Jargon-Filled, BS Writing Repels People

People know if you’re fake. They feel it in their gut, based on thousands of small clues you drop without consciously knowing it. The same is true of your writing. So, how do you stay out of the fake filter? Be vulnerable, honest, and drop the bullshit.

Too many professionals are terrified of how they will be perceived in public, and therefore they filter the “bad” present only the “good” to their networks and give it a good polish. We see it in person, we see it on Instagram and Twitter, and we see it in their writing, but guess what: It doesn’t work.

People Be Hatin’ If You Go Fakin’

Future podcast guest Francesca Gino, author of Rebel Talent and Harvard Business School professor, indicates people do actually pick up on these signals. Her research even shows your pathetic attempts to boast, masked as humility repel people—the humblebrag doesn’t fool anyone. Those silly attempts at humility just make you appear less authentic. You may think you’re doing a great job impressing your networks, but there’s a good chance they’re not buying it.

So, how do you avoid being perceived as fake? How do you stay out of people’s bullshit filter? Gino’s research shows people respond more positively if you show some vulnerability. One person who has taken this very method to the bank, cutting through the “bullshit” is Sam Parr, CEO of The Hustle. When I asked him how to make sure we aren’t putting up red flags, he simply said, “don’t bullshit.” So, what the heck does that actually mean?


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Speaking to me on The Justin Brady Show, Sam Parr emphasized the distance people go to impress their networks or scrub their online presentation of any personality whatsoever. Just look at LinkedIn, Parr said.

A LinkedIn bio may read Head of Procurement when in reality it would be better just to say “I buy office stuff.” Nothing knocks you out of someone’s BS filter like pure, sweet, uncorrupted honesty. I know it sounds scary to be brutally honest, and I know the temptation to polish your image is strong, but vulnerability actually works. It’s my go-to tactic when someone asks how to get a journalist’s attention.

Research supports we as homo-sapiens have the unique ability to see through the facade people put up. And when we feel as though we are missing part of the authentic picture, we distrust the person in question—or avoid them altogether. This absolutely spills into your writing as well. Honesty really is the best policy.


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WHY don't the best ideas, entrepreneurs and companies get the attention they deserve? Enter your info and I'll send tactics that will amplify your story, get press, and rank high in search.

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