Explaining How I Make a Living

2/11/IMG_5163.jpg”>Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico

One of my biggest challenges I have is trying to explain to others how I make a living. Others constantly are selling themselves to the point where they are spamming people online and offline. When I want to explain what I do, I worry that I don’t cross that thin line of sharing things vs. pushing my thoughts onto others.

Always be selling

Something I try to do with people that I think might be interested in the services I offer is to sell them on how I can bring value into their lives. My good friend Chris Brogan reminds me often in his newsletter and his blog to always be selling.

Too Much Info

My biggest struggle is finding a balance to not give them more information than what they can absorb. I like explaining things in detail which can work against me if I’m not careful.

For the past few months I have been trying to put together my elevator pitch. Getting that 30-second explanation of what I do for a living right.

My objective is having potential clients understand how I am different from competitors. I want my unique value proposition in helping future clients make the decision to hire me.

Looking into what I do I realize that I mainly do these 5 things:

  • Develop Clean & Functional Websites
  • Coach others on how to improve Online Communications
  • Create and Mirror Your Business Model Online
  • Disrupt “Business as Usual” Thinking
  • Simplify Complex Business Processes into practical and sustainable ones.
I need your Help!

As I look into these 5 items I need to synchronize them in a way where others can clearly understand what I am offering.

When you look at those five items what do you understand?

What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you see them?



  1. Joaquín R. Kierce on November 15, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Online kickass enabler

    • Raul Colon on November 15, 2012 at 8:55 am

      Thanks @twitter-7009332:disqus .

  2. Bobbi Klein on November 15, 2012 at 9:04 am

    creative website developer and online business generator. If you need more help developing your elevator speech/ branding, let me know.

    • Raul Colon on November 15, 2012 at 9:09 am

      I think it is a work in progress since I want to continue growing and moving into new things! Thanks for the help!

  3. Momekh on November 15, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Because I too have suffered with such attempts at “marketable categorisation”… I’d suggest you use something like, “online business consultant”. It’s a bit boring if you ask me, but if we try to get in the client’s head, I think this title will be most helpful in helping them understand your range of services. The real deal is the way you communicate AFTER they have read your title 🙂
    All the best Raul 🙂

    • Raul Colon on November 15, 2012 at 10:11 am

      I think that is a good start. My biggest battle is not being put into a group with the rest of “Online Business Consultant” which have other agendas that are not necessarily helping out clients.

      I think your comment help me clarify I have to use one of these terms to reel them in and in the communication explain why I am different.

      Thanks a lot!

  4. jaap den dulk on November 15, 2012 at 10:03 am

    First bullet made me think web-developer. Then reading the others: Marketing & business consultancy. But then my mind was already primed into label ‘web services & development’

    Functional descriptions. What I don’t understand: Why? Why do you offer this. Would help me to relate to you personally if I would have some emotional cues to see where your passion lies.

    You seem to me somebody who doesn’t give up on people. Forgive me, it’s a simple conclusion based on the sample of n=1 and I don’t know you that well, but let me explain your effect on me 35 days ago: You made me take the 20k challenge by chasing the challenge question from facebook to twitter. I’m still writing every day because of a tweet in your timeline.

    • Raul Colon on November 15, 2012 at 10:08 am

      @twitter-1675601:disqus this has been one of the neatest comments I have gotten. The reason I invest time in writing is because I want to learn from others and if I can get someone to write or change behavior in a positive way that is the icing on the cake.

      I guess my passion is in connecting business goals, functionality, web design, and development! But overall making sure those are aligned with good ethical business practices.

      I don’t give up on people. Something that I have learned to modify because some people might find it too intrusive. I search for different ways to influence. You have made my week!

    • Yukari Peerless on November 15, 2012 at 10:34 am

      I like what others are saying but I particularly resonate with what Jaap is saying. So I’m going to jump in here.

      My first thought was, “I didn’t know you do Web development” I’m afraid Online Consultancy doesn’t cover your web dev part? At least for me that’s not what I imagined when I heard the words.

      Like Jaap said, what makes you different from other consultants is that you are focused on personal development, connecting with people, and that you actually care. Not sure about you but for me web developers stereotype is that they don’t really get the human side of things…(no offense to developers out there!) so you can market yourself as someone who can do technical stuff(sorry that’s the word I can come up with – I’m not the dev person, can you tell? ;)) with heart.

      • Raul Colon on November 15, 2012 at 10:48 am

        @yukaripeerless:disqus great that you mentioned that. I find a big disconnect in those writing content (Copywriters), designers (Creatives, Developers, their customers, and the audience they are creating online efforts for.

        I try to connect all of those and translate what they do. Your response made me smile since I do agree that generally most developers speak 1’s and 0’s and sometimes disconnect from the objectives and does who does objectives will impact.

        The reason I wrote this post was because I wast talking to an online friend and realized that all these years and since I hardly ever promote what I do she did not know I was a developer.

        Being human is something the forces on earth and from the universe make us forget all the time. When I have a major issue usually I left the being human part out of the equation. Thanks for your feedback!

  5. Hector Alfredo MIllan on November 15, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Maybe something like Web Problem Solver or Web Innovation Agency, or Web Conquest Facilitator?

    • Raul Colon on November 15, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      @hector_loesencial:disqus I like the Web Innovation Agency …. Although Conquest is one I have not seeing for a while!

  6. Varadharajan K on November 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I think it lies somewhere in-between your earnestness to distinguish from other agendas, or more simply, conveying your own agenda of services and what Momekh’s suggestion is. To start with a term gives a context and then all these might come in and sink. so using Momekh’s suggestion as a starter but still achieving your communication would be the right thing to do, though will be challenging. My own impression was that you might be good at all those what you listed but you were not sure which you excel and want to promote as your service for the future.

    • Raul Colon on November 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Varadharajan K with this comment Anya Faingersh and Momekh I was able to tie a few things which will help me communicate when I move forward. I also really like some of Hector Alfredo MIllan terms.

      I think I excel by having a combination of those features which creates a new term. Thanks for your feedback it was extremely helpful!

  7. Anya Faingersh on November 15, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    What a cool thread of comments you have here Raul, I got energized only
    by reading them.

    I think you hit the nail on the head by saying “connecting business goals,
    functionality, web design and development”.
    You make it possible for any business to embody itself in other dimension –
    online. This is what you really do. Web design and development is one of the
    tools in your toolbox along with your great personal skills set and
    You take their business online, while all the points you listed explain
    how. For each prospective client you can choose a different emphasis, I mean
    from which side of your list start to explain. Due to the nature of my
    profession I’m circling a lot in the corporate world as well and what I see is often a gap between what is really needed and what people think they need. Some jump directly to the solution and technicalities, i.e. “we need site”, “come and implement this and that”, while others understand there is way more to that.
    There is nothing wrong with tailoring within the boundaries of your services. The need to adjust is inevitable. Everyone that provides a portfolio of services will always have to customize communication with each and every one of the prospective clients.

    • Raul Colon on November 15, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      @google-5895cb9a746608d32a97c42e20da6592:disqus ,

      I think the fact that you named it tools is a big advancement on how to project my message.

      I can use the advice @momekh:disqus and @twitter-19862138:disqus by explaining how I can help businesses and I can separate what can I do by reaching goals where possible clients can understand and showing the tools I will be using to get them there.

      I always tell people I will get them closer to what they need not what they think they want. In reality finding a happy medium with both is what closes deals and helps me stay true to my personal business goals.

      As for customization I always sit down with the client before submitting a proposal it helps me create a more precise offering tailored to their needs.

      Thanks for taking the time to answer with such great feedback!

  8. Joe on November 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    You need to simplify your list of 5 points. I read your five points and got that your digital business creator. Much shorter than your 5 items. The idea comes from Chris Brogans newsletter about two weeks ago.

    • Raul Colon on November 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm


      That is another reason this post was created. I like how Chris Brogran explained it in a newsletter and a conversation I had with someone I known for years that did not know we did web development.

  9. Prometeo on November 23, 2012 at 10:54 am

    It’s the first time I read about an “elevator pitch”. Very interesting concept.

    • Raul Colon on November 24, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      It’s something I have heard plenty of times but have not yet mastered!

  10. Lewis Miranda on November 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Q1: you are a website developer. a guy that creates the thing that comes on the screen.
    Q2: there are many of these.

    Raul, i vote that you aim to give a result instead of a pitch. What do you do? In the last month you got a retailer on line and they made 50K from it.
    THAT will set you above the crowd. or you got a retailer on line and the sales crew doubled their sales (or sales went up 110K) because they figured out how to use their IPADS and the store’s new site to show customers the inventory.
    my idea is, not a pitch, but a replicatable result. something that your prospect can see possible…

    • Raul Colon on November 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      I usually give results once the conversation has started. My biggest obstacle is that our clients are so diverse that pointing out results (which on occasions can be confidential) might not give clients what they are looking for. I need something to start the conversation and that is where all these comments have helped me define it!

  11. O-1 visa lawyer on December 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I think this is really a very nice post.

  12. Randy Ortiz on May 17, 2013 at 10:01 am

    By reading this I see Web Developer also Business and Media Consultant.
    I can see how it’s difficult to explain it in 30 seconds but applause you for going into this type of work. It doesn’t seem easy.

    I wanted to see if I could start a consultation service on the visual presence for artists. Many need help but have no clue how to go around it. It takes a special kind of person to be good at these 5 things you’re doing. More power to you!

    • Raul Colon on May 17, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      @google-f40121254a38370c83139150324e35cf:disqus If I can help in any way let me know.

      I am also offering some business coaching packages to help individuals take a concept from idea to a tangible product, service, or business.

  13. la diva latina mag on May 17, 2013 at 10:32 am

    i would make it 3 bullets. maybe combine #4 with # 2 somehow. and chuck #5. #1 is perfect. its simple and str8 to the point. GREAT article!

    • Raul Colon on May 17, 2013 at 9:09 pm

      @twitter-74896974:disqus thanks for the feedback and kind words. I share many of these topics in my newsletter on sunday.

  14. la diva latina mag on May 17, 2013 at 10:33 am

    the 1st thing i thought of is… oh! he designs websites. the 2nd thing was — oh! he does more than just that! he actually helps grow ur business! great work! im reposting!

    • Raul Colon on May 17, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      I think the growing the business part is what many people don’t see I have to find a way to simplify and merge both.