Are you fed up of all the fake hype on social media? I promise you that 99% of it isn’t real. I often see behind the scenes and the curated perfection is just that – the best bits – the highlight reel. So if you find yourself comparing, or even believing it’s real; just remember it’s an edited selection.

Since launching my coaching business online, I’ve encountered a lot of fakeness, backstabbing and bullying. But this hasn’t put me off. In fact, it has made me want to show others how to do it properly. For example, if I think an offer of mine isn’t good or the right time for a potential client, I will tell them. If something in my business isn’t working or went to plan, I share this with my audience. If I haven’t slept and my children are sick, I show this in my marketing to show that it’s OK to be human.

I have learnt so much on my journey to success, and am still learning every day. The one shining truth that is regularly reiterated to me by my friends and clients is that they trust me because I am authentic. I tell it like it is. Sure, I’ve lost some people along the way, but I have gained way more than I have lost. People want honesty, they want integrity and they want someone who is ethical in business.

So if you are unsure whether someone online is real, ignore the curated version and follow these five tips: 

  • Follow their story

Have you come across someone online that looks too good to be true? Find out their background story. Where have they come from? How did they get so successful? Where did they start and what was their journey? Ideally they should be sharing this online as they will have nothing to hide.    

  • Look for proof

So they’ve got a hundred thousand followers, but where is the proof their brand or business actually works? Look for evidence – testimonials, reviews, recommendations and referrals from others.   

  • Lurk online

Start following all their content –  listen to interviews, articles, comments from others as well as the social media posts to see if it marries up with all they are saying. 

  • Find the real behind the (highlight) reel 

Instead of just following their insta stories, look out for the whole story. If they can share the lows and highs of their success and business, they are showing the full 360 picture. 

  • Make Contact

Find out what happens when you make contact – do they offer good customer service? Does someone get back to you if you email? If they do a live video, do they take the time to say hello? Is there a way you can ask questions and talk to them first? We all need reassurance that a person or brand is real and so there should be a good customer service in place.    

I’ve love to know good or bad experiences you’ve had and if these tips have helped you. 

Lisa x


  • Lisa Johnson is a business coach (known as the 'Passive Income Queen') for ambitious entrepreneurs. She's a compassionate helper, straight talker, an insightful thinker and a passionate believer in working smarter, not harder.