Imposter Syndrome…feeling like a fraud, feeling like you’re not good enough compared to other designers, feeling like you don’t belong in this industry…sound familiar?
I bet it does. Because we ALL feel this.
Luckily, I’ve learned some handy tricks over the years to combat imposter syndrome and in this podcast episode, I’m going to share my top 5 tips to help YOU as a web designer not only deal with imposter syndrome now but when it resurfaces in the future (which it will!)
In this episode:
00:00 – Introduction
01:59 – What were you thinking
04:59 – Wikipedia definition
07:49 – 1) No one’s an expert
09:49 – 2) Be the best to clients
11:07 – Know your competition
12:58 – 3) More than you think
14:20 – Coaching community
15:18 – 4) Stay in your lane
16:24 – Examples
20:32 – 5) Life is too short
21:18 – Who’s watching you
22:11 – More tips in summit
Featured links mentioned:
Episode #181 Full Transcription
Hello, Friends welcome in to Episode 181. What are you thinking? Web Design? You Are you kidding me? You didn’t come from a creative background. You don’t have a creative bone in your body. You can’t design. You’re not tech savvy. You can’t code. How are you going to build your own web design business? You’re too old, you’ve missed the boat. You’re way too late to the game. You’re a mom, you’re never going to have time to learn web design and grow your business. While being a mompreneur. What are you thinking? Are you kidding me web design seriously, there’s others that are way further ahead of you. How are you ever going to catch up?
If you’re feeling any of those feelings that my friend is called impostor syndrome. And I have dealt with that my entire career as a creative and as an entrepreneur. And I’m here today to share with you my top tips for getting over this ridiculous feeling of being an imposter. Now, impostor syndrome, we’ll look at the technical definition here shortly. I’ve talked about it a lot on the podcast in and out of episodes. In interviews, I actually did a solo episode on it way back in episode, I believe it was episode 10 that I did it.
But I want to I want to bring this back up and really address this again, especially right now at the time this episode is coming out because at this time of its release in spring 2022 right now is such such such such a hot time for web design, that the demand is greater than ever, all businesses are coming back online or getting online if they haven’t already. And this is really exciting. Because there’s a lot of demand, there’s a lot more need for it. But at the same time, more and more people are flooding into the web design market, which means you’re going to often feel like an imposter, especially if you’re like me, and you didn’t come from a traditional web design background or even a creative background.
The good news is, while imposter syndrome is always going to resurface at some point, you can combat it, and you can deal with it quickly, I might add. And I’ve learned this because I used to think imposter syndrome would be something that you just kind of get over. It’s like I’ve arrived, I’m done with imposter syndrome. And I guess that’s how you talk when you arrive somewhere. I’m at Target. Anyway. That’s not the case. The case is imposter syndrome will always resurface, particularly I found when you do something new, or when you add a new service or you branch out of your comfort zone.
For example, once I felt 100% confident as a web designer, I started teaching and then I felt like an impostor because I was like, who’s gonna buy my courses? Who am I to teach? Like, I haven’t ever built a seven figure design agency. How can I teach what I know, I felt it big time that and I feel it Now often when I’m doing interviews are branching into new areas and arenas of my entrepreneurial journey. But I’ve learned to combat it very quickly. And I’m going to share with you in this episode, my top five tips.
Now I’ve got a lot of different strategies and tips for impostor syndrome. We’ll talk about that in a bit. But I do want to share with you kind of give you a surface level view of my top five and this is just me in this episode, we’re just going to have a friendly chat, real casual, but I want to help you out with this particularly right now because the demand is so strong and I want you to be confident, happy and excited about web design. I don’t want you to feel scared and timid and shy and stay in your shell. I want you to get out there and I want you to enjoy this awesome journey of being an online web designer web printer, whatever your journey looks like.
So first off it In order to combat this, we need to look at what technically it is. And we’re going to bounce over to Mr. Wikipedia who has the, I guess, the the most technical definition that I feel like represents it pretty well. And on Wikipedia, it’s this imposter syndrome, also known as imposter phenomenon, or impostor ism, kind of fun, is a psychological occurrence underlying the word psychological in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, accomplishments, and has persistent, internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. And in Wikipedia internalized is linked because I think this is a great way to frame this. It is psychological, and it is internalized.
Let me right off the bat tell, you know, buddy cares as much about you, as you. And I, that may sound harsh, that may sound weird, but I guarantee there are not a bunch of web designers and web agency. They’re not sitting there thinking about you and like, oh, my gosh, what is what is he doing here? What is she doing here? Are you kidding me? They don’t care. Nobody cares. Everyone’s busy doing their own thing. The only reason you’re feeling impostor syndrome so big is because it’s internalized. And it is psychological. And I’m telling you this, because this is what I needed to be told.
No one gave a crap about me when I got started in web design. And that’s actually good because I can do my own thing. I don’t give a crap what any other people think. And they’re not thinking about me. They’re they’re busy. They’re stressed out, they’re doing everything they’re doing. So just remember, the reason I think this is empowering in all honesty, is because it is internalized, we just need to get the freakin heck over ourselves to get over impostor syndrome.
So that’s the that’s not even a point I have here. But I just want to set the framework for this is we have to realize we are likely feeling this, but I guarantee no one else cares. They’re not going to be like Josh system. Josh is of course, great. Are you kidding me? No one cares. All right. So we talked about the definition. Let me give you five tips. Now, I said before, I’ve got a lot of strategies on this, I dive into this more. And at the time of releasing this and upcoming summit, I’m going to be a part of.
I am going to be at the designer boss digital Summit, round four. Coming up at the time of releasing this on April 20. Through the 22nd. In there I give 10 tips. So double the amount of tips. If you would like the full 10 tips, go to Josh hall.co/db Summit, like designer boss Summit. And you can get access to this free summit where there’ll be a much more in depth training on this. But for right now, my top five tips.
1) Nobody’s an Expert
Number one, a biggie right here. No one’s an expert. Good news, web design moves so fast. And there’s so many components to it, that there is not one person who is going to be an expert at all the things it’s literally not possible, particularly with how SEO moves, how analytics move how design trends move, how you know, most of you are probably using WordPress, Divi Elementor. There’s different themes, I got a lot of folks listening, right now who you’re you might be using Webflow, or even Squarespace are different platforms, there’s so many different platforms, nobody can be an expert at all of it.
So the good news is, you do not have to aspire to be an expert. And all the things you don’t even need to be an expert in really anything, all you need to be is just a little further than your clients and people who you’re going to be doing work for. You do not need to be this expert who has been doing web design for 2620 some years. And on that note with that idea. If a web designer started the 90s, they have to pivot and evolve constantly. And I’ve had some guests on the podcast, we’ve got some coming up who actually got into web design in the 90s. And they’ve had to completely revamp their thinking, because things move so fast. So while that can be kind of a pain, it does mean that you got to keep on learning.
The good news is anyone can jump in at any time and become a quote unquote expert air quotes without technically knowing everything. So that’s the good news. No one has to be an expert, and no one is an expert. So that’s number one. Hopefully that empowers you to know that good. I don’t need to know all the things I don’t need to be the best at copywriting and SEO and design and conversion and coding and all the things. All you have to do is be good at a few things that you really like and that you’re really good at and focus on those and we’ll talk about that. But that’s number one. No one’s an expert.
2) You Don’t Have to be the Best. Period. Just in Your Client’s Sphere.
Number two, you don’t have to be the best period. You just have to be the best in your clients sphere. That is a quote from Troy Dean, who was recently on the podcast that was back on episode was that 159? Let me double check, Billy, that was 159. And so if you don’t know, Troy he is Yeah. 159 Troy said that Troy Dean is the CEO of agency, Mavericks. It was previously WP Elevation. He’s kind of a legend in the WordPress realm Have you been in it at all over the years. But Troy said that quote, and it stuck out to me, like so brightly. It was like there was a shining light on this quote, let me say it one more time, and we’ll dive into it.
You don’t have to be the best period, you just have to be the best in your clients, sphere, sphere, sphere. I always say that weird. I don’t know exactly how it goes. But it’s such a great quote. And it’s so true. You, you should not have to compete with other web designers, in digital marketing agencies, you just need to be the best for your clients. And the good news is for your clients, they’re just looking for somebody who knows even just a little bit more than they do, especially depending on the type of project, you do not need to compete with everybody else.
Now, is it good to know your competition, particularly if you’re local, and you’re getting a lot of local clients, just to see where their price points are at where their offerings are at? Sure, by all means. I’m not discouraging that. But I’m simply saying, you just need to be the best in your clients sphere. So if your clients have like three web design agencies to choose from, and there’s something about you even if you haven’t been in the game, as long, if you just care about your projects, and to them, You are the best option for them. That’s all you need that because that really Gosh, this quote is what I needed to hear if there’s one thing in this list that trumps everything it is the fact that I don’t need to be the best web designer ever just need to be the best in my clients zone. That’s all you need to be.
Which is really empowering. Because that means you don’t have to be that great at all the things in order to grow your web design business, and you will get better and better and better and better with each and every day. And confidence will continue to build. And when you look back a year after where you were, when you sign up with a client, you’ll be like, Oh my gosh, I’m so much better than I was last year. Now I can really serve my clients and my new clients even better.
So thank you shout out to Troy Dean for that quote, which he said so nonchalantly, it was funny. In that interview, again, I highly recommend going back to that episode, which was 159. Josh, hold up CO slash 159. Talking about scaling whether you should scale what that looks like nowadays. Troy was awesome. He just said that. No, so nonchalantly and I was like, gosh, that is such a great quote. So I hope that empowers you. You just need to be the best for your clients and your clients aren’t going to know that many web designers. So there you go, there isn’t there’s another boost. Because you’re not going to have to compete with hundreds, you might just compete with three or four or five, maybe a dozen at most. So gosh, awesome quote. That was number two.
3) You Know Way More Than You Think You Know
Number three. Here’s another really important tip that is good to know. And that is that you know, way more than you think, you know, I discovered this in particular when I started teaching. And before I started doing tutorials on my YouTube channel, and but even Well, before I started doing courses, some of you have seen this if you’ve been through my business course. But I did a client Resources page and on this page was essentially just tutorials about the main tools I use, including at the time was like Google Analytics, Divi Builder, basic WordPress stuff, basic SEO, image optimization tools. I put these tutorials together for clients who were updating their websites.
And I realized doing these videos, I’m like, Oh my gosh, I actually way I know way more than I realized I did. And you’ll find this too, if you ever do a presentation or a training, or like if you’re in a networking group, and you have a presentation that you get to present for 1020 minutes. When you get going and start writing out the stuff that you know about a certain topic, you’ll be amazed at how much you know, whether that’s SEO, whether it’s analytics, whether it’s conversions, whether it’s copywriting, whether it’s design, whatever it is, you’ll be amazed at how much you’re picking up every day in your web design journey, especially if you’re here, obviously listen to this podcast.
But if you’re watching YouTube videos and going through summits and trainings, and if you’re a part of my web design club, my coaching community or wherever you are online, you’re going to pick up so much, and you’re gonna know way more than you think, you know. And I say this because practically I’ve had some, some people that I’m coaching now who I can tell I feel like they just they don’t know that much. But I look at their business and they’ve been at it for like five years and they’re killing it and they’re making almost six figures or whatever it is, and they’re making beautiful websites and I’m like you know, so much more than you give yourself credit for.
So that’s my third encouragement to you is that you know, way more than you think. And I do want to encourage you if you are open to it. Or if I can challenge you do a training put a little like free half an hour masterclass together for clients sharing something you know pretty well, you will be astounded at how much you know, and then that’ll build some confidence to help combat impostor syndrome. So that’s number three.
4) Follow Your Own Path in Your Lane
Number four, this is going to kind of dovetail off of something we talked about earlier. But number four is to follow your own path and stay in your own lane. It’s kind of a two in one. But the idea is the same. In web design, going back to what we first talked about, there are so many aspects to it, which is really cool. And also kind of daunting, right? Because it’s like, oh my gosh, if I’m going to be a web designer, I’m going to have to learn design, copywriting, conversion, SEO, coding, all the things.
The good news is, well, first of all, if you go through my courses that will teach you the basics of all the things. So you do feel empowered to do everything. But you don’t have to be an expert in everything. And the good news is if you stay in your own path, and in your own lane, you can really dive into a few certain things. For example, in my web design club, my coaching community, I’m really fortunate to, to get to know people deeper on a deeper level with their businesses, which that is open to you. By the way, you can go to Josh hall.co/coaching, for more information on how you I can coach you directly. And I can kind of be a strategist for you and your business.
But it’s been really cool, because I see people really dive into what they want to do most depending on if it’s something they enjoy, for example. So April, one of my students, she does email marketing for clients. A lot of web designers don’t want to touch that. But she’s really good at that. And she likes that and she enjoys it, and it’s a big upsell for her audience. That’s awesome. I’ve shout out to Chris, my man, Chris, who was on the podcast a while ago, Chris does mainly SEO. And a lot of web designers don’t want to do or don’t want to do much SEO, but he came from an SEO world. And that’s how he chose to build his business was through SEO.
I’ve got other people, for example, Leo, who his business is now niched, down to traveling websites and traveling brands. I have no interest in that or desire. And a lot of people don’t maybe not have interest in that type of niche industry. But he does because he knows it. Well. He is staying in his lane, and he’s thriving, right now. Shout out to Leo, if you’re listening to this one.
So a few examples that I just wanted to mention there of people who are doing web design a lot of different services, but they found what they’re interested in, and they are staying in their lane. That is what you should do to help boost impostor syndrome. If you stay in your lane, and you’re not focused on what everyone else is doing. But you do your thing. And yeah, you might keep an eye on a pulse of what’s going on, but you stay in your lane, you will thrive because you know what you do, and you get better and better and better at doing it and you get clients results.
And then if you’re not doing SEO, but your clients need SEO, guess what? Join my web design club, you can partner with somebody in there or if you’re in any other online communities or wherever you hang out online or locally at meetups, partner with people to account for the services that you don’t do or you’re not very good at. That’s what I did with SEO. Same thing with copywriting. There is a massive need for copywriters in web design. So if you are good at copy and writing headlines and converting type of text and copy, man, let me just encourage you make that a service because I can refer people to you because that is a huge need right now. And you will get work left and right if you focus on copywriting and conversion text. So highly recommend doing that.
Anyway, stay in your lane, there’s a quick analogy I want to use here. And that is first of all, if you think about like driving on the highway, what happens when you’re not focused on your lane, if you veer off and you keep on looking, you are going to veer that way. So if you’re looking to the left at the car beside you for more than a few seconds, guess where your car is going to go to the left, you’re going to get out of your lane, you’re going to bump into somebody or god forbid wreck. You don’t want to do that if you stay on your lane and you keep your eyes on the prize.
Yes, you want to have the vision beside you quick, quick looks. I wish you could see me right now I’m doing quick looks left and right. See what’s going on. See trends, see what other people are doing. But don’t let that discourage you focus on your lane and your path. And I’ll say our personal example. But before I share this fifth and final point with you, as a web design coach, I have a YouTube channel. That’s a good size right now. 25,000 plus subscribers to 2.5 plus million views. It’s a good channel but I’ve got colleagues who might like my friend Darrell Wilson, 326,000 subscribers, millions and millions of views.
So it’s natural for me to like, look over at Daryl and look at his lane and be like, oh maybe I should like I really just go ham on YouTube. And should I do less podcasts I do less live q&a is or whatever it is I just focus on YouTube. I always, always have to remind myself stay in my zone of genius. Stay in my path. Yes, I’ll do YouTube. But it’s part of my strategy and not my main strategy because Darryl doesn’t have a podcast. But I do. So I can’t get that type of success and follow my and build my podcast with the same amount of effort. So I’ve learned to stay in my path. Lochhead. Stay in your lane, that will help you too.
5) Life is too Short
And then finally, this is kind of just a personal thing that I’ve learned with impostor syndrome. And this is a little bit more in depth look at something I said very early on in this episode. But that is, we just don’t have time for this. Frankly, life is too short. And it’s a weird kind of tip. But I just feel like I see now that I’ve been coaching students, and I’ve been seeing people all over the world in different stages of their business. I’ve seen so many people be held back by themselves. And if that statement right there resonated with you, that means you’re likely going through this right now. And you might just need to be challenged. You might somebody needs to tell you, you are holding yourself back. You’re feeling this imposter syndrome.
Remember the definition. It’s psychological, it’s internal. Nobody cares. Nobody is sitting there all day thinking about who you are hoping that you fail in web design. It’s not the case. It just kind of goes back to like school, right? When you walk in school, you’re all nervous. Maybe it’s just because I was awkward and in school, but I remember just thinking like, people were looking at me, and everyone’s judging me. And everyone’s you know, like, worried about everything that I’m doing. Those kids didn’t give a crap. Like, they probably just look right past me been thinking anything of it.
And that’s exactly what’s going on in web design. I just I want to harp on this because I think it’s really, really important. We often think that so many people are judging us or wanting us to fail or thinking about us, but they are thinking of themselves. So you do not need to focus on feeling like an imposter. Life is too short. Just I hope these tips help.
And again, there’s a lot more tips and more in depth tips and strategies in the upcoming summit, if you’re listening to this when it came out. So go to Josh hall.co/d Be summit all one word like designer boss Summit. And you can register for that and get access to the full presentation. Because I’ll talk in a lot more detail. And it’s visual, too. But I just want to encourage you that you got stuff to do. You got people to help you got a business to grow. You have days that I want you to wake up and enjoy and I want you to thrive and be super happy and have fun and enjoy your day in these internalized feelings of impostor syndrome.
Wow, I understand the validity Validity, excuse me of them. You gotta kick those to the curb life is it’s just too short. I do not want you to be held back for one minute longer. If you have held yourself back because you’re too afraid or you feel like you’re not good enough. We’re all learning. We’re all growing. We’re all failing. Whether a bigger fails or smaller fails. We all throw stuff at the wall to see what sticks. We’re all doing it. Go for it. Do not let impostor syndrome hold you back because it is psychological. It is internal. And quite frankly, you got stuff to do. You got you got some awesome things ahead. But you got to get over impostor syndrome.
I hope these tips have helped. Again, just to view again last last reminder, if you’re listening to this live, or if you’re listening to this as it comes out. Just go to Josh hall.co/db summit to sign up for the designer boss summit round four, where yours truly and a bunch of other awesome designers are going to be in you’ll get access to the full presentation. And I hope this helped.
I’d actually love to know of these tips that we went over what has been your favorite if you go to Josh hall.co/ 181 the shownotes for this episode, leave me a comment. Let me know your favorite tip. And if you have a tip that’s helped you I would even moreso love to know so go there leave me a comment. I will personally respond. even leave a comment there.
All right. I hope you enjoyed this. See at the summit soon. Last time, Josh hall.co/db summit one word and cheers to booting impostor syndrome for good my friends. Let’s do it. You got stuff to do do it.
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