Why One Perfect Sentence Isn’t Enough: Crafting Your Message for Different Scenarios

by | Feb 24, 2023 | Brand Messaging, The Business of Being You

Crafting a concise and powerful message that effectively conveys what you do is essential for any business or personal brand. However, many people make the mistake of thinking that there’s a one-size-fits-all approach to answering the question “what do you do?”

In reality, a single sentence won’t cut it in all scenarios.

So what do you do?

It can often feel like the million-dollar question, right?

If only we were able to answer that question in a way that is succinct and powerful, all our problems will be solved… well, maybe not 😉

Now, what I just want to say here is I think there’s a misconception that when you come to work on your messaging or writing these kinds of things for your business, that you’re trying to find the singular perfect sentence that you can regurgitate every single time somebody asks you that question of “what do you do?”

And your reply probably is a sentence that starts with: “Well, I help [blank]”

But the thing is, with describing what it is that you do, only having one singular sentence that you repeat every single time just ain’t going to cut it because you are going to be asked that question in a variety of different circumstances by different people where one singular sentence would not be fit for all of those scenarios.

For example, if a stranger down the pub asks you that question, you don’t know what their level of knowledge is. So you want to be able to give them a response that gives enough information about what it is without going too heavy into the details or too conceptual.

However, if you are speaking to somebody that you know is familiar with what it is that you actually do, then you want to be able to give a response which is more detailed and in-depth and captures the heart and captures the emotion of that, because that’s much more persuasive than giving some very basic answer. S

o the way that I like to approach this whole concept of defining what it is that we do, is to prepare MULTIPLE different versions of that answer.

I want you to have a version that pretty much does what it says on the tin, the version that very much spells out logically what it is that you do.

But I also want you to have a version (or versions) that get way more specific about what you and your brand does.

So, for example, if you are a brand photographer, say your basic version is essentially going to be something like:

I take pictures of people for their business.

Yup, that’s what a brand photographer does. However, we also want to have a version that expresses something along the lines of:

“I capture [style] of images for [very specific set of people] in [this specific way] and this is what makes it different from everybody else.”

When you are thinking about how to answer the question of “what do I do?” don’t limit yourself to thinking that you have to just come up with one perfect sentence.

Instead, give yourself a selection of different ways that you can express what it is that you do depending on the scenario.

And of course, like I say, with everything, take messy action and test it out!

Actually share it with people. See what the response is. See which ones elicit a response of” Oh, that sounds interesting. Can you tell me more about it?” and which ones get the response of “Wow, that sounds cool”

Remember: your message is a living, breathing thing.

It is not about words that simply sound good on paper.

It’s about words and descriptions and ways of communicating that truly convey meaning and get your people excited to work with you.

And if this is something you’ve struggled with for a while, I recommend you check out Project:Clarity.

Because the very first thing you’ll work on in there is this exact question:

“So, what do you do?”

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