Imposter Syndrome And The Impact On Marketing

Imposter Syndrome and the impact on marketing is the topic of this podcast episode, by Chartered Marketer, Tracy Heatley. Here is the transcript of this marketing podcast. 

Definition Of Imposter Syndrome

My definition of Imposter syndrome is when we compare ourselves to others in a negative way. It’s when we question are weBe Better With Tracy Heatley Podcast Cover good enough.  Or when we wonder can we do this? Is all that we are enough? Am I capable of this?

Bizarrely, imposter syndrome is something regularly experienced by some of the most successful people in the world. High achievers who you would never believe would have any form of self-doubt.

Who Is Impacted By Imposter Syndrome?

Many people who suffer from Imposter Syndrome and it impacts their marketing. We live in a world now where mental health issues are open for discussion and it’s okay to say that I’m not okay.  The biggest problem with imposter syndrome is that people don’t always know what it is. Or we shrug it off as a bit of self-doubt and tell ourselves, “Pull yourself together.”  However, for some businesspeople it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy

I’m talking to you as a highly successful businesswoman, a high achiever both academically and in business.  Yet, as I confidently say this to you, deep inside, I’m asking, am I? Do you know why, because almost immediately, I think about other people who have achieved so much more than me. Plus, I’m always wanting to be better.  Not better than anyone else, simply better than I was before. I’m always looking to gain new qualification, do more training, so that I can help my clients even more.   That’s part of the reason why my company branding is Be Better with Tracy Heatley.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have big issues around this.  My point is that we’ve all experienced it.  So, if you’re suffering from imposter syndrome right now, please know that you’re not alone.

Honestly, I’ve got friends and business associates who on the face of it seem like they’re thriving.  You know why? Because they are thriving. Yet, there’s still that niggling doubt within themselves.

Imposter Syndrome Research

There’s lots of research on Imposter Syndrome. I was reading an article sometime last year, by a lady called Gaazon Marks. Her research was based within the health care industry, but it’s reasonable to suggest that the findings would span across many industries.  She suggests that imposter syndrome is much more common with female entrepreneurs than men. I found this interesting! Is it really? Or could the sample used for her research have impacted the rationale for this. Her findings are backed up by Psychology Today too.  That said, it’s common amongst high achieving men too.

Imposter Syndrome Impacts Men

I met a phenomenally successful business owner recently who describes himself as an accidental business success. He developed a unique software product that has done very well, shall we say. Many people who listened to his business story would be in awe of his journey and his phenomenal success. Plus, he remains extremely humble and genuine, which I find admirable. So, how can someone as successful as this man suffer from imposter syndrome? It’s fascinating, isn’t it?

The reason I’m covering this topic in this podcast episode is because many small business owners suffer in this way.

Getting Hung Up On Competitor Behaviour

In a previous podcast episode, I was talking about competitor analysis and how comparing your business to competitors can help you develop a differentiated marketing strategy. That’s still important, but it’s important that you don’t get so hung up of these comparisons that it makes you feel negative about you and your business.  Especially if you’re a service provider.

If you do that, you’ll end up subconsciously pulling back when you need to be pushing forward.  The reason I said especially is you’re a service provider is because of this.  Many business owners who provide a service need to set themselves up as an expert in their field. Not many business owners who provide are service do so wanting to be an expert…. they already are.

I know people with extraordinarily successful businesses that don’t use LinkedIn, for example, because every time they log on, they see posts about how well people are doing and that makes them feel bad, because they feel like they should be doing more. Let’s face it though, we’re all posting on social media what we want people to see, not what we don’t. I’m not a gambling woman, but if I was to put my money on it, I’ll bet that all the people you’re in awe of and admire, I’ll be bet that they’ve suffered imposter syndrome at some point too.

Negative Impact That Imposter Syndrome Can Have On Small Business Marketing

I wrote about elements of this recently in a blog I wrote for my website about authenticity, which is one of the buzz words right now. I was prompted to write the blog when I saw some training courses being offered to train people to be authentic on social media. Something like How to Plan to Be Authentic. I’m a lifelong learner, plus I’m a mentor and trainer myself, so naturally I believe that we can all improve our skills, but I just can’t get my head around being trained to be authentic.  Isn’t that a bit like planning to be spontaneous? An oxymoron if ever I’ve heard one. Let’s all just be ourselves.

It’s not our job to make people like us or worry about what other people think of us.   A wise woman once said to me, “Tracy, what other people think of you is none of your business.”  How right she was! That’s something I’ll never forget and remind myself of from time-to-time. Plus, I’ve shared that wisdom with other people before too.

By its nature marketing for service providers means putting yourself out there, particularly on social media and telling the world directly or indirectly how great you are. So, there’s no time to hold back, otherwise you’ll be missing a ton of opportunities.

It’s different than marketing a product or hiding behind a brand.  If you’re offering a service and you’re delivering that service, it’s you that people buy into, so through your marketing you must let them get to know you.

Don’t Hold Back

It’s not uncommon these days for people to follow you on socials, listen to your podcasts, watch your videos and read your blogs before they even think about getting in touch.  I took on a new marketing consultancy client recently and they had done all of the above for months before contacting me.  You just never know where it can lead, so don’t hold back.

I speak to small business owners all the time. I know that people suffer varying degrees of Imposter syndrome, and I know it’s very common amongst small business owners.  Please don’t let it hold you back.  Just be yourself because you’re more than enough.

If you’ve trained for years in your field, you probably know more than most about your industry. So, share it with your target market. Let them know how good you are and that you are an expert in your field.

There’s bound to be people out there who don’t agree or like what you say or represent, but so what………. they’re not the people you need be talking to.  You need to get on with your marketing and talking to your potential customers, so put yourself out there, let the expert in your field shine…. that’s you by the way. Don’t get in your own way and hold yourself back.  The world needs to hear what you’ve got to say.

Promote Yourself

So, if you’re ready to promote yourself as an expert in your field start reaching out to your potential customers via social media, blogs, podcasts, videos and any other channels that will put you in front of the right people.   There are people out there who need to hear your messages and will find what you’ve got to say extremely useful.  Plus, you might gain new customers, so what are you waiting for? Just do you! You don’t’ need to be like anyone else.

Be Yourself

I was having a conversation with a digital marketing friend of mine recently. She runs a company that specialises in SEO. It was a conversation we had after she read my authenticity blog that I mentioned earlier. She rang me to say that she thought that what I’d written in my blog was spot on.  She describes herself  ‘a bit sweary’ and raised the point that there’s absolutely no point her being anything other than who she is, when she’s doing videos, social media posts or blogs etc.  If she pretended to be something that she wasn’t through her marketing, someone may be in for a shock when they do finally meet her.  Her words not mine! It just comes back to what I have been saying about being yourself. If people want to do business with you, they will, and if they don’t that’s okay too! What we do and how we do it isn’t always right for everyone, but you don’t need everyone to be your customers, do you?

See Someone Who Can Help

If you can relate to this, and it’s a problem for you, please see someone who can help you with Imposter Syndrome and the impact on marketing.  A psychologist, and NLP expert or such like, because it can become all consuming and hold you back, especially when it comes to marketing. In fact, when I load this podcast to my website next week, I’ll put some links through to a couple of experts who I know very well who can help.

It’s Your Time To Shine

In the meantime, if it’s your time to shine and you need any help with marketing and putting everything together, I’m here for you, so do get in touch.

As always, remember to subscribe to this weekly business and marketing podcast and leave a review. Everyone who leaves a review will be put into a prize draw to win a free 40 minute online one-to-one marketing mentoring session within me. We can cover any marketing or networking matter that you like during this session.Tracy in the studio recording her Imposter Syndrome And The Impact On Marketing Podcast

To find out more about my services head over to my website at

I’m Tracy Heatley and thank you for listening to my Be Better with Tracy Heatley podcast – Better Business, Better You!

*There are a number of other free resources available on my website, too, including book reviews, blogs and more podcast episodes.