Do you use cheesy clichés, overblown superlatives, or breathless adjectives to describe yourself in your social media profiles and marketing materials? Do you write things about yourself you would never actually have the nerve to say?
Inc.com suggests some words that are great when other people use them to describe you but you should never use to describe yourself, along with a few other words that everyone seems to use.
Most companies claim to be innovative. Most people claim to be innovative. Most are, however, not innovative. And that’s OK, because innovation isn’t a requirement for success. (You don’t have to be new; you just have to be better.)
And if you are innovative, don’t say it. Prove it. Describe the products you’ve developed. Describe the processes you’ve transformed. Give us something real so your innovation is unspoken but evident, which is always the best kind of innovative to be.
Usain Bolt: world-class sprinter with the Olympic medals to prove it. Serena Williams: world-class tennis player. But what is a world-class professional or company? Who defines “world-class”? In your case: probably just you.
Maybe you’re data driven. (Wow, you try to objectively think through decisions?) Or maybe you’re customer driven. (Wow, you try to please the people that pay you?). Or maybe you’re just plain old driven. No matter what the form, driven is like “motivated.” Or “inspired.” It’s filler. Stop using it.
“Responsible” cuts two ways. You can be responsible (but, one hopes, isn’t everyone?) or you can be responsible for (which is just a boring way of saying that you did something). If you’re in social media marketing, don’t say you’re “responsible for social campaigns”; say you grew conversions by 40 per cent using social channels. “Responsible” is a great example of passive language begging to become active. Don’t tell us what you’re responsible for. Tell us what you’ve done. Achievements are always more impressive.
The majority of businesses can sell goods or services worldwide; the ones that can’t are fairly obvious. Only use “global provider” if that capability is not assumed or obvious; otherwise, you just sound like a small company trying to appear big.
I know many people disagree, but if you say you’re incredibly passionate about, oh, incorporating elegant design aesthetics into everyday objects, then you sound over the top.
The same is true if you’re passionate about developing long-term customer solutions. Try the word focus, concentration, or specialisation instead. Or try love, as in, “I love incorporating an elegant design aesthetic in everyday objects.”
Fingerprints are unique. You are unique but your business probably isn’t. That’s fine, because customers don’t care about unique; they care about “better.” Show you’re better than the competition, and in the minds of your customers you will be unique without ever having said so.
You won’t just decide what’s right for me and force me to buy it? Wow.
If your process is designed to take my input and feedback, tell me how that works. Describe the process. Don’t claim we’ll work together; describe how we’ll work together.