The Talking Logo- What You Really Do for a Living


The Talking LogoTell me if this sounds familiar. You’re at a networking event and someone inevitably asks you….”What do you do for a living?” What do you say?

If you’re like most people you have the generic answer, “I’m in the mortgage business” or “I’m an account executive” or ” I own a small business” and you hand them a business card and then you’re either off to the next person or you’re stuck in a conversation with someone that you have no idea if they have a potential want or need for you and your services.

We have been programmed to answer with either our title or our industry. These types of answers offer little or no marketing value. I don’t think that most people comprehend that these moments are actually the first part of the ‘marketing’ process. Let’s flash back to our definition of marketing- “Getting someone with a need to know like and trust us”. By simply answering with a title or industry we’ve missed a very valuable opportunity to actually qualify them to see if they may have a need.

So what is the solution?

We at Sticky Marketing Systems call it the “Talking Logo”. A talking logo is a carefully crafted reply to the question, “what do you do for a living?”. Your Talking Logo is created in two distinct parts. Part 1 addresses your target market, and Part 2 zeros in on a problem, frustration, or want that market has.

You’ll know you have an effective Talking Logo when you tell someone what you do and they respond “Really, how do you do that?”

For example if someone was to ask me what I do for a living, I could respond ” I teach small business owners and service professionals how to get all the clients they want.”

8 out of 10 times someone will ask, “How do you do that?

I answer them, “I use a simple 7 step process that is endorsed by Harvard Business school and Forbes Business Review, to create and install a marketing system .”

A Talking Logo is a short statement (or question) that quickly communicates your firm’s position and forces the listener to want to know more.

The Formula

Here’s the formula to create your own: action verb (I teach, I show, I help), target market (business owners, plumbers, teachers, home owners), how to xxxx (solve a problem or meet a need).

Once you get clarity and comfortable saying your Talking Logo you can even take it on step further by actually getting the suspect to acknowledge the pain point (hot button) during the conversation.

For example some times I will answer their question of “what do you do for living”, with a question, like this: “You know how some small business owners struggle to get all the clients they want?” [wait for them to acknowledge “yes”] “Well I teach them a system to get all the clients they want”.

You will be amazed at how many people say things like “you know my sister is like that….” or “that sounds like my accountant…”

The formula would be: “You know how some Target Market (business owners, plumbers, teachers, home owners) struggle to xxxx(problem or need), I action verb (show, teach, help) to (solve that problem or meet need).

So go ahead and create your Talking Logo today!!


  1. I put my talking logo on the back of my business card. It usually inspires conversation.
    A talking logo is a great technique.

  2. Jeff,

    This is an exceptional post – i have to discard my business card and start working on the talking logo you mentioned.


  3. At the minimum you should have your thirty sec. elevator speech on the tip of your tounge to be able to recite.So many people I come in contact with at networking events do not have that information. I wonder how they can run their business.

  4. Jeff, right on ! I notice when I answer out of the box I have their immediate attention! I’ve tested it out,I answer ,I’m in sales and marketing, or I enjoy sales but spend a lot of time networking with people in all walks of life, how I find it’s truly amazing and fun to help others locate suppliers, customers, and other business contacts, that could help them in the near future now I have them asking me a zillion questions,and I can hear the excitement in their voice, they’ve just twigged I could be of some service to them, instead of only trying to sell them something ! If I say I’m in sales and marketing they may ask what? not to enthusiastically, I think it’s like, oh ya I they’ve heard it so many times it’s the norm response,slightly boring.

  5. Jeff, as someone who offers a range of services, this is something that I have to contend with and often neglect to address until I do a post-op whereupon I say, “I shoulda said… [insert perfect response here].”

    You propose a “system architecture” to help one address this common operational challenge, which is awesome. Some great advice and thanks for refreshing this topic for me.

  6. Jeff,

    Thanks, this does put a whole new perspective when explaining what I do. I confess of using the generic title, but now on I will get creative and become a “Talking Log”.


  7. I liked this idea and should think about it in order to manage to make it come true. Thanks for your great job!!!!

  8. The advantage here is that people will actually remember you. How many times I hear – “I met this guy – he is executive something” or “he does something to do with marketing”. People tend to forget things that are not clear to them.