Does Your Mom Know What You Do?

And can she tell other people?

You’re at yet another holiday gathering with family and you hear your mom in the other room trying to explain to your relatives what you do for a living. She’s mashing up a few different points in your career with 1980’s terminology and not doing the best job explaining what you really do. You walk in to explain but she throws up her hands and says “It’s all Greek to me.”

Many of us career-humans get lumped into categories. Anyone who touches money is in the financial market. Anyone who “plays with” computers is in tech. Those who write for any industry are definitely bloggers. And if you even so barely touch the world of creativity, you’re a designer. You been there, I know it.

As a business owner, marketer, or employee of a company (especially one that doesn’t fit into a box), you are constantly explaining what you do to other people. Most of the time, they forget your name before you’ve finished telling them what you do. And they’re typically thinking about what they’re going to tell you so they didn’t pay much attention. How can you possibly stay memorable when they don’t even listen?

Ask anyone where they get most of their business and they’ll say “word-of-mouth” or “referrals”. Most businesses get most of their business from other people, it’s true. The biggest problem with keeping business flowing in through word-of-mouth is making sure people can say what you do. You have to make sure to tell the world succinctly what you’re up to so they can share it with others.

Let’s go through a few exercises so we can make sure your mom (and everyone else) can explain what you do:

1. Can you explain what you do to your 5-year-old nephew?

Pretend you’re playing a game with your kindergarten nephew and he just asked you what you do for work. You’re not going to give a long drawn out explanation or tell him all the details of what you do on a daily basis. You’ll distill it down and put it in plain, simple terms. Example: Sisarina helps people figure out how they’re awesome and show their awesome to other people.

2. What are two words you want associated with what you do?

This is like SEO for every day conversation. If people could only associate you and what you do with two words, start saying those two words all the time. You should have two personally (I’m an approachable badass) and two professionally (Sisarina does brand strategy. Period. Yes, we do a lot of other things inside that but if someone says the word “brand” or “strategy” to someone who knows us, we should come up at the top of their mind.)

3. What does your perfect client look like?

You don’t want people telling their neighbors to get in touch with you if they’re not your ideal clients. You want to be sure when you explain what you do, you also explain who you work with. Think about all of the people you love working with — not just the companies. Who are the types of people you want to work with? Example: Sisarina works with companies of all shapes and sizes but our ideal clients are “there is no box” dreamers who are generally kickass humans changing the way their company thinks.

4. Does your marketing tell people what you do?

You have lots of ways for people to find out more about you. They can call you, send you an email, read your business card, read your website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, webinars, podcasts, printed materials, email newsletter, SO many ways… but does it all tell the story your mom tells? (add “Review My Marketing” to your to do list)

Download this Create Your Quick Pitch worksheet & get your pitch down to simple terms. Make sure no one can forget you or what you do by giving them the simplest soundbite. It’s not just YOU giving your elevator pitch — it has to be memorable enough for others to give it, too. That’s how word-of-mouth happens!

Share your quick pitch below — we wanna hear it so we can tell others!