Nail Your One-Sentence Summary

What do you say when you’re asked what you do?  Do you have something specific and memorable to respond with?  What’s your brand message?  Here’s how to supercharge your one sentence summary!


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Blog picture for Pinterest, branding photo of Laura McDouall by Jane Mucklow for Nail your One Minute Summary blog.


The Elevator Pitch, part 1: The one-sentence summary.

The Elevator Pitch gets its name from giving a 30-60 second pitch about what you do, in the time it would take to travel in a lift with someone.  It needs to be persuasive enough that they will remember you, and go and look at your website or socials as soon as they get back to their desk! 

You might be able to fit quite a lot into that minute, but today we’re going to start with just one simple sentence to introduce yourself with. 

I have also seen this called the mission statement, though I feel that is more for a big company’s over-arching mission, or for when a small business starts or belongs to a wider movement or mission to change the world.  I would call it your Brand Message though, as it will reflect your brand and what you are all about, albeit in only one sentence!

Perhaps more usefully than pitching ourselves in a lift, as small business owners we would more usually use this when meeting and introducing ourselves to other business owners, whether in real life, or online!


Five Steps to help:

So what message do you want to share about your business?  Get clear on what you do, who for, and how you’re different.

Here are five questions to answer, to help you craft the one-sentence summary of your brand message.

1. Who are you? What’s your business name?

2. What do you do? / What do you sell?  – Narrow this down to one main thing.

3. Who do you do it for, who do you help, who do you sell to?

4. What’s the benefit? – what problem do you help them solve, what is the transformation they get, what goal do you help them achieve?

5. What’s your USP, why are you different? – what’s the unique value of working with you over someone else?


Craft your One-Sentence Summary

Using your answers to the above questions, put them together into a single sentence.  It may well take a few tries!  (See my example below).  Here are a couple of  ways to help you do this…  

Fill in the gaps of the following sentence:

I help… to… by/through/with…   


I help… so you can… without…

The shorter the sentence the better, for making it understandable and memorable.   Be interesting too!   Position yourself as the expert, and be clear how you help people.   Your ideal client/customer needs to know that you are speaking to them.  It needs to fit your brand too, and match all the other messages you are putting out there about you and what you do.

Hopefully it will then stick in the minds of the people reading or hearing it, so they remember what you do ready for when they need you, or to recommend you to someone else. 


Example One Sentence Summary

As an example for you, here’s my current one.  And I say that, because it has taken a while to get here with it, which is why I thought it might be useful to share all this with you.  There’s no need to feel that you can never change it: refer back to it all the time, and amend it when your business changes, or you’ve just learnt more about your business and ideal client.  If you have different ideal clients, for different parts of your business, write a different sentence for each, and use depending on the context.  Try and have one overall version too though.

“I help female business owners to grow their visibility, brand and business, with beautiful story-telling brand photography”.

Or I could shorten it even more to:

“I help female business owners get more clients with amazing photography”.

Sometimes I swap ‘business owners’ for ‘entrepreneurs’, and I’d like to narrow the who part down further – it’s a work in progress!  Obviously in person, with someone new, I would preface it with  “Hi I’m Jane, of Picture Your Brand”.  I can also say it the other way round:

“I create beautiful story-telling brand photography for female entrepreneurs, to grow their visibility, brand and business with”.

Write a few versions of yours, and see which you prefer.  



Using your Summary

Now you’ve got it sorted, use it everywhere!  Get sharing, and start getting yourself more visible. 

Here are ten places you can use your sentence:

1. As your LinkedIn headline

2. In your social media bios

3. At the top of your website homepage

4. Whenever you are asked ‘What do you do?’

5. At the start of your elevator pitch

6. At the start of your one or two minute networking introduction

7. When introducing yourself in a new facebook group

8. When advertising yourself on a share your business thread on social media

9. Include it in your bio for guest blogs or PR

10. Use it in your email signature


It’s also super useful for guiding you in everything you do for your business.  Keep it in mind with every bit of work you do, all your content, all your marketing – is it all aligned with what your business is and who it is for?  It can help you to decide what you do next, what you stop doing, what you keep doing.  It’s rather handy isn’t it?!

Jane x


Read my next blog, on expanding the one sentence summary into a whole one minute pitch: How to Perfect your Elevator Pitch.



PS Are you in my free Facebook group Your Brand Story yet?  We are talking about the One Sentence Summary and your Elevator Pitch this month.  Click the photo to come over and join us:

Fecebook group Your Brand Story cover photo, photo of Jane Mucklow




Nail Your One Sentence Business Summary
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