When I was in 8th grade, my math teacher had a tradition of writing down little pithy comments about each student for the yearbook. She read them out loud at the end of the year, in front of the whole class. Her quote about me was: Âpretty, pert little lady with an unexpected smile.Â
ItÂs been 35 years since she gifted me with that observation, and it has stuck with me all this time. The power of labels runs deep.
But labels can either empower you or disable you—itÂs your choice. How you identify yourself to the world, and how others publicly identify you, makes a big impact on your success. If you commit to a label strongly enough, behavioral science tells us that others will reinforce that label as well.
Labeling behavior happens applies to you as a business person, as well as your website or blog. DonÂt forget to clarify your websiteÂs purpose while youÂre considering your own Âtagline.Â
How you label yourself
When you tell someone about your business, or your job, do you use the word ÂjustÂ (e.g.,, ÂIÂm just a bloggerÂ) or do you minimize your accomplishments (e.g., ÂI run a small marketing agency—youÂve probably never heard of usÂ)? Stop doing that.
Be ready with a memorable response when someone asks you what you do for a living. ÂIÂm the creative force behind ABC Agency,Â or ÂI dish out innovative PR advice on a daily basis at the ABC BlogÂ or ÂIÂm a wild and crazy guy!Â
How others label you
Are you paying attention to how others describe you in conversation or online when they introduce you? Do other people know what your secret sauce is, well enough to relay it to others?
Try this experiment today: go ask a few people how they would introduce you at a networking event. Get a nice sampling from your family, a friend, a colleague, and an online acquaintance. IÂll bet the results are revealing!
Use your new Âpersonal taglineÂ in your online profiles, bios for your guest posts, and corporate marketing materials. Use it when anyone asks you what you do. Remember, itÂs perfectly acceptable to evolve your tagline over time.
And donÂt forget to smile.