“So, what do you do?”

It seems like a simple enough question, right? I hear it at just about every networking event, and I can feel my pulse spike every time.

“Oh, I, uh,” I usually begin. All of the things I want to say jumble together in a snowball of “empowering” adjectives. I’m a storyteller, email marketer, wordsmith, toddler-wrangler, wife, mother, daughter. I drink coffee, I hate cardio, I like the color blue.

This is the point where I can feel my eyes glaze over and people usually tilt their heads with slight concern.

“I’m a writer,” I say.

“Oh cool! What do you write?” I can feel my jaw clench as the thought process begins again. It’s a never-ending cycle that usually leaves me wincing with unsaid possibilities.

The trouble with elevator pitches is they don’t convey an experience. When I write, I want my readers to feel what I’m feeling, to know what I know. I want them to experience my truth, perceive my reality.

But elevator pitches are meant to ignite one feeling: curiosity.

When I began telling my own brand story, I started with my childhood and how I had a love of writing that blossomed into what I do now. It’s a lovely story. I’ve spent a lot of time moving verbs around and making it look and sound great. It even does a great job of conveying my “why,” the entire reason I’m here in the first place.

But that story doesn’t make people curious. That part of my brand story answers more questions than it raises.

As entrepreneurs we understand that engagement begins with conversation. If our conversations are one-sided, if we are so detailed in our explanations of what we do, there is no reason for anyone else to join in.

So, what if instead of pitches we called them elevator conversations? Instead of a two-sentence explanation of what pays your bills, what if we rephrased it into an open-ended question?

Example:

Elevator Pitch: “I’m a brand storyteller, helping businesses put their “why” into words, focusing on website and social media content.”

Elevator Conversation: Have you heard of brand storytelling? I help businesses put their “why” into words, focusing primarily on website and social media content.

That slight shift at the beginning opens up my sentence for a response. Even though it might be a yes or a no, there’s room to follow-up. Expanding the conversation past the “elevator” is the primary goal.

It’s no secret that my conversations work best when I can type them out. In “real life” I can guarantee even this small interaction would make me sweat. But growing a brand requires telling your story, in whatever way possible.

The process of paring down your “why” into just a few sentences is something we go through when sitting down to write your online content. It’s from that foundation that we work on perfecting the voice and tone of the rest of your writing. If you’re interested in learning more about my website copywriting, blog writing, or social media services fill out the contact form HERE.