Fake it till you make it. The principle of pretending to be good at something until you actually get good at something. Typically a very attractive prospect to many insecure startups keen to come out of the gates with a client list for days and endless opportunity. This mantra endorses businesses to essentially weave heavy embellishment techniques into their day to day business lives in the hope of attracting their ideal customer. Oh the irony!
Faking it (not to be confused for entrepreneurial spirit and measure) means that you are either not ready, under resourced, unsure, under skilled and likely lacking any real or genuine 'why' in the greater realm of your brand. It certainly doesn't rack up any kudos or credibility and it floods the market with poor offerings and far too many cowboys + girls. Tempting as it might be during times of overwhelm, this is not the solution. Equally; hoping to position yourself as an expert (whilst an admirable aspect of any marketing arsenal) still requires WORK! It's like rocking up to pilates for one session and expecting to leave with abs....not, gonna, happen!
Let me ask you this. Why fake it at all? I mean, of all the fake things that make me go hmmm (mock cream - WTF!, not sausages (why), scripted television (I'm sorry, REALITY TV) - fake sticks once you throw it and it kills a little bit of soul in the process [ insert the fake Chanel handbag. You might walk around proud for all of 1 night until someone who 'knows handbags' spots the difference and then - WALK, OF, SHAME! You wondered why you bothered ].
In very base terms, it lacks direction (as you don't even really know why your there, your purpose or who you're attracting) and it creates doubt. It's not sustainable either as pretty pictures aside, you need conversion. Most importantly not only are you devaluing your own offering (by not preparing yourself fully prior to launch or practice business) but you are devaluing our value to you. Even though you likely adopted it out of sheer lack of confidence and insecurity it can be your undoing.
1. Stress. Imagine how much easier it would be to actually 'be yourself'?
2. Dollars. Faking it can cost quite a bit of money and can actually see you in debt quicker clicking your ruby slippers together and taking off to Oz!
3. Obvious. Many of us can spot a faker quicker than Where's Wally. Even if it doesn't smack us in the face immediately when it does - you'll struggle to win us back in favour even with your stripey beanie on!
4. Reputation. Surely the jig is up once your closest and lifelong friends cotton onto what's happening. Why risk poor word of mouth?
5. Sustainability. The perception you create requires maintenance. How long can you keep it up for and does the business model have promise if it's trading on a false economy?
6. Busy busy. The problem with faking being busy is that those who haven't figured out it's not legit think you actually are constantly busy busy and find another provider.
7. Time. Not only does it take incredible amounts of time to run a business, it likely takes double to run a fake one. It's also time that would be better applied to up-skilling or PLANNING your strategy to launch with a little more substance and confidence.
8 Obstacle. One sure fire way to make this business journey even more elusive is to try and be something you're not. It also makes figuring out WHAT YOU ARE that bit tougher.
9. Confusion. Not having really qualified what you do, and why you do it creates confusion and doubt within yourself and those watching.
10. Connection. Good content is the epitome of all business aesthetics but being believable is where the magic glitter lives. It's the sparkle that can't be invented and but it all needs a cohesive voice and a genuine connection to the market for it to reap reward.
Now; I must point out that in no way, shape or form, does this blog reference the hard work of our most notable and respected stylists, bloggers, event businesses, designers and all round aesthetically gifted types that we admire on the daily. Nor does it bring into disrepute the marketing & PR gods that have earned their stripes and are successfully nailing strategy after strategy. No! They are stellar and they have worked hard to get there. This is firmly a piece about those who run before they even knew they had two feet!
Equally there is no agenda to be violently offensive or create upset. There's no one finger I'm pointing here other than I believe it to be the poorest of industry strategy currently in play. Style your images sure, style places instead of clients whilst you build, provide commentary on the elements of your world that show us what you might 'potentially' offer, demonstrate your skill in measurable but believable channels, funnel your passion to take photo's, shop, coffee all those things we all love ourselves - build your authentic brand. But do so the way you mean to go on. Have a plan and if you struggle with putting one together seek some advice and assistance (ahem - www.spreadingroomers.com.au just saying!). Even if you're not orchestrating it immediately, most great plans require layers and depth anyway. You can't reach the inky blues of the ocean without having to deal with the churn first, right? Push yourself to continually learn, improve and don't settle for doing it half-heartedly as the one person that this all threatens to hurt and unhinge the most is you.
Business is tough. There is no way of just landing. Think smarter not harder. Spend some time understanding 'why' you are here before getting all Delta on us and start dancing around like it's musical theatre (i.e. don't spin your chair too quickly). Stay calm, focus and create your brand for longevity and look after yourself and your mindset. Protect your value. Nurture your soul.