• Emily Hopper

How to Grow Your Business with One Simple Statement: The One-Liner.

How many times have you been asked, “what do you do?”


How many times have you actually had a decent response?


If you’re anything like me, answering the inevitable, “so… what do you do?” makes me clam up, stress out, and blurt out an awkward or poorly thought out response more often than not.


Fortunately for us entrepreneurs, there is a simple solution to this commonly recurring issue… the one-liner.


A one-liner is a simple and memorable statement that you can use to clearly explain who you are, what you do and what you offer. It is the single best copywriting “trick” to cleaning up your messaging, creating consistency in your marketing, and sounding authentic to your audience.


It differs from a mission statement in that it’s centered around the needs of your customers rather than centered around the goals of your brand. It’s longer than the traditional tagline and shorter than a paragraph.


It can be used to answer the inevitable questions at dinner parties, memorized by your team or employees to create greater cohesiveness around your business, and pretty much placed in just about any marketing collateral you create.


A one-liner is an effective marketing and networking tool and when you memorize it, you’ll save so much time and breath when it comes to explaining your business to others.


So, keep reading to learn how to create a one liner using three parts.

Part 1: The problem.


The first part of a one liner is stating the problem or pain point your customers face.


Beginning your one-liner with a problem is what grabs the attention of the listener because it allows them to identify with the issue that you help resolve. You want them to say, “that’s me! I have that problem!”


Remember, when you’re speaking about your business, it’s about your customer, not you.


You want to avoid opening with something like, “Hi, my name is Emily and I live in Texas and I have a cat named Muffins and I love doing yoga.” Rather, start with something like: “Most people struggle with...”, or “A lot of people feel like...”


And then be specific. The more you can pinpoint the problem you solve, the more people will be able to relate to your product or service and easily identify if it is something they are interested in or not.


Here’s an example: “Many business leaders struggle to talk about what they do.”


It’s true, it’s clear, and even if it doesn't relate to you directly, it’s understandable and begins to paint the picture of the problem you solve.


Part 2: The solution.


The second component of a one-liner is: the solution. The solution simply explains how you’re going to solve your customer’s problem.


This is where you talk about the specific plan that is going to resolve the issue you just stated. It’s important to make the solution understandable and clear, but also brief. Ideally, you want to make it feel fresh, exciting, and like a new idea.


For example: “I’ve created a communication template that helps you clarify your message.”


It’s concise, clear, and offers a service that fulfills the need of the customer's problem. Don't over think this. Simply state what it is that you offer.


Part 3: The success.


The final step in creating an effective one-liner is to ramp up the success and paint a picture of what life looks like after the potential customer has solved their problem and found the solution.


In this step, you will clearly explain how your customer will feel after you solve their problem. In other words, you want to paint a picture of your customers’ life after their pesky problem is resolved.


It’s important to describe a successful and happy ending to their story. To do this, include things that they want or desire and explain how your product or service allows them to achieve this goal or new lifestyle.


Avoid cliches such as, “all your dreams will come true”, and don’t be too vague with something like, “everything will work out for the best!” You want them to be able to visualize themselves living this wonderful life where their problem is solved.


For example: “when you clarify your message, word starts to spread about your company, customers engage more, and your business grows.”


Your customer will be thinking “heck yeah, that’s what I want! I want my business to grow, I want more customers!” This gets your listener excited about solving their problem and ready to buy the service being offered.


The “success statement” of the one-liner should inspire action and allow your potential customer to feel what their life would be like if they worked with you.


Putting it All Together


Now, let’s put all three parts of our one-liner together.


Many business leaders struggle to talk about what they do. That’s why I’ve created a communication template that helps you clarify your message. When you clarify your message, word starts to spread about your company, customers engage more, and your business grows.


Not bad, huh? It’s concise, relatable, and understandable. It states a problem and immediately offers a solution. It explains what kind of service you offer while simultaneously calling on your potential customer to work with you.


Just to make sure we’re on the same page, here are some more one-liner examples:


Many artists struggle with creating an online store where they can adequately showcase and sell their artwork. My company provides an individualized approach to creating e-marketplaces, so that artists can spend more time in their zones of genius- creating art.


Many people are tired of suffering from unpleasant side-effects of prescription drugs. That’s why my company uses only organic and all-natural ingredients in our pain-management products. It’s our goal to minimize your pain and maximize your movement so you can continue doing the things you love.


Many pet owners are unaware of the harmful ingredients included in common brands of pet food. My team compiles and updates lists of well-known pet food brands and the pros and cons of their ingredients, so your pet can feel its best, and you can enjoy more playtime together.


After reading these one-liners, can you understand what each company offers and if you need their product or service? That’s clarity.


A One-Liner is a No-Brainer


Many business leaders don’t know how to tell their customers who they are or what they do, but now, you no longer have to be one of them.


Having a one-liner for your company will not only give you a better answer at Thanksgiving dinner, but it will also greatly improve your sales efforts. If you can have your coworkers or team memorize it, it gets your entire company on the same page and selling your services or products effortlessly.


Put your one-liner on your business cards, use it as your email signature, put it in your social media descriptions, paint it on the wall in your retail space or office, tattoo it on your forehead. Put it everywhere!


Your memorable, repeatable one-liner will market your company for you, allowing you to spend more time developing your brand, working with clients, or finally writing that blog you’ve been meaning to complete.


So, now that you know how… go write your one-liner!