350) The Anatomy Of 30-Seconds

To build a strong network of connections that give you referrals, contacts and information, you need to have a concise, yet very compelling, 30-second commercial. The problem is that you have so much to say and 30 seconds is really not a lot of time.

So, to conquer this challenge, here’s an effective framework to work with.

  • Start with a 5-second basic introduction that addresses the “who” you are, such as your name and the business you represent;
  • Add to that a message that addresses the what you do in 15 seconds or less;
  • From there, use 5-seconds to create credibility by sharing how long you’ve been doing it or some key clients you’ve served.
  • Finally, wrap this up with a 5-second, strong definite request as to how they might help you.

Now, if you carefully draft each of these sub-parts and then piece them together with your own personal flair, you end up with a very effective 30-second commercial. Good luck.


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How You Share Your Message with Others

How You Share Your Message with Others

In your 30-second commercial, the Basic Introduction (name, business, what you do) is an essential element. However, there are relatively few options for you to present this information. It is largely void of creativity, right? That’s okay because the time for creativity is in how you share your message with others.

You see, your message is essentially the heart and soul of your 30-second commercial, and you can approach it from many different angles. To get your point across, you can INFORM, EDUCATE, AMUSE, or STARTLE the listener.

You might be thinking, “But there’s nothing remarkable about what I do.” Certainly, what you do may seem like basic vanilla…to you. But it might not be to others who aren’t in your field. So, try to convey in your message all the different WHERE’S and HOW’s you do what you do. With that, you can add some creativity to your message body.

Consider a real estate agent. “My name is Bob. I’m a real estate agent with ABC Realty. I help people buy and sell houses.” Sounds rather “vanilla”, right? But there are lots of reasons, situations, and stories around when and why people buy or sell a house. What if instead, Bob said:

  • “My name is Bob. I’m an expert at helping growing families get out of an apartment and into their first home.”
  • “My name is Bob with ABC Realty. Yesterday I helped a family find the perfect second home outside the city for quick getaway weekends.”
  • “I’m Bob with ABC Realty. Quick question. How do you fit a family of six with two dogs in a 1200 square foot home? Answer. You don’t! You call me to help find a larger home within your budget.”
  • “Have you ever thought about flipping houses for profit? Did you know [insert an obscure or fun fact about flipping houses]? My name is Bob with ABC Realty and I specialize in helping people find their first flip.”
  • “Last week I closed on a condo for a couple whose youngest child just got married and moved out. Their dream had always been to downsize to a condo once the kids were gone. Last week that dream became a reality. I’m Bob with ABC Realty.”
  • “My name is Bob. I’m a realtor with ABC Realty. I had coffee the other day with a guy who just inherited some money and is looking at investment possibilities. Being a realtor, I suggested investing in a rental property. He seemed intrigued and we have an appointment next week to explore some possibilities.”

A Basic Introduction

A Basic Introduction

Your 30-second commercial is your first connection with a potential new client or member of your network. As such, it is an essential part of your networking efforts. At just 30 short seconds, it’s an efficient way to convey important information. In order to also be effective, your message must be concise and include only your basic information. One of the most basic elements of your 30-second commercial is who you are. This is your Basic Introduction.

There is no magic to stating who you are in your Basic Introduction. After all, it is, well, basic. Nevertheless, this part of the 30-second commercial is important.

In your Basic Introduction you need to clearly articulate your name (is it Mike or Michael? … Kim or Kimberly?). Then state your title and the work you are associated with. Each of these is important.

Now, nothing says it has to be in this precise order. You could achieve the same objective by phrasing your Basic Introduction as:

  • “I am a franchise broker with National Franchising Group. My name is John Doe.” Or…
  • “I am with National Franchising Group. My name is John Doe, and I am a franchise broker.” Or…
  • “I’m John Doe, a franchise broker with National Franchising Group.”

Whatever the case, your 30-second commercial must address who you are.

30-Second Commercial 8 of 8

If you think about it, considering all these different options and orders, there are literally dozens (if not hundreds) of different 30-second commercials for you. So, do not stop at just one. Rather, select a handful of the ones that you feel are the most powerful for you and where you are the most comfortable saying them. Go with these.

Like anything, however, you will not get good at delivering your 30-second commercials without preparation, planning and practice.

Write Them: Using something as basic as a small note pad or 3×5 cards, neatly write or type your commercials for future reference.

Review Them: Once you have them written out, keep them handy so that you can practice or review them from time to time (just a few minutes each week is plenty).

Use Them: When someone then asks, “Who are you?”, do not hesitate. Have the courage to launch into one of your 30-second commercials (picking the appropriate one for the time and place).

Refine Them: Your 30-second commercials are always a work in process. You should look for ways to update them to make them more clear or better represent you.


30-Second Commercial 7 of 8

An effective 30-second commercial is good but having more than one is better. You have a lot to offer and it won’t all fit in one commercial.

No two people are the same and no two situations are the same. Thus, it only stands to reason that you have different messages to fit different situations and people.

Plus, if you consistently say the same thing, it eventually becomes “white noise.” Don’t fall into the “one size fits all” trap. Consider the following:

  1. Develop a variety of Message Bodies – some informative or educational, others flippant or amusing, still others something with a little shock value (where you really want to grab some attention quickly).
  2. Vary the reason WHY people should refer you. What information about you or your company will instill confidence and boost your credibility? What makes you uniquely qualified or sets you apart?
  3. Vary the request. In some settings you can outright ask for people to refer you clients. In others, ask for a connection to a strategic partner (an accountant or attorney, perhaps). Or maybe you need to ask for information (such as details on networking events, job transition groups or background on people).

To summarize, make your 30-second commercials effective by having different Message Bodies, relying on different things to establish Confidence, and altering the Request.

The order in which you present this information can vary. The above framework is a suggested guide. It is not an ironclad rule of thumb. Lead with something to inspire confidence or, perhaps, your strong definite request, or even an amusing message body.

It does not matter how you slice or dice the framework. The key is conveying the message with all the bits and pieces in about 30 seconds.

30-Second Commercial 6 of 8

Now clearly articulating WHO you are, WHAT you do and WHY you are uniquely qualified is nice. However, in a sense, it is like having a souped up car with no wheels. To complete your 30-second commercial, you need to clearly state WHAT it is you need.

Now I hear lots of 30-second commercials and many of them have a weak finish. This is because they have a wimpy ASK or request. The best way to illustrate this is through an example … An example of what not to do. Do not make your HOW statement something like, “A good referral for me is someone in transition or not happy with the direction of their career.” Rather, here is a better example.

“If you know of someone in transition or not happy with the direction of their career please introduce me to them.”

The main difference between these two is that the second has a “call to action.” If you see or know of this, please send it my way … Or give me their number … Or invite them to my seminar.

The first example … A good referral for me is someone in transition or not happy with the direction of their career … gives the same information, but it leaves someone wanting to say, “That’s nice.”

It is like my kids. They will say, “Dad, I am hungry.” And my response is, “Thanks. That is good to know.” They now know they need to make a Strong Definite Request. “Dad, can you cook me Mac-n-Cheese?” They are asking for action, which is far more powerful.

30-Second Commercial 5 of 8

Everyone has competition, including you. What makes you unique amongst your competition?

Again, WHY you? Your 30-second commercial needs to convey credibility and confidence that serves to answer that question before it is asked. Consider an example.

“Not only have I helped more than 100 people get into the right franchise, I also spent 10 years as a CPA … helping my clients know what they were getting.”

Who would a prospective franchisee prefer to work with? Just anyone or someone with this background? The answer should be obvious (at least the question was intended to be rhetorical). The point is that Inspiring Confidence (answering the “WHY you?”) is vital to your 30-second commercial.

30-Second Commercial 4 of 8

There are few options to the basic introduction (as discussed in part 3); it is largely void of creativity, right? That’s okay, because you can more than make up for it with the Message Body. This is essentially the heart and soul of your message and you can approach it from lots of different angles … You can INFORM the person or EDUCATE … You can even AMUSE or STARTLE them to get the point across.

You might be sitting there saying, “There is nothing to what I do.” Certainly, what you do may seem like basic vanilla. What you need to give yourself credit for (and convey in your messages) are all the different WHERE’S and HOW’s you do what you do. With that, you can add some creativity to your message body.

For example, a real estate agent helps someone buy a house. Basic vanilla, right? But there are lots of reasons WHY and situations WHEN they do this, like when people want to…

  • Get out of an apartment.
  • Have a bigger house.
  • Have a smaller house.
  • Have a second house.
  • Renovate and flip a house.
  • Invest in real estate and rent a house…or two.

Each of these could be the basis for a completely separate message body. No doubt, you can do the same for your business or profession. Read on in Part 5.

30-Second Commercial: Part 3 of 8

Your 30-second commercial should address “who you are?” There is no magic to stating the WHO, the Basic Introduction. After all, it is (well) basic. Nevertheless, this part of the 30-second commercial is important.

In your Basic Introduction you need to clearly articulate your name (is it Mike or Michael … Kim or Kimberly). Then state your title and the work you are associated with. Each of these is important.

Now, nothing says it has to be in this precise order … You could achieve the same thing by re-stating the example “I am a franchise broker with National Franchising Group … I am John Doe” Or “I am with National Franchising Group. My name is John Doe. I am a franchise broker.”

Whatever the case, your 30-second commercial should address “who you are?” The next step is in Part 4.

30-Second Commercial: Part 2 of 8

To build a strong network of contacts that give you referrals, contacts and information, you need to have a concise, yet very compelling, 30-second commercial. The problem is that you have SO MUCH to say and 30 seconds is really not a lot of time.

So to conquer the challenge of conveying lots of information in a short period of time, it is helpful to have a framework to work with. Here is an effective one:

  • Start with a basic introduction for yourself (this addresses WHO you are) …
  • Add to that a Message (which addresses WHAT you do) …
  • From there, you need to Inspire Confidence or create credibility (which tackles WHY you over all the other choices) …
  • Then you wrap this up with a Strong Definite Request of what you need (this is HOW they can help you).

Now, if you carefully draft each of these sub-parts and then piece them together with your own personal flair, you end up with a very effective 30-second commercial. For more, see Part 3.