How do you answer the question: "what is it that you do?
I don't know about you but, I used to be really bad at explaining what I did for living. It just seemed impossible for me to answer to answer this simple question succinctly. I would go into way too much detail, ramble, become awkward, get my tongue twisted and frankly just weirded people out.
I was worried also that, when answering this question, particularly in a networking setting, I would come across as being too salesy.
Frankly, I would rather stick pins in my eyes or at least find a way to change the topic as soon as possible.
There's no doubt that had I been able to answer this question better I would've had more interesting conversations and, who knows, found some new clients. I'm certainly not saying that every time someone asks you what you do you should see it as an opportunity to sell. Of course not. But if a person understands what you do, even though they might not be your ideal client, they might know someone who does need your services.
So being able to clearly explain what it is you do is an incredibly valuable skill and it's actually much easier than what you think (even though it took me years to discover it).
For me, the best thing about learning how to craft your answer to the "what is it that you do" question, is that I will never again have to feel awkward about answering again.
In trying to perfect my own "what is it what you do message" I have spent many hours and plenty of dollars on learning various sales/marketing message methods. Some worked but many feel formulaic and I just felt too self conscious to use them with confidence.
That is until this year.
Two things happened. First, I read the book building a storybrand by Donald Miller. A great read that I would very much encourage you to read if you aren't clear on how to explain your products, services or your brand.
The book really helped me clarify my marketing message around a product that I am planning to launch in 2019.
The other thing that happened a few weeks after reading the book, my friend and mentor Suzi Dafnis, CEO at HerBusiness, taught me the HerBusiness Connection Statement™ formula, which is elegant in its simplicity and I have been using it with confidence ever since.
Although it is still a formula you will see that, the way the parts come together feels really natural. The elements you need to work into your Connection Statement™ are:
- Who - this is your ideal client
- Pain - what is the problem or issue they are facing (for which your product/service offers a solution)
- What - the desired outcome or the result your ideal client wants
- How - your process
The statement is structured along the following lines:
I help (who),
Let's say you are a dental practitioner who offers a sedation dentistry treatments for people who have a fear of going to the dentist (dental anxiety).
- Who - people with a dental anxiety
- Pain - neglect oral health/avoid going to the dentist
- What - a calm and relaxed dental experience
- How - dental sedation treatments
You can phrase your Connection Statement™ like this:
I help people with dental anxiety who neglect their oral health by avoiding dental visits, to have a calm and relaxed dental experience by providing a range of sedation dentistry treatments.
Now imagine someone giving you this answer. Would you think that sounded awkward or salesy? I wouldn't think so.
Why not give this a try yourself? I would love to hear what you come up with.
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