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What do you say when people ask you what you do?

What do you say when people ask you what you do?

On Saturday I was honoured to be a Round Table Mentor at the One of Many “Be Wealth” retreat.

My friend (and first business mentor) Joanna Martin was teaching a group of women to master their finances for greater influence, contribution and growth. I was invited to be there to answer questions about how to get a business started in the early stages – through attracting and enrolling those first few paying clients.

Over an hour I answered a huge range of questions from the lovely ladies who came over to my table. But when I reflected afterwards it struck me that the most common question I was asked was a variation on either:

How do I create my elevator pitch?”,  Or

What is the best way to attract new clients to my business?”

So I thought that if so many women on the day were struggling with these questions, then you might also welcome a few pointers.

Captivating Introduction

There is no “silver marketing bullet”

The first thing that I want to say is that there is no “one way” that is the silver bullet for attracting clients.  The truth is that all of the main marketing approaches you’ve come across work.  And all of them don’t work – if your message is not clear.   When someone comes across you for the first time, whether that’s online or offline, it’s important that they understand loud and clear who you help, how you help them and the difference you can make.    Without that you will burn out on marketing activity without ever really getting any traction.  However with a clear message you will find that you can use pretty much any marketing approach (as long as it is a way of reaching your ideal client group).

With a clear message your ideal client will respond with “oh my gosh, that’s me she’s talking about” and want to stick around and find out more – I call this being “sticky”.   And people not in your client group will understand clearly what you do and will be able to refer people to you or invite you to opportunities like giving talks or writing guest blogs.

I’m not a fan of “pitching”

The other thing to say here is that I’m not fan of the term “elevator pitch” when it comes to heart-centred businesses. The phrase originates from companies having pitch an idea to joint venture capitalists to get funding where they have just 60 seconds to “sell” their idea and are in or out. In most of our businesses that’s not the way it works. We are not trying to “sell” to a new contact at a first meeting, to get an instant “yes or no” to working with you right there on the spot.

Instead of “selling” what you should be aiming for in a first introduction is to clearly communicate what you do and the unique difference that you make in such a way that the person you are speaking to understands you loud and clear. You are also aiming to pique their curiosity so that if they are your ideal client – or if they happen to know a bunch of your ideal clients – they will be intrigued and want to know more – so switching the energy from you doing the chasing to them asking you questions.

So for that reason I prefer to call it a Captivating Introduction

So, for those of you who are struggling a little to articulate the full value of what you offer in a way that your ideal client can understand and want to know more, I’m about to share with you how I teach my clients to do this within my “Get More Clients Saying Yes!” course.

Here are the steps:

1.  Have a clear niche market, niche topic, target market or unique message.
If you are not completely clear on exactly who you are here to serve then it is really hard for you to stand out and get noticed compared to all the other businesses who might be offering similar services to you. There is a huge difference in “I’m a business coach” (and there are a lot of us around) compared to “I help heart-centred service based businesses how to sell in a way that feels authentic and comfortable”.

2.  Develop an Ideal Client profile (also known as an “avatar”)
Really understand who your “ideal client” is in as much detail as you can. When your communication and marketing message is designed to speak to this one “avatar” then all your other ideal clients who resonate with your message will respond.

3.  Interview or survey people
Identify people who fit your ideal client profile and find the answers to the following questions: What are their 3 biggest problems or challenges in relation to your topic? What keeps them awake at night? If you could wave a magic wand what one thing would they want to change more than anything? If you could help them make that change what other benefits will they get as a result?

4. Craft your captivating introduction
Having gathered all of the information in steps 1-3 then use one of the following “formulas” to craft a short Captivating Introduction that can be delivered in just 1 or 2 sentences – or about 30 seconds.



You know how target market & problem/pain, well what I do is result & higher emotional benefit

I work with target market & problem, to achieve result in order to benefit

I help target market, who want result

I help target market to achieve higher emotional benefit

To make this easier for you here is a link to my “Craft your Captivating Introduction” worksheet that I normally only share with the clients who are in my programmes – so that you can work through it step by step.

Good luck with creating your compelling Captivating Introduction – and I look forward to crossing paths with you one day, asking you what you do, and hearing you tell me loud and clear in such a way that I totally “get” what you do the value you bring – and not only that will remember you so that I can recommend you to others!

With Love & Gratitude,

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1 Comment

  1. Claire on October 17, 2019 at 10:46 am

    This is very clear, Catherine, and is a good framework for me to begin that crafting. Thank you.

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