Do You Know What You Do?

What do you do? Do you have a great answer to that question? Instead of answering this question with your title alone, or going off on a few tangents about whatever project pops into your head, take the time to craft a repeatable elevator speech. What’s that? An elevator speech, also known as a 30 or 60 second commercial, is a clear, concise, and memorable commercial for you and your business.  A well-delivered elevator speech can result in an immediate business connection, or get passed on from your initial contact to an ultimate customer.

Tell A Story
There are two parts to a great elevator speech, the positioning statement and the differentiation statement.  You want to tell people what you do and why you’re special. The positioning statement looks like this:

I’m [your name] with [your organization’s name]. I provide [products or services] so that [the benefit to your client]. I love to work with [your ideal client].

Mine goes like this:

I’m Lela and I’m a freelance writer.  I provide web content and magazine articles, mostly on business topics so that my clients’ readers always have something fresh to read. I love to work with website owners who need articles on an ongoing basis. 

Pretty easy so far. But so what? It’s pretty generic so far. This might be enough to impress someone who doesn’t meet a lot of writers, but to really stand out we need to go beyond the basics.  It’s time to tack on the differentiation statement. Think about what makes you better than your competitors. Is there anything you offer that others don’t? Take a minute to brainstorm all your best selling points. In my case, I not only write about business, but I worked for over a decade in tax, accounting, and business consulting.  That’s my key selling point.  Depending on the situation I may say something like:

·    It helps that I used to be a CPA.
·    At least I’m still using my business degree.
·    I’m a recovering accountant.

It doesn’t matter so much what exactly you say, as long as you get your message across. In my case, I really want them to know I was an accountant, because an accountant turned writer is unique (as opposed to a lawyer turned writer!). When that contact comes across someone in need of a writer, they’re more likely to remember that woman who used to be an accountant.

Once you’ve got your speech written out, all you need to do is memorize it and practice until it rolls out naturally. Then next time you meet a potentially profitable stranger you’ll be ready!

What makes you different? Spell it out and share it here.