Being Under-Estimated is the Best

I’ve never understood how people can be comfortable telling others how great they are.

I haven’t done anything vaguely noteworthy yet, but even when I’m introduced to people as a ‘good videographer’ it makes my skin crawl.

In today’s modern business world, social media has become a key place to tell your potential customers how great you are and convince them to buy your products and services. I don’t for one second deny that it truly is an important part of modern marketing.

But scrolling through social media sometimes I can’t believe how blatantly people are standing on their soap box and singing their own praises to the world.

My intuition says that today people are smart, incredibly smart.

With the unbelievable amount of information we receive on a daily basis, how can we not be.

What’s more, with the amount of advertising content we’re exposed to, we need to develop a filter to help decide what to pay attention to. Just to allow our brains to cope.

To me it seems the key component of this filter is being able to instantly decide whether the message we are receiving is an authentic one, or not.

“Speak your truth” (quote: Gary Vaynerchuk)

Let’s imagine a photographer called John Smith…

If John Smith comes up to you and says “I’m John Smith and I’m an amazing photographer”, do you really believe him?

Probably not.

If a friend comes up to you and says “You should look at John Smith, he’s an amazing photographer”, do you believe them?

Quite possibly.

There’s a lot more to it than that. You’ve still got to form your own opinion.

In this example, you’re most likely going to log on to John’s Instagram and see what his work looks like.

You go to his page and it’s full of amazing photographs. You read a few of the captions.

Imagine it says…

“Look at this incredible shot I took last night!! It takes real skill to get a photo like this!!”

Put your trumpet down John, no one wants to listen to you blow it.

But imagine if instead it was a matter of fact description

“Went out on a photo mission last night, here’s my favourite shot”.

You can’t ignore the fact that determining the quality of a piece of content is a subjective decision.

If you’re a new videographer and show your recent work to your Auntie who doesn’t watch a lot of videos, she may think it’s incredible. Show it to Spielberg and he’ll have a different opinion. Yet the original piece of content is exactly the same.

The old-saying “self-praise is no recommednation rings true” and for years Gary Vaynerchuk has talked about how “self-awareness” is perhaps the most important factor in business success.

My intuition says that a key part of self-awareness is being able to realise how what you say and do is interpreted and received by others.

I’m certain that if a person or brand is a serial self-promoter on social media, you as a consumer see through this facade in seconds and start to disregard what they’re saying.

If you truly are great at what you do then you won’t need to tell people, they’ll know.

There’s also no better feeling than when someone has no expectations of the quality of work that you are capable of producing, then you present them with a piece of work that blows them away.

It’s not about modesty, it’s about self awareness.

No-one thought less of Muhammad Ali when he self-proclaimed that he was “the greatest”, because everyone knew that he was.

Keep working your face off until you don’t need to introduce yourself.

And remember, being under-estimated is the best.

I wish you every success.

What I’m Currently Reading…

‘Crushing It’ — by Gary Vaynerchuk — it’s a great one! Check it out here…

About Jack

I help people, brands and business communicate more effectively with their customers through visual, audio and written content.

I do this through Southpaw Sport, the sports content marketing company I’m currently building as well as on a freelance basis working for agencies and production companies.


You can follow me on YouTube where I post weekly vlogs sharing my experience and opinion on content production.

YouTube —
And my social media for behind the scenes look at what I’m up to

Instagram — @jackwrtompkins

Twitter — @jackwrtompkins

Jack Tompkins