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Navigating the authenticity crisis: How to thrive in a fake social media world

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You hate social media because you think it’s fake.

You think it’s fake because you see many people showing versions of themselves that seem “off.”

You don’t post because you’re scared you must do the same to succeed. 

Meanwhile, the people who grow the most understand that the OPPOSITE is true. 

 

I was just like you

 

Early on in my career, I was super naive. I saw people with more significant followings and assumed they were the real deal. I wondered why I only had 100-200 followers. I wondered why I only got four likes on a post, and what I had to do to become an authority in real estate. 

I put out SO much content, hosted events and supported other people like CRAZY, but I didn’t see any traction online. I watched other accounts (TOO much) grow by tens of thousands of followers and felt like I was failing. 

Then I noticed something.

My phone was ringing. People called me saying they wanted my content and wanted to work together. 

I got listings. We grew. 

I also noticed those same people with 5-10 times my following were NOT selling. Online, they looked great, but it didn’t translate to REAL relationships. 

 

Then I figured out the problem

 

When I reached a certain threshold, I started getting pitched to BUY followers — the new trend in getting engagement/comments/views.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. 

It felt GROSS, and I had to make a decision. If I was going to go that route, there was no going back.

Some people will do it because, “It’s sales, baby!” If that’s your jam, go for it. For me, when people hear my name, what’s more important to me is this proverb:

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.” 

This business is fraught with pitfalls. Competition is great. Comparison is not.

In the best of times, competition drives innovation. It can show us what’s possible and help us refine our best selves. 

In the worst of times, comparison leaves us miserable, despite the fact that we still have so much. 

So how can you solve this? Here’s what helped me achieve authenticity with integrity.

 

Shut out the noise

 

What you focus on expands. I did a time audit and started catching myself when I was spending more time worried about my competition than growing my own business. So, I researched better ways to curate my feed: 

 

1. Unfollow and block people

 

I know this sounds aggressive but it was necessary at the time. It may not have been a “them” problem — their content actually WAS that good. Rather, it was me realizing that to accomplish the dreams I had required drastic measures, and this was one of them. 

I FORCED myself to unfollow anyone that gave me that negative feeling.

It wasn’t a lot of work. I didn’t overthink it. I just went off feel. 

At first, it didn’t make a difference. But, after being thoughtful about it for a couple of months, I found myself being MUCH more productive online. Posting with a purpose and GHOSTING. Not doomscrolling or feeling bad. WIN. 

 

2. Build community

 

After I figured out who I didn’t want in my feeds, I realized the algorithms on ALL platforms WANT to serve you the RIGHT people. 

Think about it.  If your feed is filled with terrible things, it’s probably more a reflection of what you actually look at or engage with.

Did you know that just PAUSING on a post for 1.5 seconds counts as an impression?

When I realized this I did another quick Google search: “How to clean up your feed on ‘insert any social platform here’”

I’ll save you the research:

  • Click “see less” 
  • Click “X” to close the post
  • Unfollow 

Every single platform has a simple way to tell it you don’t want that content in your feed. Ask yourself when you last took time to TELL the platforms what you WANT.

Same as unfollowing people, it didn’t take much effort. It was simple actions done consistently over time that allowed me to succeed here.

This was one of the BIGGEST unlocks. Slowly but surely so many people I wanted to communicate with were popping up in my feed.

So much of what I didn’t like about social media went away: The petty political arguments. The provocative. The violence. The fear.

 

Social media is not fake unless you assume so or engage with it in that way

 

What dominates the bulk of people’s feeds adds nothing good to your lives, I promise you that. 

What dominates my feed is a community of people who are driven and intelligent, with integrity. 

What dominates my feed are things that make me smarter.

What dominates my feed are people who are IN my community. 

Social media is meant to be social. It’s not fake unless you assume it is or engage with it in that way.

Social media is the cafeteria at your high school. You choose the table to sit down at, and guess what? You can stand up and change tables anytime. So, I did.

I doubled down on MY people. The ones who cheered for us and wanted us to win. I continued trying to provide valuable solutions to their problems regardless of the vanity metrics.

It took me a LONG time, but the platforms figured out who I was talking to, and the compound effect is undefeated. We’ve now reached over nine million people and climbed across multiple platforms, but that’s unimportant.

What’s important is that we continue to find the RIGHT people.

What’s important is slow growth over time will yield something sustainable and valuable. 

Stop worrying about followers. Stop worrying about likes. Stop worrying about views. 

Instead, focus on the human beings at the other end of the DM or phone call. They are REAL people. Stop treating your “community” like income lines on a spreadsheet. When you do that, everything will change.

 

Stay tuned for my next piece with more on how you can use social media in a way that helps you achieve authenticity with integrity.

 


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