I remember when I was first starting out on my own I would break out into a cold sweat when people asked me what I did for a living. My talents were wide ranging and I had trouble defining everything that I was doing for my clients in a clear and concise way. This also meant that I lacked confidence while trying to explain myself. Certainly not an ideal situation at a networking event.
Was I a freelancer? A consultant? A business owner? Did I handle creative marketing? Social media management? Content and blogging? I dreaded having to answer this question because I really couldn't define what I did. I spent so much time focusing on how to tell clients to brand themselves I hadn't really put enough thought into thinking about how I should brand myself.
And so I set aside time one week to focus on my own brand and I got it done.
I was finally able to define what I did in one sentence. I run my own content and brand marketing business. BOOM! I no longer lacked the confidence to be out in the world talking to people about what I do. I reworked my business cards to reflect my new branding and was proud to hand them out to people.
It might not seem like a big deal, but narrowing your work down to one sentence can be remarkably challenging. But it's necessary and it's the first step you need to take to building a strong, confident brand. If you've been struggling with this, here are some actionable steps to help you work through it:
Write Down Everything
One perfect sentence starts with paragraphs of content. Whether you want to be very thoughtful about what you are writing or prefer a stream of consciousness, the important part is to just put all your thoughts about you and your business in one place. Write down all the different versions you tend to ramble about to acquaintances when you're asked this question and don't worry about refining it in the moment. That will come next!
Look For The Patterns
Go through the paragraphs that you've written and see what themes or words continue to pop up throughout. You might be surprised to find that you should actually be using those words to define your business and what you do, or you may realize that those words or phrases really aren't serving you anymore and it's time to stop using them. But once you start to see patterns emerge, it will be much easier to edit and refine your pitch.
Focus On Your Strengths
Just because you do many things doesn't mean you have to include everything in the definition of your brand. For instance, I handle social media and PR for some of my clients but it's not my main focus. My strength is content and branding and, in many ways, those two things encompass social and PR. I didn't want to feel like I was going through a laundry list when I described to people what I do for a living, so I decided to leave the things I'm less passionate about out of the initial equation.
Boil It Down
Once you've gone through the previous steps, you should start to have a better understanding of what you do and how to best explain it to people. Play around with different ways to put what you do into one cohesive sentence and have a friend or family member give you some feedback on what they think is best. Of course, if you're still struggling with it after going through this exercise, it could be time to call in a pro! With HYC Coaching services, you can get the extra help you need to build a more successful brand and a more confident you.