“What do you do?”
It’s a question that gets asked at every social gathering, any time you meet some one.
For most of us, we say “blogger” and earn some crazy looks.
Blogging isn’t necessarily a career path understood by your average person. It doesn’t earn the same respect that engineer, architect or brain surgeon might. Okay, maybe it shouldn’t earn the same respect as brain surgeon, but you know what I mean.
Even if I try to explain what exactly “blogger” means to me, conversations usually go down something like this:
Them: “you realize this is just a fad right?”
Me: “Precisely when are you anticipating the whole marketing thing to not be a necessary part of our society?”
Me: “and people are going to stop wanting to be entertained soon too?”
Me: “I suppose soon people will stop reading altogether and the desire to connect with other humans in person and online will wane rapidly?”
Me: “soon, the internet will fade into the distant past, no one remembering what it once was!”
Then the subject gets changed before things get awkward, but you know. It’s the same struggle we face when people tell us blogging is dying.
I had a realization though, part of the problem is the way we phrase it. It’s not just that “blogging is an industry no one understands”, it’s also that there are lots of non-professional bloggers out there. I’m not talking about people doing it in a sketchy way, I’m talking about people doing it just for fun, as a hobby. Blogging can be correctly defined as career or as hobby, so it’s no wonder people are confused!
It would be like trying to convince the world you’re a professional stamp collector, or get paid to create paper airplanes.
But if you only have a moment with some one, what can you say? What’s a phrase that can be used with confidence and more easily understood?
There are lots of options, but my favorites are “I’m in the marketing business” or “I’m a social media marketing professional”.
Someone might not understand what you mean by blogger, but social media marketing is something people at least recognize as a legitimate field, and certainly not something any one is doing for hobby.
I think these phrases might sound a bit gutsier, but they also give a little confidence boost. There could be no “just” in front of “social media marketing professional” the way there is when so many of us say “oh I’m just a blogger”.
At the end of the day, it’s your choice what title you decide to give yourself, but it should be one you are proud to say, be it professional blogger, social media guru, author or anything else!
So…what do you say when people ask “what do you do?” and why did you choose it?