Wordbite: Sound “Unique” Without Alienating People
“I am a future architect. Understanding me is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth.” -actual Twitter biography.
Probably the author of the bio wanted to stand out. What the bio does is slam the door in the reader’s face. What else is there to do but walk away?
So you want to stand out. That’s completely above reproach. But you also have to be sure people understand you. A couple things:
1. It isn’t complicated. It could be as simple as your geography in the context of your business or personality. Are you the only microchip producer in New Zealand? Wow, that’s different! I’d read on only to find out what that’s like, which leads me to point 2.
2. Let the rest of your differences stem from a main difference. Being the only microchip producer in New Zealand probably gives you a much different perspective of your process than someone in the Silicon Valley. Let that perspective flow in your narrative about your business. It’s easier for us to follow your special line of thought when you draw that connection. If I were to get your brochure and it had a lush green jungle background, new-age copy, and no hint as to why, I’d be confused.
3. Give us a rock. We need to be able to understand you. Make sure you find the common ground we need to connect with you, even if you’re doing something completely outside the general run of things. Use analogies, cite competitors or the closest thing to you, and then break out the differences. Be sure to use terms and appropriate jargon for your audience. If you make up something new, we’ll find it hard to take you seriously.
4. You may be the only one like you, but that may not be true for long. Pet spas. There aren’t many but they’re a growing part of the luxury pet industry. The first one really was unique. But when competitors showed up, the original had to … well, compete. It had to find other grounds than “we’re the only one like us” to make the sale.
5. Do everything but use the word unique. Do it only to save your life. Just like with the word passion, you don’t need the word to be it. People tend to figure that out on their own. I almost wrote a post about this but even posts about the critical mass of unique are no longer… er, one of a kind, shall we say. What you can do, though, is work a little harder with language. Describe things vividly, explain things clearly, and give us the best vision you can of something we’ve never experienced.
The tips above are meant for people who really do see themselves as extraordinary. What about you? Do you think of yourself as “just another shop?” What kinds of things do you use to alleviate the usual?
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I don't read about me pages per se, but I will glance if someone wants to follow. Sometimes it is just too much and it does make me not interested. I would prefer someone to just be themselves and not unique, passionate, maven, leader, etc.
Those are my thoughts and that is all I'm going to say about it...........
bdorman264 Oh, good point, Bill--we do tend to turn on the rank and title a lot, and that makes sense in the professional world. But being a self-proclaimed "guru" or "maven" or whatever is sometimes off-putting to me, too. Not much unique about those kinds of descriptions...