A few weeks ago, I attended a networking event in Nashville where the usual activities took place: small talk, elevator pitches, and, of course, the exchanging of business cards. As this was an event aimed at marketing professionals, it should be no surprise that several of the cards had some aggressively interesting titles. Among the group was a “Go To Market Disruptor,” an “SEO Ninja,” and my personal favorite a “Customer Acquisition Commander.”
Thinking I might be missing out on something, I went to LinkedIn and over the course of 30 minutes clicked on about 85 profiles in the world of marketing, branding, and promotional products. What really struck me is how hollow and pompous many of the titles I found are:
Social Media Amplifier
Key Word Warlock
Conversion Funnel Sultan
Lead Generation Watchman
Client Experience Maverick
Sales Process Pioneer
Candidly, these made up titles make me giggle like a school girl at a slumber party and not because the person holding any of the stated titles isn’t qualified to do a tremendous job delivering outstanding value to a client. No, I laugh because these titles are as confusing as they are pretentious.
What people are missing with these self-imposed monikers is that it’s the audience who ultimately decides if one is a ninja, maverick, pioneer, or mastermind. Merely putting those words on a business card or a LinkedIn profile doesn’t make real or true. If it did, my business card would read “Lead Singer, Van Halen.”
If you have to tell people you are a “disruptor” (or any similar terms), you aren’t. When you do good work that matters, it will speak far more effectively for you than a catchy – and ultimately meaningless – title.