How To Describe What You Do

In this post I'll share an "elevator speech formula" (that you can customize) for how to describe the work that you do.

When you practice concisely describing your work, your business self-identity becomes clearer and stronger.  Several things happen as a result:

Your marketing becomes more resonant.

When serving clients, you feel more powerfully You.

You know how to quickly answer -- in an interesting way -- when someone asks "So, what do you do?"

To come up with your "elevator formula", answer these questions:
1. WHO

Who is your ideal client?  

Describe the type of person you love to serve in your business.  What kind of client gets the most benefit from working with you?  

Maybe they are a particular age range, or in a certain stage of life, or within a specific stage in a transformation journey.

Or maybe they are a certain profession or role.


What is the main problem you help them solve through your service?

Or what is the main goal you help them to achieve?  

Imagine your ideal client. Ideally when you describe the problem/goal, the listener says: "That's exactly what I've been wanting a solution for!"

Or imagine someone who is connected to people like your ideal client. You want them to say: "I know someone who has that very issue!"


What is your credibility in providing your service?  

For example, how many years have you been doing it?  

Or approximately how many clients have you worked with?  

​Or what training have your done?

​Or where has your work been featured?

These are called credibility indicators.


Very briefly share a case study of how a client transformed because of your work.  The simplest way is to say "As an example, a client of mine had been facing XYZ problem, and through our work together we did ABC, and as a result, they are now experiencing EFG."

Alternatively, you can mention what clients tend to say about working with you.


What sets your service apart from others who provide something similar or related?  

For example, if you provide an alternative healing modality, how does it contrast with mainstream medicine?


The following are optional, and can be used if you have more time with the audience...


What is your modality or transformational framework?

Describe briefly how it works.


Connect your service to a larger cause in the world.  

Why do you do your work?


By clarifying your work description using such an "elevator speech", you will be better at describing your service than most business owners.  Customize the above 5-7 parts to fit your personality and voice. 

Write it down.  Memorize it.  Practice it in front of a mirror.  Or record yourself on video and then watch it and see what you can improve.  

Like an actor diligently practicing her lines, keep practicing your "elevator speech" until every phrase and nuance is infused with meaning, or delivered with passion.

Get together with a colleague (or your coach) for a few minutes on skype video and share your description/speech.  While you are sharing, have your partner write down what they heard that they found meaningful and memorable, as well as what they heard that was boring or confusing (so you can edit those parts.)

Your answers to the question above, and your speech, will evolve with time, as you come to better understand your strengths, and who your ideal clients are.

Try this exercise and see how it improves your business and marketing!

Feel free to share this forward with a friend or colleague who can benefit:

Since 2009, George Kao has been serving thousands of coaches, consultants, and other transformational entrepreneurs, helping them launch and grow their authentic business by using honest, generous marketing strategies. You can receive his best articles via his free monthly email newsletter.