Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Popping Your Elevator Intro

My Smart Answers podcast this week features Sam Horn.

She's the marketing guru I blogged about earlier this month.

In the interview, Sam lays out some terrific advice on a marketing opportunity that all of us get daily - and most of us squander just as often.

I won't give it all away, but it has to do with your response to that common question, "So, what kind of work do you do?"

I'm just as guilty as anyone of mumbling a half-baked response, but Sam inspired me to do better. In fact, I came up with a pretty good question (Sam advises that you answer the question with a question of your own) and tried it out over the weekend.

Just as Sam predicted, I got one of those "ah-ha!" moments in reply. Very nice technique - check it out!


  1. Thanks for posting this. I've been looking forward to it and am now off to download.

  2. Glad to hear it - I'm interested in what you think of the advice given.

  3. I loved it. I'm keeping the podcast on my iphone so I can listen to it until it's ingrained in my brain. You both brought up excellent points, and you saved me from having to write the elevator pitch I've never been able to come up with.

  4. Fascinating! This is a very compelling topic and cuts to the core of everything. I'm a real "give me an example" girl, so this resonated. In that same vein, Karen, can you tell us how your own script went? What did you say, or rather, what sorts of questions did you ask of your elevator person, what response did you get, and how did it lead you to best describe what you do? Specific example, please! Love your podcast.

  5. I usually say something like, "I write about small business" or "I'm a business writer" - which is clear as mud to most people and takes a lot of clarifying, during which time they lose interest.

    My new response:
    "Have you ever heard of Dear Abby or known someone who wrote to Ann Landers for advice?"
    "Well - yeah."
    "I'm like Dear Abby, but for small business owners. They ask me questions and I write a column that gives them business advice."
    "OHhhhh ... really?! That's so interesting!"

    The only drawback is that younger people may not know Dear Abby as her brand fades over the years. In England advice columnists are known as "Agony Aunts" (which cracks me up) but I don't think that'd translate here.

  6. That really works! And I think there are advice columnists for younger people, probably on the web (or maybe doing podcasts?). Worth researching.

  7. Yeah, there's Amy Dickinson of Ask Amy and probably others I could find that are more youth-specific. Of course there's also Dan Savage, who writes a sex advice column, but I don't know my column really equates with "Savage Love." ;-)

  8. Yeah, you may want to consider with whom you want to be identified...

  9. This is in my top five favorite podcasts. I've already shared the advice with several clients.

  10. I play this one for myself regularly as self-coaching. And always look forward to more podcasts from you, Karen.