Being Authentic Online

By Chris Jones · May 23, 2021

Being our best selves online can have its perks. We can choose to post the most flattering profile pictures, boast about our latest win at work and filter out all of the negativity in our lives so that what other people see (and think) of us is that we are consistent - and always - happy, productive, and winning.

But, as we all know, this is rarely the case; none of us are always on top of our game, continually happy or 100% productive all of the time. Of course it would be nice to be all of those things, but very often the image we present of ourselves online is far from authentic, and can lead to disappointment in the future. 

Mark & Jack Gaisford were our guests on Episode #4 of On The Rise podcast. We had a fantastic chat about all things social, including their own successful endeavours on LinkedIn - where they’ve amassed over 80,000 followers between them. But part of this success, Mark argues, is down to the fact they spend a lot of time making sure they’re as authentic as they can possibly be - even if it means admitting their shortcomings. 

“You’ve got to be authentic, you’ve got to be you, and this is the other thing that people are scared of doing because they fear that people won't like them.

“And if there is one message people need to understand, they are right. There will be a proportion of people that don't like them. Absolutely. And there is nothing wrong with that...”

“...because there will be a proportion of people - and a significant proportion of people - that do like you. And they are the ones that you want to do business with. So go down that path!”

During our chat on the podcast, Mark cites early YouTubers such as Casey Neistat as having an influence on how people see others online. These were people who put their lives on camera, with a seemingly small production value but with huge personalities and real, honest opinions. 

As much as these opinions could have potentially negative pushback, Mark insists - in a self-confessed rant - that allowing people to see you for who you really are in the content you create can actually benefit you in the long run.

“...if people see you and like you, they’re the ones that are more likely to want to do business with you. 

“We look on these social media channels and we almost treat it as if it’s a different world, it isn’t. It’s human beings! We’re still talking to each other! And my best piece of advice to anybody on any social media platform is would you say that to the person in real life, would you talk like that if you’re at a networking event? If the answer’s no, don’t do it on here either!”

With much of the world having shifted to virtual settings for meetings, networking events and job interviews amidst the pandemic - even with restrictions now lifting - people will want to meet and share ideas with people who come across as authentic online. 

It’s important to consider how you want to be seen; there are always eyes on you, and it’s up to you to choose what they can all see. 

Mark & Jack Gaisford OTR Episode: