When it comes to setting up a business, the Internet has smashed the realm of possibilities wide open.
If you have passion and a plan you can pretty much do anything.
In fact, there are a ton of people doing exactly this.
So if you want to set up an online enterprise as a Fantastically Awesome Person That People Should Follow Who Works Her-Ass off and Loves what She Does and Should Really Be on a List, then you’re going to have a blast getting your business off the ground in this pioneering climate.
Ahh… but then at some point, you have to explain to someone what it is you do.
How to Define the Undefinable Profession AND Kill the Atmosphere at ANY Social Gathering
(That sub-heading had to do because I couldn’t remember the name of the game where you have to describe something but can’t use the name of the thing… answers in the comments please!)
Next time your social soirée hits a lull in the conversation, insist on playing this game.
Each person takes it in turns (but make sure you go first, because I wrote this post to help you and chances are after the first round no-one will want to play again) to:
Without using your business title, explain specifically what your customer can do now that they couldn’t do before hiring you or using your business
Your friends then have to guess what it is you do (this is the part that makes them believe this is a game and not just research for writing your business content).
Your amazingly fun game should go something like this:
“Hi, I’m Mark and my customers now have a lot more energy for their work and less stress since being able to focus on what’s important in their business.”
“Ah, you’re a business coach!”
“Hmmm, kind of, but my customers are really happy because now they have systems and processes in place which makes it easier for them to focus on their first love, which is being creative.”
“Systems and processes… you must be a software company for creative people.”
“Well, they don’t get any software from me, but they do know now how to employ useful technology. Most importantly, they can now motivate themselves, find more time in the day to do their creative work, build business relationships and learn how to promote their creative work to make more money than they could before.”
“Ah, so you are a coach…for creative professionals?”
(Word of warning: I can’t promise that forcing people to play this game will get you future social invites)
When you focus on the end result and think in terms of :
“Now my customer can / Now my customer is able to…”
it is easier to explain why people should get so excited about what it is you do.
Don’t worry too much about defining your business into perfect and neat terms. Telling people HOW you make their lives better is far more important.
And before I go…
A Few Words of Warning About Jargon
Jargon sometimes works, jargon sometimes doesn’t work and if you say jargon enough times, it loses all meaning as a word.
Here’s my quick fire advice when it comes to using jargon or industry words:
- Are you absolutely certain your customer understands the terms you use? A technical team might understand your software speak, but it might be a non-technical project manager who researches and suggests companies for the technical team to use.
- Can you say the same thing in plain speak rather than industry speak?(e.g. Improves SEO = Easier for people to find you when they search online)
- If you have to use a technical term, can you hyperlink it to another page which explains what it is
Still struggling to define your business?
Ask for feedback from your professional peer group. Either at networking meetings, or online forums, or through social media. Get a discussion going about the benefits of your business service and see if it helps you talk about it more clearly.
The more you practice talking about what it is you do, and the more you listen to feedback from people who know nothing about your industry, the more fluent and convincing you will become when you’re writing your web content or marketing materials.
Good luck and let me know in the comments below if you’re struggling to define your undefinable profession and I’ll see if I can help!