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The 5 C's: Conclusion

Following The 5 C's: Your Content (Conclusion)

From Career Tips, 2022 Volume 8, August 2022


Here are my 5 C's of an Effective Marketing Message:

Several Cs








Last time I covered the basic building block of your Content, your one-line answer to "What Do You Do?" Now let's build that out into a more complete pitch.


Let me reiterate a fundamental principle that should run through every aspect of your marketing message: 


Leave them wanting to know more


  • Don't worry about providing information. That will come later in the conversation when the other person expresses interest.
  • Don't worry about communicating your title or actual job. That, too, will come later, when the other person actually cares to know.
  • Don't worry about showing how intelligent you are, or that you have the right jargon for your industry, or whether others really want what you have.


Just focus on being interesting, and expressing the benefit of your work or your service.


So what should you do when you are at an event and asked to introduce yourself, either with the traditional 30 second pitch or even a bit longer segment?


Follow the same principle. Focus entirely on answering the WIIFM question (What's In It For Me?) for your target customer, company or networking contact.


Don't use the additional sentences of your pitch to provide information, use them to generate more interest in the benefits of what you bring to the table.


Here's a good way to do that. Think about a specific example of how you helped a client, prospect, webinar attendee, your boss, your company, etc., and then build a simple case study into your pitch.


Last time I used a local banker as an example, and suggested this as one possible answer to "What Do You Do?":


"I help small business owners

struggling to secure the financing to grow their business."


If they instead were in the position of delivering a 30 second pitch, they could expand it along these lines.


“Ahmed was desperate for the funds to keep his business open, and had been turned down for financing by several banks. 

I took a close look at his operation, and figured out how we could justify the $50,000 in operating capital he needed. 

He is now a leader in his market segment, and his business is worth $5 million.

I'm Joe Smith, and I help small business owners struggling to secure the financing they need to grow their business.”


If you heard that, wouldn't you be curious about Joe? Wouldn't you be interested in hearing more stories about how he has helped his customers?


Notice that the pitch still didn’t identify Joe as a banker. He might be, or he might be some other form of lender. Or he might be a consultant who operates as an intermediary to help his clients secure loans. And I'm sure you could think of other possibilities.


The fact that it leaves that a bit of a mystery is a good thing – it leaves a question in people's minds that might generate more conversation.


What matters is that Joe raised the level of curiosity, so that others might want to know more. And even those who don't have any current need or interest in financing for themselves have now been equipped with a talking point that they might use to introduce Joe to someone else.


I try to do this with my own elevator pitches. I have a couple of networking groups I attend every month, and I even try to come up with different 'case studies' to include, so that over time the group will hear about different aspects of how I help people. Here's a recent one:


"Allan had an interview for a job he really wanted, that he thought went really well, and he was worried that he wasn't hearing back.

So he decided to write to the hiring manager, adapting the 'Why Not Just Hire Me Now' example I included in my 'Selling Your Achievements' package. 

The hiring manager responded immediately with a job offer, and told him that it was that letter that put him over the edge. 

I'm John Hadley, and I help job seekers who are frustrated with their search."


So here’s my 'homework' assignment for you:


  1. Come up with a simple case study illustrating the benefit you can provide to a customer, prospect or employer.
  2. Add the one-line answer to "What Do You Do" that you worked on last month, and combine them into a powerful elevator pitch.
  3. Send me what you come up with at


I'll send you back thoughts on what you can do to make it even more powerful.


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