Never Dread The

From Putting People to Sleep to “I Could Use Your Help”

Jun 08, 2024

How do you answer the dreaded question in a memorable way?

I spent three days at a mastermind event in Austin last week. It was full of successful coaches, consultants, speakers, and authors doing meaningful work. And this question was unavoidable: what do you do?

Clear is better than clever.

So it makes sense to have your version of "I help martians kidnap more humans to meet their abduction quota without getting spotted by Nasa" on your social media bios where you have limited characters. It's efficient.

But giving this kind of response in live conversation?

It's boring as hell. I made the mistake of answering it this way when I first arrived at the event and watched people's eyes glaze over. Repeatedly.

The really kind folks asked a follow-up question...

But conversations fizzled out shortly after. And It wasn't just me, I saw this pattern play out over and over again with those around me all morning.

-"What do you do?"
-"I help martians blah blah blah..."
-Insert blank stares + tumbleweeds. 🥱

I reflected on it over one of the breaks. What could I do differently? How could I answer this unavoidable question in a memorable way that engaged people in further conversation instead of putting them to sleep?

So I tried saying this:

When coaches, consultants, and experts who are damn good at what they do AND care deeply about those they serve start a business, they're not necessarily also good at getting their message out + enrolling clients. And they definitely don't want to do anything that feels icky to grow their business. I help them put their message out in a way that they're proud of while organically attracting clients they love to serve. And for the ones who are further ahead in their journey... they're used to everyone coming to THEM for guidance. I'm who they go to when they're trying to figure out the "what's next?".

The reactions were immediately better.

People seemed to actually understand what I did, the impact of the work, and why it was needed. A few folks asked genuine questions. Then I thought, if this small tweak created such a noticeable difference, how could I take it further?

So I experimented with sharing a story....

I'm on my 3rd career. #1 was a DJ, music producer, and record label owner. It was awesome until the late nights, unhealthy lifestyle, and drinking almost killed me.

Career #2 was head of People & Culture in tech companies.

My favourite part of the role was coaching the CEO + leadership team. So I began coaching a bit on the side while documenting my journey with habits on Instagram. Including, how getting intentional with my habits was making me feel more energetic, creative, and confident.

I was just sharing what I was doing...

And people started asking me if I could help them with their habits. So when I built up the courage to quit my day job and go all-in on coaching, I called myself a habits strategist. And my launch video went viral on LinkedIn, getting over 20K views.

Before I knew it...

I was so overwhelmed from potential clients that I was working on my business at 6am before work and doing coaching calls in the office at lunch to keep up. I ended up quitting my job a month earlier than planned because of the demand. What I didn't expect was that 11 of my first 12 coaching clients would be entrepreneurs.

When I reflected on it..

These folks are creative, a bit rebellious, like solving challenging problems, and march to the beat of their own drum. They're my people. It wasn't long before other coaches + consultants started asking how the hell had I done it?

How did I go from a full-time job to a full roster of clients?

How was I getting clients overseas? And how was I creating this buzz on LInkedIn and turning it into clients? So I began doing "pick my brain calls" where I would share ideas + give people feedback on their messaging.

One week, I did three of those "pick my brain" chats.

Two of them ended with them asking me how they can have another one of these calls. That's when I realized the universe was nudging me again and made the switch to helping other coaches and consultants with growing their businesses + impact.

This story answer was WAY FREAKING LONGER.

But people leaned in + their eyes lit up. They were highly engaged the entire time. They were genuinely curious and had loads of questions. A few said "I know someone who needs to speak with you."

And one even said, "I think I could use your help."

So...

If you need a simple headline for social media:

  • I help ___(people you serve)____(achieve thing you help them do)___ without (crappy thing they're sick of or are trying to avoid).

If you want to be more engaging in a conversation:

  • When ___(people you serve)_____(want to or try to X aka goal they're trying to achieve)___ it's hard because (thing that makes it tough)_____. So I help them ____(achieve the goal they want)___ without ____(crappy part they're sick of or are trying to avoid).

And to really stand out in a memorable way that engages those listening:

  • Tell a f*cking story that shows how you got here, why you do what you do, and how you gained the experience/skills you use to help the people that you serve.

I'll see you next Saturday.

-Robb


P.S. If you dig stories, you probably won't hate my book, Die Before They Do: From Selling Drugs to Lunch With Jim Carrey. Stories of Struggle, Near Death Experiences, and Creating a Life With Meaning. It's got loads of five star reviews.

 

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