Elevator schmelevator pitch. Here’s a cool alternative to ‘I help X do Y.’

Rachael Cumberland-Dodd
3 min readMar 14, 2023


Photo by Pelin Kahraman on Unsplash

What do you do?

Four little words that can give even the most confident biz owner the heebies and the jeebies.

It’s not that you don’t know what you do, you bloody well do!!

It’s just that it will take you 15 minutes and 7000 words to explain — by which time you’ve bored yourself and the curious cat who asked you the question.

But, big Q….does it really matter that you can’t squeeze your life’s work into a pithy ‘elevator’ pitch?

Yes And No.

YES cos packaging your work into a few sentences gets you attention, and attention brings confidence, and confidence boosts courage, which brings about more attention…etc etc.

The more you say it, the more you want to say it, and the more you believe it.

And NO. If you’re one of those peeps whose work is so deep and nuanced that to package it into an I help X do Y statement would feel paper-cut painful, then the standard elevator pitch is not for you.

HOWEVER, your job, my job, any biz owner’s job is to make a connection & start a conversation.

So, my multi-passionate, multiple-modalities, I-help-anyone coach instead of the conventional elevator pitch try this…
When someone asks you what you do, say…

My job is so cool, I get to….

then list the awesome things you’ve helped clients to do that week/month.
Voila instant conversation! (Big up’s to Ash Ambirge for the inspo)

Wanna example? I said this last week:

I love my work, I’ve just rewritten a LinkedIn bio for a client and she loves it, she’s now on social all the time finding and connecting with people’

This wee sentence kick-started a fab conversation about using social media to forge deeper connections. It was a rich, fulfilling, and memorable exchange — for us both.

Now, take a pause & give it a whirl
Stop reading and spend 5 mins noting down all the kick-ass stuff you’ve helped clients do this week/month.

And if you’re feeling bold, post it on social.
Or save it for when you need a confidence hit, or have a networking shindig coming up.

Now, whether you’re a I help X do Y or I love my job cos… kinda girl, the secret to answering the What Do You Do Q without stammering, spluttering or second guessing is getting clear on your Who What Why & How

And I believe getting clear on the Who What Why & How of your business isn’t the sort of thing you want to do alone.

You need a questioner, a framework, someone to call Whaaat TF? when you’re wandered off into waffley coach speak.

That person can be a business chum, a messaging pro, or a favourite ex-client. Find yourself someone you trust and ask them ‘how would you explain what I do?’

Getting your message right is messy, but let it be. Permission (if permission is needed) to play, experiment, and have fun.

If you need more marketing fun in your life (plus brand building and messaging smarts) sign up to the Tuesletter — all the cool kids are there.



Rachael Cumberland-Dodd

Marketing is Medicine folks. Brand-builder & messaging guide, plus evolving human being. feedmarketing.gg