Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Turning the Question "So, what do you do?" into a Great Conversation

At a networking event last night someone asked me, "So, what do you do?" It's a question we've all heard thousands of times... I don't know about you, but I frequently stumble as I try to come up with just the right wording that will make sense to the person standing there staring at me. What words do I use that they'll be familiar with? How can I relate what I do to a position or job they can empathize with? How do I present my title and position so that they don't immediately feel superior or inferior? Most importantly, how do I turn their routine question into a conversation spark?

I listened to a podcast several weeks ago from Sterling and Jay's Internet Business Mastery series titled, Fundamental Building Blocks for Achieving Success in Internet Business Pt 1. In the podcast, Sterling and Jay suggest a way to answer the "what do you do" question in a way that is not only easy but ignites interest and is memorable. Rather than prepare a 30 second elevator pitch, come up with two sentences. The first one get's people's attention. The second tells them the value you offer. All in less than 8 seconds. From my experience, that's even close to the amount of time you have to pitch someone walking by your booth at a trade show!

For example, Dale Hensil (he's the guy who put Sterling and Jay onto this idea) says he runs a "Website Orphanage". That description is more shocking and intriguing than simply saying he buys and sells websites. So then he has people's attention and they ask, what does that mean? And that’s when he says, “I pay entrepreneurs for websites when they’ve moved on to better things.” 

Attention grabbed, target audience noted, conversation started. Brilliant!

So I've come up with my own 2 second pitch:

  • Question: "So what do you do?"
  • Answer: "I'm solving the world's health crisis"
  • Question: "What does that mean?"
  • Answer: "I sell interactive tools for wellness professionals and motivated individuals to monitor, analyze and plan exercise and diet which keeps everyone healthier and happier!"
Marketing Lesson Learned: Prepare what you'll say, don't just plan to wing it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Time is Difficult to Manage

That's right, the lesson I'm starting today with is that Time is Difficult to Manage. I don't know if its just me or if its the scattered nature of the job, but prioritizing what must be done and getting it completed when it needs to be done is not easy. Although I'm still learning the ins and outs of my new job, I certainly have a good enough grasp of whats going on that time management shouldn't be an issue. It comes down to one thing... what I'll call, "scattered procrastination". I don't just procrastinate, I find multiple things to do that are very valuable to be doing, just not in the order they get done.

Lesson for the day: Make a list of no more than 3 items the night before, leave it on the desk and don't do anything the next morning until those 3 tasks are completed.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


I'm investigating ways to promote this blog so it can be found on the web. One such way is to promote using the website Technorati. Here is my profile on Technorati: Technorati Profile Here is a good example of a blog profile on Technorati: and my profile:

Additional methods of promotion for your blog can be found on this helpful post in the Google forums:

Lesson learned: there are a hell of a lot of ways to promote your blog on the web. Just pick one or two that seem to be the most popular and start there. More important, find methods that will best reach your target demographic.

Stand Up for What You Believe

I watched the movie "Amazing Grace" last night I was afraid it was going to be a boring 18th century costumed waltz with gothic churches and stuffy men in white wigs. Well, there were a lot of white wigs, but the movie was not boring. In fact it was invigorating and inspirational. What would it feel like to stand up and keep standing up for more than 15 years against not only your friends, but the most powerful people in the world with a message none of them want to hear? William Wilberforce did just that and through his efforts slavery was abolished in England more than a century before it was in America. And the British didn't have to conduct a Civil War to end slavery like we did in America.

Lesson learned: If you believe that what you are passionate about is truly important and will make the world a better place, then don't let anyone or anything derail your efforts.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Marketing on Social Media Sites

iMedia has a good overview today on the value of marketing your business using the top social networking sites. Of course, it remains to be seen how effective this type of marketing is... but if you can tightly target your audience on one of these sites, then it sure can be cost-effective!

- Google's Open Social This isn't a stand-alone networking site like the next two. Rather, it is a programming code that developers can use to develop gadgets and widgets which can then easily be made available to networkers to add to their pages on sites such as MySpace. (at least that's my elementary take and I'm definitely not a developer or programmer)

- MySpace (self-service targeted ads). I didn't look too hard because I truly detest MySpace (too hard to navigate) but I can't find this advertising service anywhere on the site.

- Facebook (ads, beacon and pages I created a Business page for TrainingPeaks, we'll see what kind of traction it gets. I'm afraid to use Beacon after all the bad press it has received the last couple weeks (privacy issues). And the ads might be a good idea but not for general promotion. I would say they may work targeting a specific campaign.

Lesson learned: Doesn't hurt to put content on social networking sites. And if you have the time and money to invest, try some advertising. But whatever you do try to see your profile and ads from the user's perspective and do your best to not piss them off.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Content, Content, Content

As I read another chapter in David Meerman Scott's book The New Rules of Marketing & PR, I was again reminded of what is showing to be the most important aspect of marketing ANY business these days. Content on the web. There are so many ways to create content or draw attention to content already online that to focus your marketing campaign around content just makes sense. Not only does it not take incredible designers or top dollar ad placements, content is exactly what consumers are looking for.

Lesson Learned: Developing valuable, targeted content is the most important aspect of marketing & PR. Fortunately, its relatively cost-effective, far-reaching and long-lasting.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Iconoclasts - Sundance Channel TV series

If you want to ride along with two intriquing people as they discover each other's passions and experience what the other person is dedicated to in life, then watch the Sundance Channel's TV series Iconoclasts Each episode provides amazing insight into two people's lives and loves. I just watched the episode with Norman Lear (entertainment producer) and Howard Schults (Starbucks founder)... truly inspirational.

Lesson learned: know who I am, listen to my passions and act on them in a way that benefits society and the people around me.