Branding | Micro Business

How to answer the question: What Do You Do?

September 24, 2018
networking group of entrepreneurs

Have you ever experienced this: you’re at a networking group. It’s time for the intros and every business owner is to stand up and quickly share their name and what they do. Ugh.

You dread this for two reasons:

  1. Some people ramble on & on and spend 10 minutes pitching their products or service while everyone else tuned them out after 2 seconds because they’re thinking about what they are going to say.
  2. You don’t want to be the one to ramble on & on but you can’t think of exactly what you should say.

Yes, the unavoidable circle introductions at any networking group often reveal how clearly we do or do not understand our own businesses.

Truth be told…you should have the exact same answer every time, and it needs to be clear. If people walk away and they don’t understand what you do – well, then you don’t have a clear idea of what you do either.


In order to articulate ourselves in a way that others understand and receive, we need to cut out the clutter. In other words, find the extra “fluff” and weak words, even the pretty words, and kick ’em out. Yep, kick those babies out. You know, phrases like, “I help people connect with the Universe in them.” 

Huh? What does that mean??

Seriously, what DOES that mean? Ambiguity leads to confusion. When we’re specific in telling others what we do, it results in “Ahhh” moments instead of, “huh?”

In order to cut out the clutter, we need to uncover all the clutter. I do that by writing out everything in my head.

Try it. Answer the question, What Do I Do? but don’t limit yourself. Write a book if you want to. This is the time to pull out all those floating little thoughts that pop up like a Whack-A-Mole when someone puts you on the spot and asks you that question. It happens to all of us. We pause for a second while a dozen answers float through our mind and then randomly grab the latest one to pop up when our mouth opens.

Have you ever walked away thinking you should have said something different? I have.

Once you write until nothing else comes out, read it back out loud and start narrowing it down.


As you narrow down your WHAT, consider what is important to your audience. (This is where knowing your Representative Customer Avatar becomes vital.) What words will resonate with him or her?

Keep rewriting the answer to What do you do until you get to a point where it is one clear, sharp sentence.

Will you get it right away? Maybe, maybe not.

As you grow in your understanding of yourself and your ideal customer, your answer will become clearer and clearer until you won’t even have to think or bat an eye the next time you’re asked to stand up and quickly tell everyone, What Do You Do?


Quick recap:

  • Write down the answer to the question: What Do You Do? Use as many words as you want the first time.
  • Read it out loud.
  • Considering your audience, go back and start cutting out all the extra and fluffy words.
  • Be specific, avoid ambiguity.
  • Keep re-writing the answer to the question until you have one, clearcut sentence.


Was this helpful? Share it with a friend!

Want help identifying your WHAT? Let's chat. Click here 
to schedule an appointment.