Three More Ways to Tell Everyone What You Do

Putting together the details, marketing plan, and vision of my new small business means I spend a lot of time in my head. I become so intimately involved in the intricacies of my new endeavor; sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that people in my everyday life don’t really know what I do. Not until I tell them, at least.

Of course, for those closest to me, it’s easy to share my excitement and enthusiasm. And in a way, broadcasting my business online and through traditional media is easy, too. It’s the friends, neighbors, soccer parents, and more, who I tend to forget when sharing news of my small business. And it’s these relationships that can really help to open doors and bring unexpected opportunities.

I recently shared three ways to get the word out about your business. Here are three more simple, organic ways I’ve discovered for sharing news of my new small business with those in my everyday life.

Develop Your “Sidewalk Talk”

Everyone’s heard of an elevator pitch. It’s a way to package your business into a quick, compelling sound bite. Make it fast, and make it sell.

This doesn’t often translate when you’re sitting with other parents in the bleachers or along the soccer field or passing by a neighbor at the mailbox. Sometimes, it’s natural to stop and chat, and sometimes an opportunity will open up for you to share what’s going on with your business. If you’re prepared with casual, jargon-free conversation about your business –- what I think of as my “sidewalk talk” –- you might turn a chat into an opportunity.

Carry Business Cards Everywhere

It seems like a small thing, but having my business cards to distribute at a moment’s notice has been great for starting and continuing conversations about my business.

Sometimes, I will hand the card out simply as a means of sharing my contact information; this is much easier than trusting someone to remember my phone number or finding pen and paper to write down my email address. It may not even be for business purposes that I’m sharing the information, but being able to give someone a card and say, “It’s all on there,” is really convenient. And, inevitably, the card itself draws some attention and at least a few questions about what it is I do.

Share with Community Groups

Many of us belong to churches or volunteer in school groups or on community boards. Often these kinds of organizations collect information on each of their members, either for contact purposes or to know how each member can help in a specific area.

Listing information about your small business could put you in a position to help with special fundraisers, host upcoming events, or become involved in community programs. The awareness of your small business and what you have to offer is amplified through your involvement in something you already do, and all it takes is just letting people know more about you.

What about you? What are some simple ways you’ve learned to share information about your small business with people in your ordinary, everyday life?

Image credit: nem_youth

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Stacey Nerdin
Stacey Nerdin is the owner of Full Nest Communications, a social media services company offering consulting, profile management, and education to small businesses. Connect with Stacey on Google+ to learn more.


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  1. Pingback: Three More Ways to Tell Everyone What You Do | Small Business Bonfire « Fresh Small Business

  2. VERY Solid Advice from Stacey, and these effective actions she mentions only require an investment of your time and ingenuity- It is Grassroots Marketing At Its Best!

    Although, I suggest -Forget the elevator pitch- When someone asks you what you do respond:
    interior designer: “I Make Homes Beautiful”!
    marketing: ” I Build New Business for Companies”!
    candy maker: ” I make your tummy put a smile on your face”!
    car salesman: ” I make people run around time with a smile on their face” !

    The next question from them will be “HOW or “WHAT” and your response is “Do you like/need/want a xxxx” (satisfy their desire/need/want for improvement)
    Their obvious answer will be “yes” and your response “I can help you with that, when can we talk about it, here’s my card, can I call you xxxxx”, now lets get back to the little league game.


    • Hi Bill. I agree, Stacey’s advice is dead-on. But I have to say, I think an elevator pitch is a must-have. In fact, I consider the examples you listed above to BE elevator pitches! I think it can be as simple as having a 1-3 sentence description of what you do. Just having a quick explanation ready to go can help you guide the conversation (and respond to specific question’s you are asked) and make sure you hit on all of your high points. Just my $0.02. :)

  3. To comment on the aspect of initial contact strategy, I agree with Tracy, Bill and Alyssa. They are all insight-fully correct, they have shared parts of a simple and yet complex strategy and tool. The lesson I get from this is to be prepared, maximize engagement with others, create interest by connecting with others needs and wants, answering the big questions directly and setting up the next phase to give more comprehensive detailed answers. Keeping this short, compelling and useful.

  4. Stacey,
    I LOVE the concept of the Sidewalk Talk. Giving your elevator pitch may not be appropriate in the bleachers at your son’s game, or on the school bus when you are chaperoning a field trip. Being prepared to tell what you do in a more casual way is very important. And remember, if you are having that casual convo and you want to be able to share what you do, ask the other person what THEY do. Typically out of natural curiosity or simple etiquette, they will answer and then ask in turn what you do.
    Thanks Stacey for opening my eyes to this as I had not really thought of it!

  5. LOVE the idea of Sidewalk Talk. A much more relaxed and natural version of your elevator speech. With me, I never could get an elevator speech down because I’m always a more laid back and casual person anyways, and it never really felt like it was “me” when I said it, so the Sidewalk Talk is something that I think I can incorporate into things much easier.

    I also like how Bill (in the comments above) mentioned the setup for continuing the conversation. Nice lead ins to additional questions and conversation.

    Now I’ve got some brainstorming to do :)

  6. Jenn

    Hello Stacey, sometime it can be very nerve wrecking sitting in my store and no one enters :(. I will now apply your three steps and see what the results achieve.
    Thank you

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