Being Different Isn’t Enough — You Have to Get Fucking Real to Be Seen.

In a world where everybody is different and unique, you need something more to stand out.

These days with the crowded online space, it’s not enough to just “be yourself” and get people to take notice.

No, sometimes you gotta get fucking real. Sometimes you need to tell it like this without sugarcoating anything. Because if you want to get noticed, you better be fucking real because nobody likes a fraud.

As Seth Godin mentions in his book All Marketers are Liars, everybody is a marketer these days. If you’ve got something to sell — a product, service, or even an idea — you need to tell people a story about it and frame it in a way that people will want to believe it.

With all stories though, marketers have to embellish them to make them interesting and “pop”. And sometimes that means having to “lie” to get your point across and get your product in front of the eyes of the right people who are going to buy it (which of course involves turning many off, but that’s part of the process). But if everyone is a marketer, how are you going to stand out?

It’s True, You’re a Marketer Like Everybody Else

Even though all marketers lie to a degree to tell their story, Godin reminds us that there’s a difference between a fib and a fraud.

A fib is a “white lie”. A fib is presenting wine in an elegant wine glass to give it the illusion of better taste to many people (even if the placebo effect is leading the charge). A fib is telling someone something that bends the truth a little bit, but that’s okay. Everyone does it, and people believe it even though it’s technically a “lie”.

A fraud, though? A fraud is when a company like Nestle makes millions off of fresh water because they’re buying it at dirt cheap prices well below what they should be priced. Although there’s many people that get turned off by these companies for good once they tell a “fraud” of a story, many will still buy from them and the subsidiary companies they own regardless. But sometimes the telling of a fraud can lead to a stain on the company’s reputation itself, turning off potential buyers for long periods of time to come (or forever).

As consumers, we like to buy into stories that are fibs.We like believing that our date is an unbelievably interesting person and a great cook, even though they may just have been pulling out all the stops to make that great impression. We like believing that drinking beer in a “pint” is more elegant and classier than drinking it out of a bottle (especially if it’s “on tap”). Buying into a “lie” makes us feel good and it somehow enhances the quality of the beer (even if it’s a cheap, generic house lager, it still somehow manages to taste just a little bit better in a pint glass).

We don’t like when companies outright lie to us, though. We don’t like when companies tell us something is organic and it’s actually not organic at all. We don’t like when politicians lie to us on camera to make themselves look better (but we do like them a little more if they come right out and apologize for their mistakes, because we can handle that little bit of unpleasantness because it’s a little more digestible).

Where Does That Leave Us Storytellers, Then?

Even though I believe in being 100% transparent and authentic as a writer on the internet, there’s certain things I can’t say. I try to not talk too much about my family, or personal details that would shine a light on things that should best be kept hidden. I don’t talk about how I used to have a temper, how I used to throw things when I didn’t get my way. I just don’t think these things add to my message at all (unless one day they did help me write a post I was working on, only then would I include them probably without other people’s names).

Nobody likes the guy at dinner that tells everyone everything about his life. There’s a line to be drawn between total transparency, then, and telling a little fib. Like the display window of our competitors, you can look, sure, but don’t touch. We all take a peek from time to time though — it’s only human.

Yes, life is hard. Some days I don’t even want to get out of bed and face the world. Some days I feel down, others I feel like I need to release my frustrations on something (preferably an inanimate object), others I feel worthless — hell, most of the time I do.

But would focusing on those negative impacts help anyone? And would always talking about them make me or anyone reading my stuff feel any better about their life?

Maybe. Why not then talk about the positive though? Why not focus on the fact we’re all special,and we all have stories to tell? And we can all make an impact, even for one person, if we’d only try?

There’s No One Size Fits All Answer to Getting Noticed Online

There are no solutions that are cure-all here. There are problems and there are solutions to some of those problems, just like there are questions and answers to some of those questions — although sometimes these questions just breed more answers that then highlight even more questions to ask afterwards.

As a writer online, I help other writers beat writer’s block and overcome the mental walls stopping them from creating their best work. But while this is my story to tell specifically to other writers, my solutions won’t work for everyone (they might not work for most). People will doubt me and mistrust me and claim I haven’t put in my 10,000 hours. But I don’t cater to these people. Instead, I put my message out there and cater to the people who need to hear it and who’ll gain some value from it.

My message? To help writers overcome the mental barriers stopping them from getting to work. My fib? That I don’t really believe writer’s block exists. Oops, there it is — yup, I said it. It’s more like a self-imposed mental block we don’t really need to impose on ourselves just because the world told us that creative people get immovably stuck and impossibly frustrated from time to time with their work. That’s the way of life though, as it changes and grows as our feelings ebb and flow.

Like motivation, creativity is fleeting — it comes and goes. It’s only natural to get stuck. So all we can do is do the exercises to try and unleash it and accept that we can’t force it to come out if it doesn’t want to. To me, writing isn’t a magical state of being, but just an act of sitting and doing the work day after day. There’s not much more to it than that, so why make it out to be something mystical if it’s not?

I could tell others their writing will reach more people if they do “X, Y, or Z” but I don’t. That’s not my truth, not my gospel.

I’m just here to help others unleash their gifts onto the world. That’s my real, and that’s my normal.

What’s yours?

What’s your story?

We all tell stories to others, but the story is never the point.

The message behind it is.

And if your message isn’t clear to anyone you’ve got some mending to do. If your message isn’t authentic and specific to what you believe in 100%, it isn’t worth anything. It’s like a cheap shiny trinket you think is good rather than something that’s actually worth a damn.

I’ve always believed the best way to be seen by others is to embrace your message and share what you truly believe with others. Because you’re already yourself —stop trying to be someone else when you’ve already got this one body, this one mind, these big ideas — if you’d only start being you.

The world will thank you for it.