Why? Because there is a way to refer to yourself without rubbing off the “I” of your keyboard. One of the biggest mistakes in selling yourself and your services is by using “I” or “we” sentences. And FYI, “we” isn’t really all that much better than “I” other than you come across as kind enough to make it look as though you have a team.
The Entrepreneur class I recently taught pulled out their hair over this. Lesson one was about creating an elevator pitch without using “I” or “we” statements. It’s more difficult than you’d think! As I reviewed the pitches, I couldn’t help but giggle a little. You’d think this class (just like any other business class I have taught) was full of egomaniacs. Which is not true, of course.
What IS true is that most business owners get caught in describing the process of how they get awesome results. While the results are important, the how is really the secret sauce, and it should remain a secret. This is also a mistake many of us make in our personal value propositions where we talk about ourselves in the worst possible ways.
My question to you is, are you doing it, too?
Here are a few examples of what not to say: I am punctual and organized. We deliver great results. I know how to make you look good. We show up on time and give you what you need.
There are two things I want you to do immediately.
- Remove all egomaniac statements from your LinkedIn profile, your website, and your resume.
- Stop making vague statements.
Egomaniac statements read like all you want to talk about is how great YOU are. I do this… I create this… and I can do that, too… (Yes, I know I am exaggerating but I am making a point here.)
Instead, focus on your clients. They need to hear quickly and with precision about what you are going to do for them. Your challenge is to tell how great you are through the eyes of those who are hiring you.
Here is an example of a good pitch: My clients rave about my ability to understand their USP and turn it into a winning (your service/product), and as a result they (sell more.)
Every single business on this planet wants to make an impact and/or sell more. What you need to do is tell people how your photography skills will help them do one or both. You don’t want to simply tell them you will give them what they want—and you definitely don’t want to say so in a general manner. (Side note: Most people don’t know what they want anyway.)
Vague statements bore me to death. Here are more examples of a few trite and very bland attempts at self-promotion that I see more often than I should: I arrive at winning solutions. We deliver solutions that our clients want. I give you exactly what you envision.
Instead, think about what you want to convey with these statements. Do your photos help your clients double their sales? Do your images make their sales people beg for mercy because the phones are ringing off the hook? Can you make any bride, baby, or building look like perfection? This is the kind of specificity that we need in our advertising and promotions. This is how we exude the confidence that our customers and potential employers eat up.
Remember, at the end of the day it is always about what we can do for them. The more specific we are, the greater our chances of closing the deal, getting the job, or receiving the promotion.