Orangeville, ON (James Doan) Marketing yourself is a high stakes proposition. Should you twist yourself into the persona everyone says your audience wants to see and hear? For some questionable marketing advisors, that’s not even an open question. They will say you should act the part, regardless of how awkward that mask feels.

According to research by Francesca Gino at Harvard Business School, catering to the expectations of the people you want to impress is one-third as effective as being yourself.

Why? First, Gino says, trying to impress by pretending to be someone you’re not is draining. This will undermine your effectiveness. Second, uncertainty about what the other side prefers heightens your anxiety. You feel uncomfortable and come across as phony.

I have seen this play out with inauthentic marketing copy. A third dynamic often crops up. Someone who knows they’ve written themselves up in fake fashion holds back from pouring their heart into promoting the facade.

Being true to yourself in a big way can feel scary if it’s not your habit. But it’s the smartest move!

[Find the Harvard Business School research here: ]