Small business owners must choose their words carefully when describing what they do. The consumer or customer associates a skill level and product value when he or she hears certain words. Words enable the listener or reader to draw a picture in his or her mind based on his or her life experiences.
When a small business owner is developing his presence online or offline through social media, marketing, or public appearances the word he or she uses to describe his or her profession will result in his or her earning potential.
Below are three examples of how choosing one word over another will put more money in the small business owners’ bank account.
1. Artist or crafter. When a consumer hears the word crafter he or she thinks of someone who sells his or her products at flea markets and craft fairs. The consumer often sees this as a hobby for someone who is retired or just trying to earn a few extra dollars. They assume the person is self taught and the value of the item is dirt cheap. People attend craft fairs looking for a steal. When the consumer hears the word artists he or she thinks high ticket item or one of a kind. He or she automatically thinks the artist has invested heavily in his or her education and the consumer is willing to pay a premium price for the item. If you are selling quilts or handmade items you need to decide before you start your business if you are a crafter or an artist and brand yourself accordingly. An artist will be able to earn more money for his or her quilts vice the small business owner that says he or she is a crafter and sells his or her items at a craft fair.
2. Cake designer or cake decorator. A person touting him or herself as a cake decorator will not command as much money as a cake designer. A cake decorator decorates cakes that are often designed by someone else. A cake designer designs the cakes and may decorate them. A cake designer is an artist. He or she will command more for a cake that is one of a kind because of the exclusitivity that the consumer pictures in his or her head. A customer will be willing to pay more for a one of a kind cake and the bragging rights that goes with it. Anyone can purchase a cake decorated by someone at a local grocery or discount store. But, not everyone purchases a cake from a cake designer. If you are a cake designer make sure you are using the word designer to sell your art.
3. Girl Friday, Secretary, Executive Assistant or Virtual Assistant. The word secretary will have the reader or listener picturing a woman who types and answers telephones. She will typically make minimum wage. A Girl Friday will be thought of as someone who runs errands, types, answers telephones, makes reservations and does whatever is needed to assist the boss. The term Executive Assistant is often thought of as the behind the scenes person who assists the boss. Guess who earns more money? If you guessed Executive Assistant you are right. All three typically do the same job in today’s work place. They all demand being discrete and professional. Yet, the Executive Assistant demands and gets paid the higher salary. If you enjoy being a Girl Friday or a secretary I highly suggest you change your title to Virtual Assistant or Executive Assistant so that you can demand top dollar. Many Virtual Assistants earn $60-90 per hour. Virtual Assistants may work for more than one person and are often a business owner since they are an independent contractor.
Consumers are not aware of the stereotypes they apply to various professions. But, they do know what they are willing to spend when they are shopping at a flea market or craft fair. They know what they will pay for a cake at a discount store and why they will seek out a cake designer at a bakery. Small business owners also fall into the trap of paying a certain wage for a secretary regardless if he or she is performing the tasks of an Executive Assistant. Remember, specialists command more money. Choose your words carefully when describing what you do. Do not sell yourself short by using the wrong word and communicating the wrong image to the customer.
Jaynine Howard is a retired United States Marine and former psychotherapists. She is the owner of Dream Catcher Business & Life Coaching. Founded in 2006, Dream Catcher Business & Life Coaching helps business owners, nonprofits, and individuals nationally and internationally turn their dreams into wealth and success. Coach Jaynine and her team of associate coaches will help you jump start your business and life through business, career, and life coaching. Jaynine is a member of the Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce, the Carteret Chamber of Commerce, the American Psychological Association, 24/7 Coaching, and Coachville. You can learn more about Dream Catcher Business & Life Coaching by visiting http://coachjaynine.com/blog/ or by calling 910-539-2810.