How to Describe What You Do

Imagine that you have just been introduced to someone – at a party, a business event, or even a child’s soccer match. When you’re asked what you do for a living, what is your response? If you’re too vague about your job title, you might shut down the conversation, but if you talk too long you’ll bore them with the specifics. You’ve probably got 30 seconds to give a memorable explanation.

Just like there are rules for where to place a nametag (right breast pocket), and whether to shake hands (let them make the first move), there is a methodology that anyone can use to describe what they do. Even if you do something that most people don’t really understand.

Step 1: Brief Description

Take one or two sentences to describe the value you provide and a bit of the methodology you use.

Step 2: Two Groups of Customers

Divide your client base into two groups. The ones that are doing well and the ones that are having trouble.

Step 3: The Hook

Find out if they’re interested in further exploring what you do.


Description: I’m a project manager for DMC Inc. We are a digital marketing company that helps companies improve their brand recognition and also find new customers by marketing through search engines like Google and social media sites like Facebook.

Customers: There are two groups of companies we typically work with.

The first are usually large companies with entire internal marketing departments at their disposal. They understand that even a 1% increase in conversion from a single click on their website to a true browsing experience can make a huge impact on their bottom line. They’ve taken the digital side of their marketing effort as far as their internal expertise allows and know that innovation in our industry happens constantly. They are looking to put some very focused and specialized technical expertise on their strategy to determine if they’re getting all of the results they can. 

The other group of companies we work with could be large or small, but marketing is not their forte. They don’t have the budget to hire or manage the size of team that would be required to keep this kind of expertise in house. At the same time, they see a huge opportunity on line that no one in their industry is putting focused attention to. That or they have realized their competitors are eating their lunch on line. Either way, they want someone to take charge of their digital strategy and take accountability for the results.

Hook: I don’t suppose your company does any digital marketing?

There you have it: three simple steps to building a conversation around what you do. As always, the key to success is practice. Have you practiced your 30 second commercial lately?

Written By:
Tara Landes

Tara Landes is the Founder and President of Bellrock. She has spent over 20 years consulting and training in small to medium-sized enterprises. A sought-after speaker on a wide range of business topics, Tara has delivered workshops and seminars at conferences and industry associations across Canada. Tara obtained a BA (Honours) in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario (UWO) and earned an MBA from UWO's Richard Ivey School of Business.

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