Defining what you do + a non 'icky' sales technique
Something a little different for you today - I've received a question from a lovely reader and thought it might be fun to 'riff' a little on it. You can listen to the audio or read the transcript below...
"Hi Gemma, I hope you don't mind me asking you a question - since starting my business I have a hard time explaining to people what I do. I'm just wondering how you explain your job/business so that people understand what you are offering? I'm worried that I always sound a bit vague!"
- Jess F.
I actually get asked this question, or a variation of it, often (so you're not alone Jess!), and thought it would be worthwhile addressing here.
It's so juicy and really I could talk for hours on it, but for now I'll stick to two areas:
1. The short version of what you do.
When we switch from a "traditional" career path with defined job titles, to our own entrepreneurial venture, it can be hard to figure out how we should label ourselves. I used to be against labelling myself altogether, I didn't want to get attached to the 'status' of calling myself a designer/director/coach/whatever.
On the flip side (and I see this a lot with the women I work with), it took a long time to get comfortable with other labels, which for me meant calling myself a writer. I was worried people would think I was full of myself, that I didn't really have the qualifications to back it up.
The truth is, in a world that tries to shoehorn our identity into 140 characters, 'labels' can be a useful way of quickly attracting those you want to serve.
I don't think there is a set formula to it - choose something and run with it. But, and this is super important, choose the right thing. It doesn't have to be something original or fancy, but it needs to accurately describe how you view what you do. And if there is a label that does that but you are not comfortable with it, dig deep and work out why. What's really going on?
So for me, when I require a super quick intro.... I'm a lifestyle coach, writer and designer.
2. The longer version of what you do.
So you're a coach/marketing consultant/freelancer/designer/writer/bad-ass business owner/unicorn wrangler. Great! Now you need to figure out what that really means. What is it you actually do?
This part is really quite simple.
State your why + your what.
Tell whoever you are communicating with, what it is you are passionate about and what results you get. That's it. Simple, right?
Ok, so here's my shot at it...
I'm super passionate about encouraging women to live from a place of freedom and creativity. I help women to seamlessly combine their life and work, giving them freedom to play, contribute and have impact. I love writing about entrepreneurship and through my coaching programs, mentoring and writing I have supported kick-ass women to launch and grow businesses, and make transformational lifestyle changes. I'm currently writing my first book and I've got heaps of design work under my belt, having built websites, brand identities and creative campaigns for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Wanna get in on some of that?
Note - one of the biggest obstacles to explaining what you do is a fear of sounding too 'salesy'. So lets clear that up. Whilst I believe you don't need to be a pushy salesperson to succeed in your business, you do need to hustle. The good news is, it can be done in a way that feels authentic to you. Simply demonstrate your passion and state the results of what you do. Some people will misinterpret your passion for pushiness but then they probably aren't the right fit for your offering anyway.
It's not your job to worry about how other people will perceive you.
I know this goes against what we are often taught about marketing - that we need to build a brand and marketing message that coerces people into perceiving you how you want them to. But I believe, if you are building a business that is authentic and of service, then your only job is to be you. Show your passion and demonstrate your results. Attract and Delight. It will resonate with the right people.
So, over to you... let me know below, who you are and what you do?
I am_______________________________________. I am passionate about__________________________________________________ and (insert results here)_________________________________________________.