Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
January 21, 2011 9:25 PM

Fake It Till You Make It

Let's face it: not everybody has the high level of skills to really deliver the goods from day one.

I was listening to Howard Stern the other day. He was interviewing Aerosmith front-man and new American Idol judge, Steven Tyler. Stern asked Tyler if he knew growing up that he would be a rock star. Tyler said that even though the early days were hard and the band played to empty rooms, he knew he had the goods. When Stern pressed him about how he conducted himself in those days when compared to some of the American Idol contestants who seem to come on to the TV show and have a false sense of entitlement, Tyler replied that all he did was focus on the line: "fake it till you make it."

You have to believe in yourself and what you're doing... even when others don't.

It's both a slippery slope and a fine line (if you can't carry a tune, you're not going to be a great singer no matter how much you try to fake it). And yes, there are also many people who are delusional (to a degree). That line, "fake it till you make it," still stuck with me. To a certain degree, I've been doing that for most of my life. Our lives are a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don't believe that you have the skills sets and haven't set yourself up for success (educating yourself, working to build a portfolio, establishing yourself as a credible authority, etc...), you will be bound for failure. But, if you have done those things and you are getting some initial positive feedback, faking it till you make it is an extremely important (and powerful) attitude to have.

Social Media helps you fake it better than anything else. 

A statement like that will be taken negatively by many people. Because anyone can publish their thoughts in text, images, audio and video, there is a perception that any quack or snake-oil salesperson can fake it... without ever being able to make it. It's true. But the other side of that equation is that there are many smart and well-informed people out there as well who can tell the difference between someone who is using the channel to "fake it till they make" versus someone who is just "faking it."

Faking it is bad. Faking it until you make it is good.

Always remember: great content does find an audience. People like to share great content. If that's not happening for you right now, you have to keep at it or figure out the right formula to make it work for you. All of the crazy, hot Marketing agencies on the market today started out as a small handful of people who had the skills and the ability to fake it until they made it. The big difference now is that Social Media gives you a platform to really share what you're all about with the world... instantly... and you'll get the next-to-real-time feedback to know what they think (and yes, silence is feedback as well).

So, what are you waiting for? Fake it till you make it! 

By Mitch Joel