While you know what you do, do you have a hard time telling others?
I’ve been freelancing and blogging for over 5 years now. So I’ve faced this many, many times. People ask me what I do. I answer “I’m a freelance writer,” and I get “Oh, so you write books?” Nope. Or I say “I work from home,” and I get that “Okay…” and that conversation just ends.
Or even worse, I get people who think I still stay home and do shit all day. I’m serious. To this day I still have family members who can’t quite grasp what I do. Probably cause they don’t really care …
But anyway, as a freelancer or blogger, the “What do you do?” question is sometimes annoying, sometimes painful and most often, unavoidable.
But when your job doesn’t quite fit into the norm, it can be hard telling people exactly what you do. It’s not always easy to sum up your work in a single word description. You can’t spout off a one word, recognizable and respected answer like a doctor or teacher can. And the truth is, unless they also work online, most people have no clue what you actually do.
So what’s a person like you, someone making a living online, supposed to say? How do you answer to avoid that dreaded blank stare or the “oh, that’s nice”?
Forget terms like blogger, designer and freelance writer. The key to telling people what you do, and blow them away with your answer, is to effectively tell them the value you provide.
Focus on Your Big Value
Now, I’ll be honest. Your big value answer is going to be longer than saying something like “writer” or “web designer.” But it will be something that people can understand, relate to, and (most importantly) be impressed by.
Your big value statement should focus on what you do for people. Not what features you have, but what benefits you bring to the table. It should also convey what sets you apart from other businesses or bloggers out there. Lastly, it should include words that people recognize and understand. Don’t stuff your statement with techy words that only other WordPress designers will get. If you do, you’ll be met with blank stares. Your value should clear, concise and easy for just about anyone to understand.
Start by figuring out who you help. Be specific. What type of people do you help? For example:
- small businesses
- aspiring entrepreneurs
Now, what do you help them do? What do you help them achieve? How do you make their lives better? For example:
I help (your answer above) to:
- Make money online
- Get more sales
- Organize their lives
- Build a website they can be proud of
Lastly, what is your “how”? How do you help these people? For example:
I help _____ to ______ by:
- Showing them how to brand their business.
- Creating content that will help bring their business attention.
- Showing them how to create a home schedule.
- Using creative design services.
Put it all together now.
I help small businesses build a website they can be proud of by using creative design services.
I help parents organize their lives by showing them how to create a home schedule to get things under control.
I help businesses get more sales online by creating content that will help bring them attention.
If you really can’t get away from your job title, go ahead and add it!
I’m a freelance designer and I help small businesses build a website they can be proud of by using creative design services.
I’m a writer who helps businesses get more sales online by creating content that will get their business attention.
Now that you have your big value statement, practice it. Say it yourself in the mirror. And be confident! No one will believe in you if you don’t seem like you believe in yourself.
You can even add your value statement to your website mission statement and use it in your social media profiles.
When you work from home, explaining exactly what you do can be difficult. Especially to people who don’t quite get working online. Instead of listing off a job title that most people just don’t understand, build a value statement that will clearly convey who you work with and what you do.