Build your professional reputation using the power of words
You may have heard the phrase ‘words have power’ before. It’s a saying that tends to crop up every so often, and that’s because it’s true.
Whether you’re dealing a painful verbal smackdown to an idiot in the pub or sweet talking your way into a client’s heart, it’s the power of words that’ve got your back. In fact, by carefully selecting the words you use at work and on professional networking platforms, you can build a reputation that sends your career through the roof.
Hells yeh, boi. It’s just that simple.
So how does it work and how can you get started? Follow me…
What does a reputation-boosting word look like?
How can you possibly hope to build a smashing personal brand using the power of words when you aren’t even sure which words are the right ones?
In this case, they fall into two categories:
- Weak words which hurt your rep
- Awesome words which draw the right clients to you
Let’s break this down even further.
I’ve talked about weak words before on the jot jot boom blog, and at the risk of retreading old ground, I’ll give you a recap.
Using hesitant, apologetic or passive language in your work emails, social media and CV subconsciously tells your reader that you’re a pushover. A limp, wimpish loser. Here’s an example:
A) I was just wondering if you’re free for a meeting and what time might work best for you? Don’t worry if not.
B) I’d love to hear your thoughts—are you free to meet at 4pm?
See the difference between the two of these? They’re both saying the same thing, but example A is littered with hesitant, apologetic words that makes the writer look as though they know they’re unimportant. Words like ‘just’ and ‘might’ along with a complete submission over the time. It’s also long and rambling. It reeks of weakness.
Did you know that the language you use draws corresponding people to you? It’s called the law of attraction and it extends to body language and emotional energy as well as words. If you have the time to look into it, it’s pretty cool ass stuff.
By sticking to assertive words and mirroring the language used by the industries and circles you aspire to join, you’re slowly perpetuating that image. Let me offer myself up as an example.
I specialise in blogging and branding, so 90% of the content I create on my blog and social channels is about—you guessed it—blogging and branding. I also express my personality in tandem with my professional side; chucking slang into my copy and letting the odd swear word slip in, but always carefully done so that one balances and strengthens the other.
Instead of turning clients off and making myself sound like a teenager running a business (*ahem*), it attracts my ideal client: relaxed and forward-thinking creative agencies, young startups and other creative individuals. They connect with me because I speak their language.
So how can this work for you?
Easy, my friend. Start with these three steps:
1. Tidy up your social media
Start by scanning your social media accounts for weak words and areas for improvement. Strip out anything which detracts from your personal branding and career goals.
If your bio reads Wine-loving, disco tart you might want to change it. Just a suggestion. If it reads aspiring freelance marketer, cut off the word ‘aspiring’ and just be a freelance marketer. Let’s not be tentative here. Commit to it!
This also goes for the content you write and the content you share. Be mindful of it!
2. Run through your CV again
Now that you have your Power Word Goggles on, you’re probably going to find a lot of weak words and areas which could do with a dose of sexy, empowered language. Give your CV a cursory comb though to get rid of any lingering weak words and gear it up for the audience you want to hit.
3. Check your work emails before you send them
It’s not the first time that I’ve said this and that’s because way too many people brain dump into emails and click send without actually reading what they’ve written.
Not only is this a recipe for error-ridden emails which make you look amateur as heck, they’ll most likely benefit from a shot of power word smarts. Have you been apologetic or hesitant? Is there a way you can say it in less words?
Give a couple of these techniques a try and see the difference they make. If anything the quality of your writing will improve and that’s a skill worth having! Need me to take a look at it for you? Nae bother, pal. Drop me an email and I’ll be happy to help.