November 4, 2016

“So... what do you do?”

It happens you meet someone new at a BBQ.

It happens when you’re chatting with your cab driver.

It happens while you’re waiting for your kid to finish his karate class.

Someone asks:

“So... what do you do?”

What do you say?

Freelancer? Developer? Web geek?

Do you change your answer depending on your judgement of the person who asked?

High Value vs Low Value Language

One of the simplest things you can do to start projecting more value is to replace low value language with high value language when asked you what you do.

For example...

Which of the following would you expect to command higher effective hourly rates?

A. Pipefitter
B. Master Plumber

A. Machinist
B. Mechanical Engineer

A. Gardener
B. Landscape Architect

“B” in every case, right?

Now, let’s try it with something closer to home:

A. Freelancer
B. Consultant

Which do you think projects more value? B again, of course.

Or if you want to get more specific...

A. Web App Developer
B. Web Application Consultant

A. Web Designer
B. Digital Marketing Strategist

A. Copywriter
B. Communications Consultant

A. Analyst
B. Data Scientist


B, B, B, and B.

I’m not saying that every person who is an “A” is qualified to be - or even wants to be known as - my “B” suggestion. I’m merely pointing out that the B examples project higher value.

If you’re currently using one of the “A” terms, how could you change it to project more value while still accurately reflecting what you do?

Low value language begets price sensitivity

If you are using low value language to describe yourself, prospects will have low expectation of the ROI you can deliver. This will cause them to be more price sensitive than they otherwise might be.

With that in mind, I’ll ask again:

So... what do you do?

Hit reply and let me know what you came up with :)



P.S. Did you know that billing by the hour makes it really hard to deliver stellar ROI to your clients? Buy my book to find out why (and what to do about it) ->