When I first heard about Imposter Syndrome, I was like, hey, that's totally me! You see, my mantra in life has been "fake it til you make it". And while I don't fake things I know I can't do, I may overly project my actual skills or capabilities.
What is imposter syndrome? It's essentially pretending you're better at something that you really are. Whether to make yourself look better, land that new client, get that promotion, impress that new date... you get the point. But always being afraid that someone will figure out you're not really what you said you were. You can Wikipedia the whole concept here.
I've done this in my corporate jobs, and yes, with Jenn's Trends. It's not lying, per se. It's more of an enhanced conviction that I have the experience or capacity to complete a task or job. But, you know what, I come through - every time! Even though I was always worried I fall on my face (maybe literally) or that someone would question my ability and expose me for the lack of experience I really had.
Some of this can be a self confidence issue. Personally, I've written over 150 blog posts on the topic of Instagram marketing alone. I'm a sought after expert on the topic. People pay me money for my advice and strategic support. And yet sometimes I stop and wonder why on Earth anyone would listen to lil ol me. Who the hell am I to be telling business owners how to run their accounts?
Yes, I've actually asked myself those questions numerous times. Not because I question my knowledge or the value I provide to my clients or audience, but because sometimes I genuinely don't believe that I "deserve" to be the one to do it.
Another way I am (and most everyone on social media is) guilty of imposter syndrome is overly confidently showcasing our lives. The perfect photos, staged events, carefully selected outfits, well-crafted captions, and constant updates of success and positivity in our lives. I'm calling bull shit on all of it, because it is! My desk is never that clean. My selfies are filtered and edited so my skin looks flawless - which it is NOT! My life is great (it really is) but it's also full of crappy moments and a whole lot of chaos. Running a business is not easy nor glamorous, no matter what it is you do.
No one's life is as perfect as it appears on social media. You know that.
But businesses fall into these same traps of "faking it". Making it look like they're more successful than they are. Hyping up experience to sound more extensive than it really is. It's not wrong - it's marketing 😉 And we all do it.
Small businesses and entrepreneurs are even more affected by this desire to look perfect and successful. We have our livelihood riding on the success of our business and so we try that much harder, look that much better, try so hard to be perfect for everyone who might find us.
Every post on social media is carefully selected - the best photo, the best caption, the best call-to-action - all serving the ultimate end goal of your strategy.
And you know what? This is what I preach and teach to each and every one of my clients and blog readers and people sitting in a live session. Because, yes, you should be doing all these things - creating the best possible content for your brand.
What if every now and then, you mixed in just a little more authenticity.
I'm not saying sharing a crappy photo that violates your brand style. I'm not saying to record a video with horrible audio that no one will listen too. We still have to have standards in our authenticity 😉
But honestly, I'm asking you, as a brand, to embrace your flaws. Just a little bit. Talk about your struggles. Share your fears. Explain challenges you've overcome. Be passionate - even if it means a rant. Let your hands flail or your facial expressions illuminate your face. Stumble over your words or share a bad joke - if that's what you're known for in real life. Show the real office space you work in - not the cleaned up desk and pretty flowers.
This is why I love live videos. You can script, and plan, and prepare. But real life happens on live video and that's where your audience gets to see who you really are - fumbles, stumbles, and all!
When you break down those walls of perfection and show your audience who you really are, what you really have to say, what you're really like, all of a sudden, people are flocking to work with you. And not just any random people, but the right people. The people who love you for who you are and what your brand is really all about.
We're all guilty of imposter syndrome. But you're not an imposter. You're a hard working, dedicated, educated, experienced business person who people really do want to hear from. They want to work with you. And they want to know who you really are. Embrace that!