responding to "So, what you do you do for work?" questions...

48 replies
This has been something that I have never really found an answer for that is satisfactory to most average people that ask me what it is that I do to provide for my family.

I tell them the following answers, but most of the time ppl still give me the glassy eyed/still-dunno-what-you-talkin-bout look:

"I do internet marketing"
"I have a subscription based service for the stock market...kinda like how the wall street journal charges for subscriptions, ya know?"
"I charge people for access to my opinions on specific stocks"
"I use clickbank to sell access to my website" <--- that one REALLY gets them confused

So...

Those of you who are full time IM'ers....what do YOU tell folks who are brimming with curiosity about how you pay da bills?
#questions #responding
  • Profile picture of the author Gavin Stephenson
    Tell them your a Private Equity Investor.

    When they ask "What's That" Say:

    Sorry it's PRIVATE!
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  • Profile picture of the author KristofferIM
    I'm a solution provider.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gavin Stephenson
      Obviously the one above is a joke,

      What I really tell them though is I am a Online Marketing Consultant.

      That's my 'Title' and it works well plus they always understand it.
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      • Profile picture of the author matchoo77
        Originally Posted by Gavin Stephenson View Post

        Obviously the one above is a joke,

        What I really tell them though is I am a Online Marketing Consultant.

        That's my 'Title' and it works well plus they always understand it.
        Ah ok...yeah ppl know what consultants do for the most part....good one!
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      • Profile picture of the author MrDay
        Originally Posted by Gavin Stephenson View Post

        Obviously the one above is a joke,

        What I really tell them though is I am a Online Marketing Consultant.

        That's my 'Title' and it works well plus they always understand it.
        Hmmmmm.... I think I'm gonna have to steal that one. lol

        Makes me sound like a baller, even to the sophisticated crowd, like the rest of my family.

        I've really never thought about it much before, mostly just tell people that I'm an internet marketer.

        Guess what the reactions are?

        Oh, you're one of them. (me) A what? A spammer, one of those people who fill my emails and sites with spam everyday.

        Sometimes I'll play along and give them a slight smile and a wink and move on.
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    • Profile picture of the author aizaku
      Originally Posted by KristofferIM View Post

      I'm a solution provider.
      that sounds like a hitman!
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  • Profile picture of the author samithpich
    How about 'I run an online business helping people make money on the stock market' and bring back the conversation back to them...
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    • Profile picture of the author blackjack
      I tell people that "I am Digital Drug Dealer" with full backing from all authories and Google/Amazon/eBay pay me for selling Digital Drugs
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  • Profile picture of the author DarrenHaynes
    My mother is completely unable to understand what I do for a living. So she has convinced herself that I work for google, and there is nothing I can do to change her mind otherwise. Guess she just needs a simple answer to tell other people what I do :-) Kinda cute.

    Since people generally don't understand, unless they MMO themselves, you can essentially tell people anything. However, I think the "Consultant" title is a smart answer, people can identify with that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    You could tell them that you are an "independent, self-employed, entrepreneurial, internet marketing and sales specialist that synergizes several online entities to maximize my profits."

    Memorize it, and say it with confidence. It will confuse the listener so much that they won't ask for any further detail.

    All the best,
    Michael
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    • Keep it simple.

      After about a decade of taking cruise vacations, we're used to sitting at dinner with six strangers. The inevitable "So, what do you do?" query comes up, usually because they can't think of anything else to talk about.

      I tell them my husband runs the Internet (which has some truth to it) and I work with up-and-coming jewelry artisans to put their products on the web.

      I used to say "I sell jewelry online" but then they'd say, "Oh, do you make it yourself?" and their faces would fall when I said no.

      "I'm self-employed" also works and if you're lucky, it conjures up visions of day-trading while sitting on your patio next to the pool.

      fLufF
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Don't waste free advertising. Always carry business cards. Whenever someone asks "what do you do", give them a short pitch and hand them your businees card. Referrals can be a powerful source for new business, sales, or landing lucrative deals.
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      • Profile picture of the author cwill184
        Even Internet Marketer has people confused. I honestly believe people think I'm joking, they don't believe it is a real job.

        Well I supose it isn't really. It's just kind of difficult to explain simply, to people who don't use or don't understand the interet.
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  • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
    Hahaha the age old question!

    I don't even really explain it in detail anymore unless the person I'm speaking to is knowledgeable and open to learning.

    Most people won't understand and then when you tell them a little more detail they just judge and say something like "You should get a real job!"

    Don't worry about it mate! People fear what they don't understand...
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    • Profile picture of the author cello
      You can always go with the "if I told you, I'd have to kill you" approach, and just avoid answering.

      Or better yet you could just say that you work with online advertizing. Throwing in "consultant" is always fun too.
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      • Profile picture of the author Magic Mike IM
        "I own a service that helps people make a lot of money in the stock market".

        Its really the old "elevator speech". Give the result of what you do... then if they're interested, you'll have time to explain... "I have a subsription service where people pay to get my advice and stock picks, I'm extremely accurate" (or whatever it is you really do).

        And then of course, you'll be able to drop the "bombshell" on them... "its a web-based service to make my information available immediately to my subscribers".

        I like to give people the "result" of what I do, rather than simply a job title or description. I want to paint the picture for them, rather then have them jump to the conclusion of them THINKING they know what I do.

        For instance, if I was a personal trainer I would rather say, "I help people lose weight, feel great, and get in shape". Much more interesting then, "I'm a personal trainer".
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        • Profile picture of the author Steve B
          Stay very, very basic so that regardless of the education level of the listener you are able to get your message across.

          "I sell stuff online" works for me. If that's not enough of an answer, then you can add more objects as necessary:

          I sell books ... I sell software ... I sell services ... yada, yada, yada

          Steve
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        • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
          Originally Posted by IM Guerillas View Post

          "I own a service that helps people make a lot of money in the stock market".

          Its really the old "elevator speech". Give the result of what you do... then if they're interested, you'll have time to explain... "I have a subsription service where people pay to get my advice and stock picks, I'm extremely accurate" (or whatever it is you really do).

          And then of course, you'll be able to drop the "bombshell" on them... "its a web-based service to make my information available immediately to my subscribers".

          I like to give people the "result" of what I do, rather than simply a job title or description. I want to paint the picture for them, rather then have them jump to the conclusion of them THINKING they know what I do.

          For instance, if I was a personal trainer I would rather say, "I help people lose weight, feel great, and get in shape". Much more interesting then, "I'm a personal trainer".
          Avoiding the question and saying something funny is always an option depending on who you're speaking to. I also like IM Guerillas answer too!
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    Nude online pole dancer. Want a review copy? Look at the avatar people ... so far .. no takers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I just tell people i'm a marketing consultant. They "get it" instantly...

    ...as opposed to saying, "i sell ebooks online".
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    I say "I build websites for small businesses" no matter what I do. I find they don't have a follow question after I tell them that's what I do. It's better then explaining to them what seo is
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  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
    Years ago, I sometimes responded with,

    "I'm a professional assassin."

    Never failed, there was a slight pause before they replied.
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  • Profile picture of the author jgetsmoneyy
    For me internet marketing and my ecommerce online business is only part of my income, I've not yet made it to where it's my fulltime gig. I hope someday soon it will be. In the interum I tell people....I'm a hustler baby...I just want you to know...it aint where I been, but where I'm bout to go!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    I was talking to some folks a while back, and this question came up in discussion.

    One person suggested that they always say, "software developer".

    Software Developer = Deer in the Headlights... LOL

    That individual said that every time he uses that, the person asking the question glazes over and doesn't know what question to ask next.

    He said it made life much easier, because it would guarantee that people stop asking the questions that they really don't want to know the answers to anyway. :p
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    I always just say I build websites. It ends the conversation and technically it's not a lie.

    I hated having to explain things when the end result is they still doesn't understand a thing I have said.
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    • Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      I always just say I build websites. It ends the conversation and technically it's not a lie.

      I hated having to explain things when the end result is they still doesn't understand a thing I have said.
      I do the same: I say I work creating and developing websites. It's generic enough so everybody understands, and not specific enough to get bombed with further questions.
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      • Profile picture of the author sunray
        I think there's nothing so new in IM. It's just technology what's new and confuses people. If your main activity is to instruct, you are a teacher; if it's selling, you are a merchant, if you mainly write books, you are a writer. Nothing new in all of it really, people do these things for thousands of years.

        Or... what I feel it's more like: fishing. Cruising through the Internet Ocean, throwing in nets here and there. Word of mouth passes on: salmon school is seen in Facebook Bay or Gulf of Youtube, and a great number of the fleet heads to these locations. Some of them catch a great deal, some are less lucky. Some are lone fishermen who prefer to operate in their own secret locations. But most of them come later to port of Warriorforum to show off their catch.
        Yeah, when someone asks what you do, say you're a fisherman.
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  • Profile picture of the author arranrice
    When People ask me, I just say its very complicated, I will explain something that will go over the persons head then they dont bother asking me again.
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  • Profile picture of the author rmolina88
    I just say "Online Business Consultant".

    I don't tell people I make more then them, though. :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Franklin
    Interesting thread....I've found that the two responses that people seem to relate to are:

    "I help people with developing websites for their businesses"

    OR

    "I help people get their websites ranked high on Google"

    Granted, the above two responses only cover a fraction of what I do but I find that they serve their purpose and they will occassionally get me offline jobs along the way!
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  • Profile picture of the author MKCookins
    How about simply... "I have an online business - I create books and videos helping people solve their problems." In return, I get paid for the service I provide
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  • Profile picture of the author kdorothea
    Just like Gavin Stephenson, I go with the Online Marketing Consultant answer. This term is sufficiently abstract to cover everything that I do: UX, search engine optimization, ppc campaigns, social media consultancy etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author mbacak
    It really depends who's asking.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joey Starkey
    I love in the middle of the Bible Belt....no matter what I say I get that look like I am running a porn site. Along with a little pointing and whispering with their spouse.

    I think I need to add the Online Marketing Consultant to my card as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author jessicalynn
      Originally Posted by Joey Starkey View Post

      I love in the middle of the Bible Belt....no matter what I say I get that look like I am running a porn site.Along with a little pointing and whispering with their spouse.

      I think I need to add the Online Marketing Consultant to my card as well.
      That's hilarious. I do marketing, but I'm also a writer, so I just tell people I'm a freelance writer. Sometimes they ask me what I write and usually I just say something like, "I help businesses with content for their websites and blogs."

      Like everyone else, I don't feel like sitting around explaining what an affiliate link is, etc etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    My title is "Emperor of an Online Empire." Looks great on a biz card w/photo of castle. (jk)
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanmilligan
    Banned
    My favourites are drug dealer or prostitute...

    Just to see the initial shock on their face - then I let them know I am an "online business consultant"
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  • Profile picture of the author tjaysen70
    Ah ha nice post man. Yeah whenever this conversation comes up and I say internet marketing is my business, they usually think that it's porn or something that is a little shady because I'm not at work all day at a 9-5 job.

    But usually if you respond with, I make money online, that is easier for them to understand.
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  • Profile picture of the author YasirYar
    I tell them I help website owners promote their websites online, makes it a whole lot easier than telling them I own an SEO services firm. :p
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