Typical dull statement – I am a marketer
Many web designers, graphic designers, and marketers vastly play down what it is that they do. I call it “the designer’s paradox” because a designer will refer to themselves as “just a designer” in order to not show off or stick their neck out.
But in the same breath, they’ll gladly critique another design and say it’s terrible. Before seeing another design and saying “that’s so good I could never do that.”
Perhaps upon reflection, we all do that to some extent. We all think everyone else’s job is easy, that ours is difficult and that we’re the only ones who can do our work just how we like it, but then there are also loads of other people better than us who we are afraid to compete against.
People don’t want a title
When someone asks “what do you do?” they’re not asking for a job title. Partly because it’s just a polite question that people ask at parties, the gym, sacrificial orgies, that kind of thing. Partly because most people don’t know what most jobs are. You’ve got the big players, doctors, police, fireman, teacher, writer. But even then, most people don’t know what you do during that job.
Telling someone you’re an operations efficiencies coordinator could mean that you’re a logistics manager working on $30 million projects. Or you put the stock back on the shelves in grocery shops. What people want is a micro-story that tells them the type of adventures you go on.
Job titles like designer and coordinator and operations technician were invented by managers and human resource directors so they could understand their own business. It’s like labelling your snack cupboard or how my Mum organizes her tea (lots of different types, tastes, occasions, and times for different teas).
Job titles are for managers
A job title tells you where you fit within a wider organisation and is useful to two people. The HR director, and your manager.
When you’re telling anyone else what you do, don’t tell them what a manager calls you. Don’t tell them something you understand. Tell them something they understand. Put it into context that gives them an idea of the type of work you do, the results you get, and the BENEFITS you bring. Tell them the types of futures that you create.
Killer statement – I turn email addresses into monthly paying customers
A designer could be website, marketing, graphic, print, branding, font and so many more things. If you want to start uncovering what your products and services do, and make more sales, you need to uncover what you do and what you bring to the table.
Take a web designer for example. Let’s say that they have a ton of skills and they realize that their strong point is creating landing pages on websites. They like to work with subscription-based businesses and their sweet spot is landing pages that collect email addresses and sales pages that sell products.
Rather than call themselves a designer, they’ve answered with the question “what do you do?” by finishing the sentence “after working with me, my customers…” and in this case, their customers find monthly subscription customers from email addresses.
What do customers get after working with you?
If this is absolute nonsense and gobbledegook to you, don’t worry about the immediate example. Just think about the core, best result that you deliver to customers. What do they get in the future?
A trap that many people fall into is making their job sound more complex than it is/needs to be. “I’m a conversion optimization specialist technician”. Very very impressive no doubt and someone who calls themselves a CEO or director of a 2 person company is also clearly a big swinging dick.
However, the only person you’re impressing is yourself. If I can’t understand it, I don’t care about it. Keep bringing it back to “what does someone get after working with me?” In the future, after working with me, people can… and then use the prompts we’ve talked about above.
You don’t need to make a sale or lead in the first 10 seconds of meeting someone. Just tell them the result you get and they’ll understand. If they’re NOT interested, great! That means they’ll be a good referrer or colleague. If they do get it and want to learn more – they could well be a lead.