“What is it you do?”
Simple question really, so why is it so hard to give a succinct answer? When I’ve ironed my only shirt, pulled on the tweed waistcoat (yes, tweed, I’m a sophisticate) and rallied all my enthusiasm together and stride into a business networking event, the question “So, what is it you do?” will be mouthed in my direction. And for some reason it panics me. I’ve been doing this for over 18 years, but still I shit myself for a millisecond… “What is it I actually do?”
Ask my folks and they’ll tell you, whatever it is I do, I don’t do a proper job (it’s not in an office, where I wear a suit and pledge allegiance to the same company flag every morning for 30 years).
We make radio commercials and videos for clients all over the UK.
Short, succinct… BUT in my head… it goes something like…. “radio and video. Why lead with radio? TV is sexier! Clients like video. Only a small amount of businesses use radio. So why don’t I lead with Video? Well, it’s like a betrayal on my baby! Radio is where I started…”
We have had radio commercials played on every single FM/AM radio station in the UK. From SIBC (Shetland Isles Broadcasting Company, who I used to LOVE calling up and chatting to them, love that accent), to LBC, Classic FM and everyone else in between. We have been fortunate enough to work for (and in most cases still do), national and household named brands like Matalan, Jewson, Foxy Bingo, The Co-Op, Clarks, Dulux, Virgin Trains etc etc.
Even when writing this, I’m scared of doing a big steamy one on the chest of my beloved radio.
So let me ask you a question… If I met you at a business networking event, what would you like me to say? Something wanky like “I make my clients money through effective advertising and video promotions”, or would you prefer if I was just chatty, told you in a short and succinct way what I do?
There’s more, there’s corporate audio, on-hold audio, audio to video, social media content, 360 photos and videos etc etc, but where do you stop? To me it starts sounding like a list of show off stuff I can do. Do I add in my 50m front crawl certificate from when I was a kid? I’m not a show off. In fact, most “creatives” I know are rubbish at selling themselves. We’re just not that kind of people (obviously there are exceptions).
I’ve also learned from the past to not say “I’m a creative”, because then you get tasked with ANYTHING creative! “Draw this”… no, I can’t draw! “but you’re a creative”… uhu…
I’ve never been a “hard seller” which is probably why I was sent on Sales Training courses by previous employers, but I don’t believe I need to be a hard seller. A potential new client is buying me… me, the chatty, easy to work with, knowledgeable and professional dude, who has a wealth of experience and some pretty cool back catalogue of audio and video work to play you, along with the odd story or two from the “crazy days” of radio?
I believe that’s what people buy into. Tell me if I’m wrong.
So what is it I do? I over think things! That’s what! And just like writing and producing radio commercials / videos and social media content… we’re pretty damn good at it!