How To Answer “What Do You Do?” In A Clear, Engaging Way




One of the most common questions we get asked as business owners is, “What do you do?” It’s also one of the toughest questions for many of us to answer. Today I will share some proven ways you can answer this question so you are engaging and clear.

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How To Answer “What Do You Do?” In A Clear, Engaging Way

One of the most common questions we get asked as business owners is what do you do? It's also one of the toughest questions for so many of us to answer today. I'm going to help you because I'm going to share some proven ways that that you can answer this question in a clear, engaging way.

Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing where we believe marketing shouldn't be difficult. But if you want to accelerate revenue growth, you've got to remove your revenue roadblocks and we can help you with that.

I want to thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. I am excited to dig into this because I think a lot of us struggle with answering this question, what do you do? And here's the thing. When somebody asks us that, man, we only have a few seconds to tell them before they're jumping off the elevator or they're starting to tune out. So we've got to capture their attention and their interest very quickly and I'm going to help you do this.

What is a One-liner or Elevator Pitch?

So first off, let's just talk. What is a one liner or an elevator pitch? You may have heard people refer to this in another way, but most commonly I've heard people talk about what's your elevator pitch or what's your one liner? To me, this is a single statement. It's two, three, maybe four sentences max, that help people realize why they should care. Like, why do people want to do business with you?

The Purpose of a One-liner

Now, the purpose of your one liner, I think there's a few different purposes here. One is to grab their attention and gain their interest so that they want to know more, right? We want to gain their attention and their interest and intrigue them enough where people gosh. That's interesting. Tell me more about that. Like, how do you do that?

Now, what is not the purpose of your one liner or your elevator pitch is to answer everything and anything about your business and what you do and why people should care. It is not this longwood statement. It's impossible. You're never going to answer anything and everything about your business in your one liner or your elevator pitch. So don't try. It's just that goal. Let me grab their attention and their interests so that they're intrigued enough to say, oh really? Wow. Tell me more about that. How do you do that? That's all we want to accomplish with our one liner.

The Critical One-liner Elements

Now that we've got those foundations in place, what are the critical elements that are going to be in your one liner? And you may not have every single one of these, but you are going to have the vast majority of these four different elements in your oneliner.

The first one is your ideal client. Who is the market that you are serving? I definitely think you want to call them out in your one liner. Second is the problem. What's the problem that you solve what's the main problem that you solve that most people are coming to you for to get help with? Third is your solution, like, how are you helping him solve that particular problem? Now, again, you're going to keep this fairly high level in your one liner. You're not going to dig into a ton of detail because you just don't have that time. But you do want to give people an idea of what that solution is. And then the fourth thing is the results and the benefits, the outcomes when people work with you, what are the results, benefits, and outcomes that they experience? So those are the four critical elements that should be in your one liner. You may not have all of them. Some of these formulas that I walk you through here in a minute, you'll see, we might leave out, we're almost always including your ideal clients. But the other three elements, we may not use every single one of those. But if you can use them all, I think it's certainly beneficial. But you've got to find one of these formulas that's going to work well with you that just comes off the tip of your tongue very naturally, right? We don't want this to come across as rehearsed. Okay?


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Five One-liner Formulas you can Use Today

So I've got five formulas that I'm going to share with you right now. And then I'm going to give you some examples. Now these examples that I'm going to share with you, they're not necessarily real life examples, but they are based on a friend of mine, Ryan England, over at the Core Matters. I love what he does and I love his messaging. And he works with contractors primarily and helps them put in a system to consistently find and hire great people. So just so you know, as I go through these, that's where these examples are coming from. They're not exactly what he's using, but I've just taken some of what he does and inserted it to create these examples for you. So I hope it helps.

So the first formula is action verb. I show teach help a specific target market how to act right, solve a problem, or meet a specific need. So in this example of I help contractors hire better people and find them faster and help retain them. Right? The example in this formula one would be I show contractors how to hire better people faster. Really simple, right? This is a super short example, but it's enough. Like, man, if you're a contractor and you're having this problem, dang, you're going to want to know more.

Second formula you can use, we help XYZ like a specific type of customer get these results buy with, and what's the solution? In this same example, we help contractors hire better people faster with our Core Fit Hiring System. Do you know exactly what's in the Core Fit Hiring system? No. But you know that's the solution that they're using. And if you have this problem you're going to go, tell me more about this Core Fit hiring system. How do you do that? But again, this is very simple.

Formula three, I help who like who's the ideal client achieve what by how. Okay, so in the same example, I help contractors build a pipeline filled with the right people by showing them how to implement the Core Fit hiring system. Again, you can see how it's pretty simple, but we're just taking variations. And again, this is just to find what works for you and what you believe is going to resonate best with your ideal clients.

Formula four, I work with who's the ideal client who want a specific outcome and result. Okay, so I work with contractors who want to hire better people faster and have a repeatable in house recruiting process to attract and retain all the workers they need. Again, if you're having this issue, you're a contractor like, whoa, that man, I've been dealing with this freaking problem for years. Tell me more about this. Right, but this is simple language. We're not overly complicating things. Very easy for and simple for people to understand.

Last one, formula five. This one's real short and sweet. Problem, solution, result. But you'll see how this one where problem, solution, result, I've created this in a more conversational way, right? So somebody says, hey, what do you do? Well, you know how contractors are always saying it's hard to find good people? We show them how to implement a repeatable in house recruiting process so they can attract and retain all the skilled workers they need to grow their business and free up their time. A little bit more conversational, a little bit longer, but still very easy for somebody to understand, grab their attention and their interest so that they say gosh, tell me more about that.

So those are your five solution, your five frameworks. Find the one that works well for you. First off, identify those critical one liner elements for you. Then take one of these five formulas that you think makes the most sense to you, is going to be comfortable for you to say because you have to be comfortable saying this, otherwise it's going to come across really awkward. But find that formula that works well for you and plug in your one liner elements and then start using it and see what people say. You've got to get out there and test this and see what the responses are. And then you can make slight tweaks here and there if you need to, to really refine it. But we don't need to over complicate this. Again, we get asked this all the time. So you've got to really nail that answer to what do you do? I've identified your one minor elements, shared five formulas here with you today. Now run with it. And if you've got questions, reach out, I'd be happy to help. But your one liner is something that you're going to use across your marketing channels and your marketing collateral all the time. It is super important. It is a workhorse in your messaging playbooks. So you want to make sure that you've got it right.

Conclusion: How To Answer “What Do You Do?” In A Clear, Engaging Way

So if you do need help with this right, you start working through this and you want some outside eyes and feedback, head on over to our website at That's R-I-A-L-T-O Click on the book your free GPS call button and I will jump on that call and help give you some guidance and direction on where you should head with your one liner. Okay? Happy to help there. Now, another free resource we've got for you has to do with your marketing plan, which is super, super important. If you want the marketing plan template that we use for our business and our clients, it is a 90 day template. It works. I know it. Go to All the instructions, the template is there and sample plan so that you can get started on creating your marketing plan today and start getting results immediately. Thanks so much for tuning in. Till next time. Take care.

About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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