Recently I was in a Facebook group full of social media managers when someone had a question. In short, they asked how they could tell if they were experienced enough to be considered a pro in their field. They talked about their 10 years in the industry and how they attended conferences like Social Media Marketing World. They talked about their knowledge of Facebook ads and pixels and custom audiences, and they mentioned they were always looking to learn more. But in the end, they worried they were not qualified enough because they didn’t have a college degree and there was no real way to measure their skill level.
In today’s show of Business as Unusual, I am going to chat a bit about Imposter Syndrome and the single most important thing any social media manager should have let alone any entrepreneur. My name is Kelly Noble Mirabella and I have been in the social media game for over 10 years. And while I didn’t start my company Stellar Media Marketing until 2010, I have been an entrepreneur for about the same time working on my side hustle since 2007.
Today’s episode is brought to you by Social Media Marketing World 2018. SMMW is THE place to learn about all the latest in social media and digital marketing from the brightest and best minds and influencers. I am thrilled to be attending this amazing conference again in February 2018 and hope to see you there too! Learn more at stellar247.media/smmw18. By the way, you can save $400 on an all-access ticket through December 8th so be sure to take the leap and get your ticket today! Okay on to today’s show! Let’s dig in!
Imposter syndrome is a very real thing in the social media management industry but I think it is also widespread in any entrepreneur’s journey. Truth be told many if not most experienced social media managers in the field today not only do not have a degree in social media marketing or even marketing but they also have trained themselves. Basically, anyone who started in social media 6+ years ago had to mostly learn by trial and error. Honestly, you do not have to have a college degree in order to be successful in social media marketing. Especially if you are running your own business. You do not need certifications and you do not need fancy logos on your website to prove that you are worth hiring. While I do have a degree in Marketing that has helped me run my own business and given me some foundations for marketing research, strategy, and development, it did little for me as a social media manager in terms of my knowledge as a social media manager.
With that being said even the most experienced person is going to have imposture syndrome sometimes. And that is because there will nearly always be someone who knows more about something that you do. Perhaps you are a ninja at Facebook ads but you see another SMM who is stellar at Instagram strategy, something you are weak at. This does not negate your experience and knowledge. If you want to expand your skills in Instagram than take the steps to learn more. Test and play with it yourself. Don’t be afraid to fail and adjust and try again. I think the single most important thing that a social media manager could have is the will to keep learning and keep expanding their knowledge base. It does not matter how long you have been in this industry you never stop learning and you can’t possibly know everything. But knowledge is power and confidence will get you paid. The more you know the more confidence you will gain.
Case in point, I have owned my company since 2010. Back then it was very hard to find any kind of training. I had to learn by fire. It was slow going, which is often the case when you are learning this way, but I still strongly believe this is one of the best ways to work in Social Media. But now that there are more people out there testing and gaining knowledge in the immense expansion of social media networks and tools there are also more people who are teaching what they know. That is why it is so important to invest in educating yourself. I have been investing in ecourses for about 6 of the 8 years I have been in business. I have gone to classes and tested out what I learned to make it my own and make it work for me. I read constantly blogs by TechCrunch, Social Media Examiner and influencers I find on Medium. I listen to podcasts like The Science of Social Media by Buffer, Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner, Social Media Social Hour With Tyler Anderson and Designerless by Ysmay Walsh. I am like a sponge. Are you? You see you need to always be learning. Don’t let yourself get too caught up with how good you think you are or are not. You can always be better, but as long as you are smarter than the people in the room on your given topic, you are an expert.
Now I will say that one of the best things I did for myself and for my business was to go to Social Media Marketing world last year for the first time. I had purchased the virtual ticket since it started in like 2013. But last year was the first year I took the leap and made the huge investment to go attend the full event and stay down there in San Diego. Can I just say that what I learned and who I met at this event change the course of my business for the better. I was already at a point in my business where I was doing really well. But I wanted to go to the next level and when you want to go to the next level in your field you need to learn from the best. In social media there is no better convention than SMMW. Within months of attending, I gained my 3 highest paying clients to date and I set course on a long tail strategy for my personal brand and the direction I wanted to take my business. It helped me build my confidence as well because truth be told nothing will make you feel more confident that new knowledge. The point I am trying to make is never stop learning. Yes, chances are you are better than you think you are 9 times out of 10, but never let yourself get complacent. That is when you fail. And I don’t know about you, but I would much rather succeed.
So when you are feeling nervous about your skillset. When imposter syndrome kicks in just know that you are not alone in that feeling. Even the brightest minds in your industry question themselves from time to time. But the biggest piece of advice I can give when you feel this way is to go learn something new. Recognize your weaknesses and go make yourself stronger and more knowledgeable.
Chances are you are better than you think you are, but when you start to realize it you can build the confidence you need to head straight to the top, straight to your dreams, and to the life you want.
I would love to hear from you, what advice would you give someone who is suffering from imposter syndrome? How do you handle it? Call into my Anchor station and let me know (anchor.fm/stellar247), tweet to me on Twitter @stellar247, or comment on the show notes.
By the way, the show notes can be found at stellar247.media/yourock.
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