So you’re at a party, a family gathering, a yoga class, or a conference, and you get that question:
“What do you do for a living?”
Now this can either result in a lovely conversation or have you reaching for the nearest drink.
It can be awkward to describe what you do, and even well-meaning questions can be pretty intimidating.
When you work for yourself, what you do feels (and is!) much more personal. After all, you’re the one who’s sacrificed an enormous amount of time and energy to get your business going, and you, personally, have the most at stake if something goes awry.
This simple question can sometimes have you feeling like someone’s asking you to defend or justify yourself. Not a good feeling. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here’s why it’s super important to be able to describe what you do:
#1, They might actually hire you.
So that person you’re chatting with could need your services?
Yes! You never know where you’re going to meet potential customers. I’ve met future clients at weddings, at parties, and even in the grocery store…
When you strike up a conversation with someone, you can find that they need your help or are really interested in your passion. Connecting with people will reveal surprising results.
#2, They can refer you.
Even if they don’t need you, they might know someone who does. Just talking about your work can ignite something in someone, and they’ll tell their friends.
When you have a well thought out description of your work, it will also stick in their mind. This means that in a week when their buddy says “Hey, you know I really need an accountant,” they’ll say, “Oh! I met this really cool lady who does that! Let me give you her number!”
#3, You’ll make more money.
Yes, it’s true!
When you can smoothly describe what you’re offering, people have more confidence in you. When they have more confidence in your products or services, they’ll pay more money for them. It’s that simple.
A good verbal pitch is just as good as slick branding. You’re representing yourself, so speaking with confidence about what you do makes you seem better at it.
#4, It helps you feel more confident in your work.
This confidence thing goes both ways!
If it feels super uncomfortable to answer that cocktail party question when you have no good answer, imagine how awesome it will feel to give a smooth, articulate answer. Also, taking the time to put together a good description of your work will help you clarify your goals and help keep your fire going.
And, don’t forget to think about your pricing prior to going out.
All in all, it pays to have a quick and easy description of what you do at the ready.
How you do it is up to you, and don’t worry, I’ll have another post about how to craft the perfect response. For now, just remember that you need to suffer through some awkwardness to get some great monetary and confidence-boosting results.
The next time someone innocently asks “What do you do?” go ahead and tell them! You’ll be surprised at what an answer to that question (any answer) will do for you.
Over to You
Tell me about your experiences talking about what you do below!