How do I describe what it is I do? How do I talk about my work?
This is the question we nearly all have. (If you've figured this out and feel 100% confident talking about your work, send me an e-mail immediately and tell me your secret sauce – firstname.lastname@example.org).
Even though I've been doing this for 5 years (and have been running my own business for over 8 years!), I struggle with how to talk about my work every day. In every sales page I write, in every conversation I have, and in every byline I submit to a magazine or blog.
I don't know that this question ever goes away, but you certainly can get better at talking about your work.
For starters, you want to discover what it is that you do that's special. I often refer to this as your “sparkle,” because it's the thing that catches your customer's eye and attracts them to you. You gotta get crystal-clear on this, so that you're not being general or vague, but truly standing out from everyone else. I've worked with hundreds of makers, and found a very particular sparkle in each of them, so please trust me when I say – you've got it. You've just gotta uncover it. (There are worksheets for this in Market Yourself!)
Then, once you know what makes your thing special, you want to put it into words that resonate with your customers. You want to talk about what your customers care about. This is NOT going to be the things you most care about (usually), but you can find this out with some thinking and digging. (The recent podcast episode walks you through figuring it out for your business.)
And then, you practice. You do it over and over and over. You describe your work and yourself to customers, to strangers, to your dog. You practice.
When I work with a creative who is incapable of talking about what they do and sell, we are always able to solve it (so don't despair!) by focusing on one (or all!) of the above.
- Define what makes them special and who they want to work with.
- Put it into words that resonate with their ideal customers.
- Talk about how and where they can practice.
The fact is, feeling weird talking about yourself never goes entirely away, but it can get a heck of a lot easier.
As you review the above list, where do you think you need to focus?
PS. If you have trouble talking about your work, that is exactly what Craft Your Marketing does! This class helps you create a marketing plan and talk to the people who will love your work in their own language. Sign up below to be notified when the class opens, and in the meantime I'll send you some free marketing lessons to help you feel less awkward when you talk about your work!