When you’re a business owner, trying to make a name for yourself as an expert or an influencer on social media can feel a lot like diving into shark-infested waters.
Suddenly, you’re exposed to everyone who might have an opinion.
Having the confidence, vision, and drive to start and run a business should be enough to make you feel confident about expressing yourself on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Instagram, and Twitter, but that isn’t always the case.
Self-doubt is real.
Feeling like you are not good enough is real.
Before you know it, Imposter Syndrome sets in, and you’re filled with feelings of inadequacy.
Imposter Syndrome is that nagging inner voice that says, “Who do I think I am?”
It tells you, “I don’t deserve to be out here giving people advice, or telling people I’m an expert. I’m a phony. I can’t help anyone. I don’t have much value.”
Now you feel embarrassed for even thinking you could ever be taken seriously as an expert in your field on social media.
That’s the power of Imposter Syndrome.
It’s this ominous cloud just waiting to engulf you, and as soon as it gets the tiniest of breaks, it will engulf you.
You can lose hours, days, weeks, even years of productivity and output if you let this happen.
And we all know that, in business, time is money. And money means the difference between success and failure.
So, don’t let Imposter Syndrome get to you, because success of your business is at stake.
Here are just a few mindsets and thought processes to keep the negativity at bay, so you can focus on building your social media presence, branding yourself as an expert or industry influencer, while growing your business in the process.
1. Consider the source.
Not because they should have one, or because they are qualified to have one, but because they CAN have one.
Social media is very non-discriminating in that regard.
So, when someone says something negative about what you have posted, consider the source.
Are they really qualified to offer a counter-argument? Are they experts in your field? If they are, would this make them competitors with an ulterior motive?
Are they your target audience? Is your social media content even meant for them?
Do they know what your goals are for your business and your social media presence? Do they truly understand what it is you are trying to achieve? If you are not absolutely clear and strong with your goals and vision, you will be easily swayed every time someone says they know better.
This is where things can get tricky, because we almost always assume that negative comments will come from “haters” or “trolls” that don’t like us. But, our friends can have a negative influences as well. Not because they have ulterior motives or are secretly jealous of us (although, they might be), but because they might not understand what our intentions are. Or maybe, they have different intentions and values in mind for us.
You are – and must always be – the leading expert on what your brand is and where your social media presence is going.
Otherwise, you will find yourself pivoting with every “helpful” unsolicited comment and getting nowhere.
2. You are not here to make everyone happy.
Contrary to popular belief, you are not on social media to make everyone happy.
Trying to appease everyone, and trying to be everything to everyone, is a fool’s game.
You need to be crystal clear on who your target market is, and who you are crafting your message for. And then, you need to forget about the rest.
Trying to satisfy too broad a market audience will dilute your brand.
Know your target and keep your target in mind at all times. When you recognize that someone who is not in your target niche is showing dissatisfaction with you, your product, your service, your online content, or the way you communicate on social media, have the confidence to know that you are just not concerned with these people.
3. Be okay with not knowing everything.
You might feel tremendous pressure to get everything airtight before bringing it to social media.
While you definitely want to make sure that the information you present is accurate and reliable, you also have to acknowledge that you don’t know everything there is to know about your topic of discussion.
No one does. It’s okay.
There is always going to be someone who knows more about your industry than you do. So, don’t feel like a fraud because you don’t know everything.
Instead, think about all the people who know less than you. Those are the people in your target audience. Those are the people you can help.
And, as for those who know more than you do… look to them as mentors, not competition.
4. Output is more important than expertise.
If you want to know a harsh truth about social media – it’s that output is more important than how smart you are.
What I mean is, if someone knows more about something than you do, but they’re not putting in the work of creating content and engaging on social media, then they have no right to claim you are stealing their fire somehow.
They’re not getting noticed because they haven’t put in the work to getting noticed.
Who cares if they’ve been in the business longer than you? Or have more degrees than you? If they aren’t building a social media presence, it’s because they decided it wasn’t a priority.
It’s their own fault. Let them deal with it. Stay in your lane and run your race.
It can be tough for an entrepreneur to establish themselves as an expert or influencer on social media. Doubt and negativity have a way of creeping in, and you know it, you can succumb to Imposter Syndrome. Don’t let this happen to you. Always consider the source of unsolicited criticism – are they really qualified to be making before judgement calls? Remember that you are not on social media to make everybody happy – you have a specific target audience and you only want to concern yourselves with them. Remind yourself that no one knows everything about any topic, so it’s okay if you’re not the most knowledgeable person in the world. Just remember that you have an audience who you can help and those are the people you should be focusing on. The rest can be your teachers and mentors. Finally, if someone who is more qualified than you make you feel inadequate, remember that unless they are understand that just because someone has more degrees than you, or more job experience, or more expertise, doesn’t mean they necessarily deserve to be a hit on social media – because, maybe they haven’t truly done the work that is necessary to get there.