Welcome to Shop Talk, where we chat about everything from the business processes and procedures you swear by to how you handle tough situations (like letting go of a client) to what gets you up on Monday morning. Give us a sneak peek into your business and let yourself inspire (and be inspired by!) our community.
When going into business for yourself, one of the challenges is determining your job title. How do you sound authoritative without coming across as pretentious? Will it be Managing Director? Principal? Founder? Owner? Or maybe something less traditional- Head Social Ninja, The Big Cheese, or La Jefe? Or maybe it doesn’t even matter at all (as Courtney points out below).
We asked members of the One Woman Shop community to weigh in on what they call themselves in their solo business. Here’s what they said:
As a solopreneur, it is critical for you to change your LinkedIn headline! Many people don’t realize that LinkedIn automatically populates your headline with your current title. Go in and edit that to make you stand out! For example, if you are an owner of an SEO company and use “Owner / SEO Consultant” as your title when filling out your LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn will automatically populate “Owner / SEO Consultant” in your headline. Go in and edit it to something like “Small Business SEO Expert”. That makes you stand out!
-Amy Schofield, Schofield Strategies
Mine says: The Jaclyn Of All Trades.
I refer to myself as a Copywriter & Brand Strategist. In conversation, I usually follow that up with ‘That means I help businesses understand what their brand is all about, and turn it into messaging that attracts their favorite clients.’
As a copywriter, almost every client of mine is perplexed over finding the perfect job title. My advice? No one cares.I don’t have business cards (I strictly refer people to my Facebook page) and I call myself whatever makes sense to the audience I’m speaking to. For example, when talking to online entrepreneurs, I call myself a copywriter. When talking to “normal” people, I say I’m in Marketing and Communications for small businesses because very few people outside of Mad Men fans and online entrepreneurs know what a copywriter is. What you call yourself simply isn’t as important as everyone makes it out to be (which is the same way I feel about logos). The important thing is that your title gets the point across. I prefer people pick clear titles instead of trying to be too creative or clever!
-Courtney Johnston, The Rule Breakers Club
My title has changed a few times over the last 3 years. First it was Owner/Principal, then it was Founder + Principal Strategist … but those seemed a little too stuffy for for my personality and style. So now it’s Brand Strategist + Storyteller. Still a little conservative but also a bit whimsical.
I have it easy with job titles since what I do is pretty straightforward. I used to just stick with “editor,” but now I’m starting to add “writing coach” to the list, too.
-Ashley Brooks, Brooks Editorial
Several others responded to our question and said that they called themselves Chairman, President, and Proprietor, respectively.