When the networking spotlight is on you for just 60 seconds – what do you say?
You know the kind of event I mean. Those regular business breakfasts when everyone gets one minute to share who they are and what they do.
There’s only so many times you can hear Beryl from Browns Bay tell you she’s a lawyer specialising in estates, wills and trusts before you switch off. Sure there might be a few newcomers each week, but most people have heard it before and no one is really listening – they’re just watching out for their Eggs Bennie and waiting for the intros to be over so they can have some real conversation. Yawn. Remind me why I’m here again?
Today I want to share a different way of introducing yourself, that’s nothing to do with an elevator pitch or awkwardly brandishing business cards to people who are more interested in the quality of their flat white.
Introducing the 60-second story.
Instead of droning on about what you do, choose one client and turn their experience into a 60-second story. (I’m working on the assumption that 60 seconds is all you’ve got.)
Something like this….
I’m Christine Sheehy. I’m a messaging coach, an author and a copywriter. And today I want to tell you a story about my client Emma.
Emma is a kinesiologist and from time-to-time a colleague in a related field sends out an email blast, promoting Emma’s free trial sessions to his list. Emma came to see me because she knew something was off with her message – people were booking the free sessions, but when she got on the phone they were often looking for a physio or even a psychic, rather than a kinesiologist. She was giving away a lot of her time for little reward.
Together we dived deep into her work. We looked at how she helps her clients, the results she delivers and what really lights Emma up. And then we wrote some new copy that her colleague used to call in Emma’s dream clients in his next email blast.
Emma called me last week to tell me that this time, every single person who booked a trial session was a perfect fit. Emma is now fully booked with ideal clients for the next few months. So if YOU need help sorting out YOUR message, and finding the right words to call in YOUR ideal clients – give me a call.
What do you think? More engaging right?
Or how about this?
I’m Christine Sheehy. I’m a messaging coach, a copywriter and an author. Now one of my clients is an alternative health practitioner, her work blends many healing modalities and her clients are diverse. She called me because – despite being in business for ten years – she still couldn’t confidently articulate what she does. Networking functions were a nightmare and her social media was completely random. Sound familiar?
We worked together to uncover the common idea underpinning all of her work. She saw that she helped people in chronic pain take back some control and restore balance. No matter what their diagnosis, she was transforming their experience of life.
In other words, she got clear on who she served, how she serves and the results she delivers. She was finally able to own the power in her work and together, we defined her core message, so that her marketing, her networking and her social media became consistent and easy.
So if you need help articulating what you do, or finding the core message at the heart of your work, give me a call. I want to help you go Write to the Heart of your business.
If you want to write your own 60-second story, here’s some tips.
- Be relevant– Make sure that the story you share is relevant to the people in the room. Choose a story that speaks to common struggles of your target market, and frame those struggles in a way that people in the room will understand.
So if you’re talking to a room full of new graduates in their early 20s, don’t go on about your client’s struggles as a mum of teenagers. Either choose a different story, or highlight other aspects of her story that are relevant to your current audience.
- Focus on transformation– Choose a story where your client has achieved tangible results. The idea is to show your audience how your client’s life or business has been transformed by working with you. So focus on the results and the outcomes, not the steps you took along the way. How did their life or business look different after working with you?
In the first story I shared above, Emma was no longer wasting time giving free trial sessions to people who were not the right fit. With my help, Emma began calling in her right clients. The result was that so almost everyone who booked a free session was a good fit and Emma is now fully booked. The copy we created led to direct and measurable results in her business.
By focusing on the results, you can provide evidence of how brilliant you are, without having to say it directly yourself (there’s another awkward moment avoided).
- Bring it back to the audience– Always end your tale by drawing the story back to your audience and how you could help them. And don’t forget to invite them to work with you.
If you regularly attend networking events, I recommend coming up with three to five 60-second stories that you can alternate week on week. Not only will your introductions be more engaging, but over the course of five meetings your colleagues will get to hear about five different ways you can help them – or others they know. They will have a much fuller idea of the work you, and your stories are likely to trigger thoughts of friends or colleagues facing similar challenges.
The more you practice, the easier this will be. Every time a client gets a breakthrough, you’ll find yourself thinking of new ideas and your ever-growing repertoire will make it easy and natural to talk about your business in spontaneous conversation.
Got a 60-second story? I’d love to hear it. Give us the gist in the comments below, or better still, share yours in a 60 second video, then come on over and share it on my Facebook page.
PS – Need help with finding or crafting your 60-second stories? Book your free mini-session right here