Picture this. You’re at a networking event and people are introducing themselves and meeting for the first time. You enjoy meeting new people and feel energized by seeing so many like-minded people in one place. Then, that dreaded question comes.
“So what do you do?”
You freeze because you hate the standard elevator pitch spiel. You don’t want to be defined by any one thing and you’re not sure how to package up all that you do in one tidy sentence or two. Anxiety sets in and you’re left rambling on and on, wondering if anything you say is making any sense.
You don’t want to be limited to one title. In fact, normal titles bore you. You want to be remarkable.
Here’s a 3-step approach to help you come up with an elevator pitch that feels right to you.
1. Create your own title
Get creative with your job description. You’ve created your own opportunities and projects. You may have your own body of work. You get to decide what your job title is. Are you a brand instigator or chief change maker?
By creating your own job title, you can pique people’s curiosity. You can show your personality and give people an opportunity to see your style. By being creative and different, you can alienate the people who would never get you and your work (this is a good thing!)
I’m not just a graphic designer. I’m a “creative badass”. My job title reveals some of my personality, while still giving you a glimpse into the kind of work I do.
The disadvantage to this approach is the unfamiliarity it generates. If your title is too far out there, people may have no clue what your title means or what you do. Think of a title that is unique but which still gives people a glimpse into what you do. Your title should still be descriptive, after all.
2. Home in on your target market
As a multipotentialite, it can be challenging to see the threads of commonality in the work, projects, and clients you take on. Think about the last five people you’ve worked with. What types of projects did you do? What types of people were you helping? See if you can find a common denominator. If you can’t find anything, figure out who you’d love to work with the most if you had a choice.
Niche is a word that makes me cringe, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it’s mostly good! Honing in on a niche doesn’t mean limiting yourself in terms of the products or services you offer; it means having a clear sense of who you’re serving.
Once you’re clear on who you serve, you can build your body of work with a specific type of person in mind. This will make your brand and message clearer, which will make it easier to attract clients.
I currently serve holistic, creative, heart-centered entrepreneurs, but even that’s a broad range of people. Although I love the clients I attract, I recently received the advice that I should hone in even more for better results. I realize my love of writing and my interest in book design are the perfect ways to focus even more on a heart-centered niche of authors, writers, and other messengers.
3. Putting it all together
Once you have your title and target market figured out, use these prompts to put it all together. Just fill in the blanks.
- I help [target market] with their [services and skills that you offer] as a [unique title].
- I’m a [unique title] for [target market].
- I help [target market] by [services/products] so that they can [results you provide].
Keep in mind that you are also more than a label and a job title. Don’t be afraid to ad lib your life and your elevator speech with the things that excite you, the projects you’re starting, and the problems you’re trying to solve.
How do you approach the elevator speech? Do you have it memorized or forgo it completely?