minutes to ask yourself – what, who and how. Build yourself a one-sentence intro. You can always add a sentence or two more about exactly how you do it, but short and sweet often gets the most questions and intrigue.