Attention all service based business owners (especially anyone in the realm of “life coaching”)
You’re hanging out at a dinner party and the douchy guy next to you (who has been trying to hit on you the entire night) finally takes a breath after talking about himself for 3 hours straight, and asks you what YOU do.
You reply with a slightly uncomfortable “I’m a life coach”.
And after he chokes on his drink because he couldn’t hold his snort to himself, he asks “What’s a life coach?”
And then you get into a long spiel about how you help people be their most authentic selves, create a life of purpose and passion, and live in alignment with their values”
Your gentleman friend slugs back his scotch and says “So, like, therapy?”
So you dive into the exact reasons why coaching differs from therapy (except, um, you’re still a little fuzzy on the exact differences, and while you do your best to sound like you know what you’re talking about, you start to see the guy’s eyes glaze over as he pours himself another single malt).
So you decide then and there that, OMG, you MUST figure out a better job title than ‘life coach’ (besides, you’re not a typical life coach, and you want a job title that really reflects your personality)
So you start playing around with words:
Or if you’re in another field: Business Fairy, Real-Food Diva, Happiness Optimizer, Word Chef, Design Gardener, Small-Business Flame-Thrower, Website Valet, Legacy Agent, *Fitness Dentist (*This option came out of a conversation with Lyndsay Rush about how people who make up these kinds of job titles tend to want to pull words from other industries. We giggled a lot, and the Fitness Dentist was born).
You get the point. Your clever job title makes no sense and no one has any idea what you’re talking about.
So you end up in the same situation as the poor life coach above, and you end up spending most of your time justifying your industry or taking in general terms (usually in a way that makes NO sense to the person you’re talking to), rather than actually giving people a clue about what YOU do, specifically.
Which clearly isn’t going to get you a client. Sure, it might be fine to put on your website if you already have a fun title in mind, but otherwise, skip it and learn to talk about what you do instead.
Now, I’m not a big fan of an “elevator pitch” or a “cocktail speech” (there’s nothing worse than the guy at a networking event who puts on his business voice and word for word recites his perfectly crafted pitch. Ughhhhh).
But there is something to be said for being able to explain what you do in a way that is succinct and MAKES SENSE.
Ideally, when you tell someone what you do, you want them to immediately think “OMG – I know someone who needs exactly that!”, then immediately call their sister and tell her to call her best friend and tell her about the amazing person they just met (that’s you).
And having a fancy and clever job title won’t help you do that.
Know what will?
Being able to tell people what problem you solve, using words they actually understand.
A fancy job title feels fun and cool, but it won’t get you business.
So if you’ve been struggling to come up with the perfect witty job title, I DARE YOU to stop the insanity and focus on talking about what you DO, instead of trying to fit yourself into the box of a title (because isn’t that like, the opposite of being Uncaged?).
It’s actually quite liberating, to let go of needing to have a job title. I dare you (and if you’re anything like me, you’re not one to pass up a dare).
PS. If you’re looking for help creating your pitch and learning to talk about what you do in a way that has people pay attention (and doesn’t make you feel like a blubbering idiot!), check out my mini-course Say What?