Picture this: you’ve just met someone at a conference or the local grocery store. You’re chatting as you both introduce yourselves. Maybe a new friend? The dreaded question always comes:
So, what do you do?
For some the answer is easy, I am an accountant/teacher/writer, I work at the hospital, I am retired – you get the idea. For others of us in non-traditional jobs, the question can be a agonizing. If you’re anything like me, you cringe thinking about the times when you stumbled over your words trying to muster up an answer.
Usually, it is “I have my own business”. Okay, not bad but then comes “What kind of business?” This is where I stumble. I mean we are more than just purses, right? I know, where is my 30-second elevator speech, right?
I love what I do and I am the CEO of my own business. I have office hours, appointments outside the office, have a budget, draw a salary and have an awesome team. So why is it so hard to tell people what I do? Mainly because I have pre-judged what they are going to think.
Thank you to The Nectar Collective for some great tips. Here are some of the samples they provided:
Instead of saying you’re a blogger, try, “I run an online website geared toward helping creative entrepreneurs build their dream business.”
Instead of saying you’re a freelance designer, try, “I help small businesses build a strong web presence through design and consulting services.”
Instead of saying you have a jewelry store on Etsy, try, “I own a jewelry business that’s focused on environmental sustainability. We only use recycled products in our designs.”
The key is to focus on what sets you apart and how your business adds value to the people it serves. Not only will this make you more memorable to new friends and peers, it will also deepen your conversation and give you the opportunity to elaborate further on what you do.
So, how does this work for me:
I “honor others positive energy” with a variety of products for you, your friends, your family, and your home.
KISS – Keep it Simple Sister. Use words that the average person is familiar with. Focus on ways to communicate your work in a clear, easy-to-understand way.
Practice! Practice! Practice! Now, I don’t mean just reading it. I mean SAY IT! Repeat! Repeat! Repeat! Simply reading it just isn’t enough to introduce yourself and mean it. Do it so much that it becomes natural. Try this: every morning when you’re getting ready in front of the mirror, push your shoulders back, stand up straight, and say your elevator speech. The more you practice, the more natural and effective it will be when someone at your local coffee shop strikes up a conversation with you. This time, friend? You’ll be ready.
So, what are you going to do? First thing is to figure out the value you provide to others. What makes you different. How do you help others? Who do you help?
Then put it into just a few short sentiences using words that the average person will be familiar with, especially if you are in a field that people don’t know much about. Finally, PRACTICE! Then continue to practice it for a minute each day until it becomes second nature.
I’d love to hear your new introduction! Share it in the comments below. What do you do, friend?
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!