Imposter Syndrome Stopping You from Building Your Online Tribe?

Actionable tips to help get started in the journey

Shruthi Sundaram
4 min readJun 16, 2022
Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

The Internet is a beautiful place filled with fantastic people from all around the world. People from all domains, ages, and experiences, waiting to learn from you and teach you. Meeting people online is humbling, fills your heart with the trust that there are good people in the world, and most importantly, makes you want to continue the cycle.

Furthermore, through building connections online, you:

  • You find clients and leads
  • Get supporters and mentors cheering you on, making your work feel less lonely.
  • Have amazing conversations with people worldwide.

But many people are terrified of approaching people

The top 3 questions I keep hearing during my coaching sessions and from my friends (especially if they’re introverts) are

  1. “How do I approach a random stranger?”
  2. “What will I even talk to them about?”
  3. The best one: “What if they don’t respond?”

Are you usually comfortable when people approach you or even request your help but feel the itch on your palm when you have to do the same?

Well, there’s an experiment I want to introduce you to, which I hope will help you through the process. They might sound dumb because you would’ve already listened to it somewhere, but I had to do my bit to push you, right?­­­­

Experiment: Approach ten people in one week and jot down the results of the conversations


  • When we consider it an experiment and remove the associated outcomes, our brain automatically finds it more effortless.
  • You’ll be forced to document all the crucial variables, which will change your mindset over time.

What will happen if you do this?

I’ve realized that most of our fears and apprehensions are in our heads — nothing else. I don’t mean to demean you or your fears here, but that’s the truth. But when you approach “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” and do it anyway, we’re often pleasantly surprised by the outcomes.

Note down the following things before/after you DM people:

  • How many people respond? (+ve / -ve)
  • How did you feel when you got a response or when the conversation went forward? (Good/Bad/Great)
  • What was the intent behind you approaching them? (Offering help / encouraging them / resonating with their content / wanted to share your own opinion).
    Were you able to satisfy the purpose?

Here’s how you can make your journey easier:

  • Be familiar with the people you approach. You shouldn’t have spoken to them, but you should be aware of their work or resonate with them. Possibly commented on their work before.
  • Approach them to offer help instead of requesting help (the next stage of the journey) to build trust and create a relationship.
    Help needn’t be in the form of work. It can also be an encouragement, a pat on the back, or introducing them to someone else you know. Or it can also be as simple as a conversation.
  • Some conversation starters to help you out (They might be specific. You can use them as inspirations to draft your message):
  1. Thank you message
    Hey X(name)!
    I’ve been following your work for some time, and I love your work! It’s genuinely inspiring and forced me to take Y action to improve my career. Thank you.
  2. Feedback message (this is tricky, but if you get it right, you form great friendships)
    Hey X(name)!
    I accidentally came across your profile because you replied to Y (person). You’re doing great work. Keep doing what you do!
    One thing, though, I noticed you could improve this Z aspect (it can be their landing pages, profile, or anything). No pressure, though. I just thought of letting you know. I hope it helps. Have a great day!
  3. Sharing your opinion message
    Hey X(name)!
    Came across your post about this Y topic. While what you’re saying is right, I also think Z. What do you think?
  4. Encouragement message
    Hey X(name)!
    I just checked out your newsletter because I thought it would help me in this Y way. I went through your welcome email and a couple of previous editions too! They were so helpful, and you’re doing a fantastic job.
    You’ve found a true fan in me:) Keep going! Looking forward to reading more of your work.­­­­­

Some points to remember:

  • Get their name’s spelling right.
  • Check your message for grammar and spelling.
  • If you rate your experience any more than 7 or 8 at the end of the week, keep going, my friend. You’re on the right path!
  • Most importantly, be genuine. Don’t do it for the sake of doing it. Be honest and expressive about what you feel.

Talking with people online can be terrifying, but you need to start somewhere to get results. I hope this article will help you enough to do the same.

The post was a part of a 5-day (free email) course on building relationships online. Interested? Get it here!



Shruthi Sundaram

I help employees transition into their mission-driven, passionate coaching biz & scale up to high-ticket clients. Book a free call: