What is a catch phrase? We are all familiar with a 30 second speech “30 second elevator speech” which is meant to elevate your business with just a few sentences. A catch phrase is something that helps your brand. Everyone who is selling something has a brand. A brand is something that sets you apart from others. For example, if you are involved in an industry that others are involved in, such as real estate or massage therapy, your brand describes what you offer that is different from the others? Why would someone chose you over the next person? We often tend to over explain what we do. While seemingly good, it often leaves the other person a bit confused because they cannot recall EXACTLY what you do. This is where your catch phrase comes in. A catch phrase is a 5-9 word sentence that describes what you do. The tricky part is to tell not just what you do, but what you do that stands out. Start out with “I am a…” or “I do..” and add your 5-9 words. An example might be “I am a wedding photographer.” A better description might be “I am a story-telling wedding photographer.” To take it one step further, “I am a wedding photographer that will make you cry.” The business catch phrase would read next to or below your logo or type treatment.
Whatever your catch phrase is, try to make it in sync with what you do but also interesting enough to stand out and be memorable. If you go past 7-9 words (7 words is proven to be the most effective) you will start to loose your audience. Here is a worksheet to help you get started.
CATCH PHRASE WORKSHEET
Step One: Write a 3-5 sentence paragraph describing what you do. This may be for your 30 second commercial.
Step Two: Circle the key descriptive words in the above paragraph and write them down.
Step Three: Start with the basic structure of your catch phrase. (ie. I am a student of photography.)
Step Four: Elaborate on your phrase to include one descriptive term. (ie. I am an avid student of photography.)
Step Five: Include something that sets you apart. (ie. I am an avid student of photography who captures life as it happens.)
Try out several different versions. It may take multiple tries before you get just the right one. Once you think you have it, try it out on a few people and see what the reaction is. The moment you decide what the perfect catch phrase is, stick with it. You have now branded yourself. If you change it around all the time, you will continue to confuse your potential clients. Be smart, help your customers KNOW what you do.