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  • Writer's pictureLiz Maguire

Defining the 'It'.

Let's pretend you're at a networking event and you've just bumped into "the" person you're there to meet. As they make their coffee, stirrer in hand, they ask: "And what do you do?". Here's your big moment. Your make it or break it. start with a speech about how miserable you were at your last job so you left and started a company and you're based out of XYZ. Nope! That's not the trick. Stick to your "it". What is your "it", or your "why"? Don't bog yourself and your potential investor or client down in the details; give them a shiny sweet "it".

In this post we'll look at three questions for narrowing down your definition of "it" so that you can peel this bad boy out of your pocket at your next networking event as easily as your name badge peels from the sticker backing.

What do I do? What does my product/service do?

Chances are you started your company because you saw a need in the market. Perhaps you were in an industry for a time and kept asking for the product or service that you ended up inventing, because no one else had it. That is your brand story. And don't get it wrong; brand story is super important. But what your brand does is your "it". In this example let's say that you were a nurse and you noticed a need for an application to consolidate patient data. (Bear with any obvious blunders!) Your product is an application that hospitals purchase an annual subscription to which nurses can use to plot patient data more efficiently to save time and show potential life-saving opportunities.

Photo by Patty Brito on Unsplash

Let's make it even simpler! It can be done. Your app is a way for nurses to plot patient data to save time and avoid risk. Having your brand story and "it" down pat will mean that you can use this piece of script in situations over and over again. Giving a presentation? Pad out our brand story and "it" with a bit more detail. Meeting someone for a coffee? Cut it down but don't skimp on the benefits of your "it". Making sure to tweak your pitch to your audience is priceless and while it's not easy, it is worthwhile.

What pain points do I or my product/service alleviate?

Future clients or investors will want to know what pain points your brand has found in the market and how your product or service helps. Have an example at the ready. Again, the nursing app example. In your years as a nurse you found that your colleagues had trouble tracking something between shifts. So you created an app that made that easier, and safer, for your colleagues and your patients. People want to hear about the money your app will save them...and they want to hear about the lives it will save, later.

Having your pain points and solutions ready to roll out in small talk is a huge step towards establishing yourself as an expert in your area. You may be presenting at an industry conference or you could be chatting to someone in line for the toilet at a bar, but you should present yourself as the expert at all times. Note: Dominating and domineering is not expertise. Gracious, polite statements of knowledge based inference will go a long way towards convince prospective connections that you are a trusted advisor in your area. Which, one hopes, you are.

Why should people care?

Before you can really answer your "it" completely you have to bring it home with why your conversation partner should care. If they're industry, they should care for obvious reasons. If they are adjacent to the industry or involved in funding/financing/investing, they will want to care for different reasons. When you isolate in your conversation and research why an individual should care about your product/service you can answer that question for them before they are even able to ask it. Being two steps ahead allows you to frame your question and response. By answering the question about why they should care so early in your introduction to the service/product you are already opening the conversation to next steps rather than clarifying details. And when the conversation is open, the opportunities come.


You can present your service/product, match the pain point to your solution, and tell them why they should care in three sentences. Defining your "it" takes practice and focus but once you have a story you'll be amazed what doors it opens.

Get in Touch.

Want to learn more about working with Litir Marketing to define your "it"? Get in touch! Send us an email

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