Many of us struggle with self-doubt. It feels like no matter what you do or how much effort you put in, it could all be for nothing because one day someone will realize you don’t have the necessary knowledge or expertise. They’ll call you out—and your marketing career will be over.
This is called imposter syndrome, the internal voice constantly reminding you that you are not good enough, smart enough, or worthy enough to achieve your goals and dreams.
The reality is, every marketer starts from the beginning. We’ve all written terrible copy before or had a launch flop. Part of our careers is a willingness to always be learning. The foundations of marketing won’t change, but the platforms we use them on will.
Marketers have to be humble, and part of embodying that is kicking imposter syndrome to the curb. You don’t need a nagging voice in your head telling you that your campaigns won’t work or you’re not good enough to apply to that awesome job.
You need the biggest fan in your mind, supporting you, cheering you on, and asking you what you learned on your tough days.
As a marketer, you have the tools you need to transform the bad days where you doubt your abilities into your best days. As Robin Arzon puts it, “we have already made it through 100 percent of our bad days, and knowing that should fill us all with such a confidence that we will be able to face anything straight in the eye.”
Privacy updates, platforms changes, and new content trends can’t shake you if you’ve mastered imposter syndrome.
Here are 4 steps to get past imposter syndrome specifically for marketers.
Four Steps to Master Imposter Syndrome Through Marketing:
1) Take Time For a Rebrand
We each have a personal brand. Much like a company brand, your personal brand informs and influences perceptions, represents who you are and the values you embrace, plus provides the framework to help you stand out from the crowd.
Oftentimes, our personal brands get stale because we haven’t taken the time or energy to create the brand in the first place. It’s easy to fall into a personal brand if you’re not active about creating it.
If you are having doubts about your abilities or are having trouble differentiating yourself from others in the market, it could be time for a personal rebrand. A rebrand can align you with your current expertise and make sure the content you’re creating is…on brand.
If your marketing agency started as a Facebook ads agency but turned into a video ad agency—a rebrand can show people what you’re really up to these days. It can also help you figure out what you’re an expert on, what you have to share, and how can use this expertise to get clients.
Recommended Activity: The DigitalMarketer Architecting a Branding Blueprint is a model you can use to help you get started on your personal rebrand to help position you as an authority.
2) Build Your Elevator Pitch
As marketers we spend a large chunk of time doing these activities for our products, our company or our solutions and yet, we don’t take the time to adequately define the value we bring to the table. We don’t put time on our calendar to “Market ourselves” and that means…we never get around to it. If it’s not on the calendar, it just doesn’t happen—am I right?
It’s no wonder that anxiety-provoking situations can cause doubts and insecurities because we haven’t spent the time to craft our narrative on our own terms. We try to come up with a clever description on the spot, but end up confusing our audience and feeling like we looked unprofessional because of it.
We recommend creating an elevator pitch of who you are, what you stand for, and how you change the world. Having an elevator pitch not only overcomes imposter syndrome but adequately helps convey the value you bring to the world. Your elevator pitch should be short and sweet (explained in less than the time it takes to go up a few floors in an elevator).
Here’s what I use to introduce myself in meetings: “I’m Rachel Minion. I’m a marketing rockstar who delivers results and helps businesses thrive. One of my brands is Rockstarr & Moon so the rockstarr portion fits who I am and defines your first impression of me.
Create your elevator pitch by answering these 3 questions:
- Who are you? (I’m Ryan Deiss…)
- Who do you help? (and I help marketers and businesses…)
- How do you help them? (learn how to market better.)
3) Test and Optimize
We are marketers and at the heart of marketing is testing. We create the brand and the elevator pitch in a bubble, but we don’t really know if it resonates with how people see us until we test it!
It’s time to take what you’ve created and see if it resonates with your audience.
If you work in corporate, introduce yourself with your short and sweet elevator pitch in the next meeting. If you attend a networking meeting or conference, practice out the elevator pitch and take note of the follow-up questions you are asked.
If you are getting a response that feels congruent with your new brand, you are on the right track. If your message isn’t landing with your audience, it’s time to optimize your message and try it again.
Making mistakes and learning from them is not only totally acceptable. It’s also completely necessary! If you don’t take risks and allow yourself room to fail, you’ll never find out what works best for you and for those who count on you.
Keep an open mind and welcome both success and failure as great teachers.
4) Track Success Metrics
It can be hard to have confidence in your personal brand if you don’t have any evidence of your success. Understandably, it’s hard to market yourself when you don’t have proof of what you know. If you’re just getting started, here’s a way around imposter syndrome, even if you don’t have many credentials to your name.
Keep track of your achievements you’ve made so far. Have you completed a certification course? Did you got to a digital marketing event? What marketing have you done that worked well?
Use all of these answers to create your online biographies and content. Completing a certification shows how well you know a topic (like digital marketing mastery), going to a digital marketing event proves you’re in the industry (takes lots of pictures to share on social media!), and talking about any marketing that you’ve succeed with is proof of your expertise (even if you have to keep talking about the same results).
If you’re using LinkedIn as your platform of choice, ask for recommendations so when times are tough you can look back at how far you’ve come and realize what a great job you’re doing…even if it doesn’t always feel like it!
Imposter Syndrome isn’t a Forever State of Mind
There are multi-million dollar agency owners who are experiencing imposter syndrome, right now. There are Fortune 500 CEOs who are questioning their ability. And there are brand new marketers who are wondering if it’s just their lack of expertise making them feel this way.
The answer is no!
Imposter syndrome is not only normal, but to be expected when you start off in marketing (or any career path). You’re not stuck in imposter syndrome, unless you choose to stay in this state of mind. The number one way to get out of imposter syndrome and into confidence is by taking action. Use these 4 steps to overcome imposter syndrome through marketing. And most importantly, remember that imposter syndrome gets to all of us.
I use marketing in my personal brand on LinkedIn to showcase my expertise as a marketer and agency (you’ll see that my personal brand runs throughout all my posts, my bio, my imagery, and all of the recommendations). Check out my profile to get some inspiration as to how you can showcase your expertise as a marketer—because people are interested in what you have to say.
You just have to give them the opportunity to hear you (don’t let imposter syndrome stop you from being the marketing you want to be!).
When she was little, the only thing Rachel wanted to grow up to be was a rockstar. Rachel didn’t have an ounce of musical talent but wanted to have a platform to change the world.
At Rockstarr & Moon, Rachel built a company that embodies these dreams. She is dedicated to energizing and reshaping the marketing landscape for small businesses, medium organizations, and large corporations.
Rachel delivers results and helps businesses thrive. Bono may have said it best, “As a rockstar, I have two instincts. I want to have fun and I want to change the world. I have a chance to do both.”
Since its inception, Rockstarr & Moon has been helping start businesses, grow them, and become successful. Rockstars bring your audience to their feet, generate engagement and shatter expectations. That’s what she delivers at Rockstarr & Moon.
Take it from her network: “Rachel is an absolute rock star!”“Rachel is a creative force of nature. More importantly, she gets sh*t done.”“She’s the kind of voice you want representing your brand or your initiative.”“Rachel is a full-service operation with boundless energy, whatever she touches she will bring into fruition.