Every day we see - and many of us experience - impostor syndrome first hand. Often it is dressed up in other excuses (I'm too busy to do this, too tired to do that) but in reality, it is our fear of doing something where our inadequacies might be exposed.
It is a problem for those of us who want to build our online presence through the creation of our own authentic content. It gets in the way of us having our voices heard and our influence exercised.
When it comes to creating posts I have taken the advice on how to overcome impostor syndrome in this BBC article and applied it to writing for a professional audience:
- Recognise you aren’t alone. Co-author with teammates. Ensure your post is checked by a colleague before it goes live. Take suggestions from colleagues and make suggestions to colleagues (especially your bosses).
- Make a list of your achievements Know when you are going to write a post. Set targets, record your posts as part of your ongoing professional development program. Ensure your boss is seeing your posts - and that she/he is sharing them. Be sure to show your efforts and interactions during reviews (list the people and firms who have interacted with your posts online).
- Get feedback. Check your progress by getting real-time stats. Check out how the post was received by your clients. Ask clients and prospects when you speak with them what they think of your posts. Use interactions on social channels as an opportunity to get feedback and advice - and to start conversations. Be the expert online you are in your head!
- Try not to compare yourself. Remember you are not trying to be some sort of amazing Millenial online 'influencer'. You are not Kim Kardashian (sorry). Most people only have tens or at most hundreds of people, they really want to influence in everyday business. For example, I met a lawyer recently who bills £10m a year from just 8 clients! For him, it is all about making sure that those 8 clients always have him front of mind when it comes to legal advice. Play your own game and achieve your own targets.
- Accept 'failure'. Not all of your posts will be 'successful'. Accept it. Move on. Importantly be sure to get help, advice, and tech that enables you to create content quickly and efficiently whilst still being very powerful. Also, think about what success looks like. Might not be hundreds of likes and shares but just one or two interactions from the right people.
Make a plan, get feedback but above all do not avoid having an online presence because you are scared. Be brave!
Psychologist M Wallace reports: "Researchers estimate that up to 70% of people will experience impostor syndrome at some point, so it’s a feeling that many of us can really understand." These feelings of self-doubt and insecurity can hold you back at work or study and stop you reaching your full potential, but is there also a chance it affects how you feel in a relationship?