I am an introvert. Not only that, I’m introvert in the balancing act of managing a couple of businesses, running a podcast, and slowly growing my personal brand. You can say that through the years, I’ve learned how to market as an introvert.
If you’re not new to business, you’re aware of the fact that businesses don’t promote themselves. And for me, that means that promoting myself and my brand is up to ME…an introvert (along with my amazing team, of course, but you get the gist).
I’ve had my fair share of hosting livestreams, managing Facebook groups, and interacting one-on-one with potential clients for all my businesses. I especially had to let myself out there when I ran a 5-day Ads to Leads Challenge.
It may seem that I have it all together and that learning how to market as an introvert all came naturally to me.
But as an introvert, sometimes my introversion gets in the way and more often than not, I get uncomfortable when the time comes that I have to talk about myself and what I do.
Slowly, I am getting out of that shell and becoming friends with the inner gremlin in my head reminding me every now and then that I am an introvert. Yes, I am an introvert, but that isn’t a bad thing at all…
BATTLING MY INNER GREMLIN
As introverts, most of us have learned to adapt and appear to be extroverts. Most people believe that introverts are always shy, but that isn’t the case. I can easily strike up a conversation with a stranger and make it seem like I am the most talkative person in the world.
I can act like an extrovert, but sometimes, my inner gremlin gets the best of me in certain situations.
Situations like when I just started playing American Football and people thought I was a pushover. Or when I get a new client and I feel the pressure of making sure I don’t mess up because I get paid for my services.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate myself or regret being an introvert. The gremlin in my head isn’t always the bad guy and I have slowly learned to channel my introversion to become the best version of myself when it comes to self-promotion.
CAN INTROVERTS PROMOTE THEMSELVES EFFECTIVELY?
So, why don’t I like talking about myself?
Well…I just DON’T. There’s no grand design or grand why behind why.
As an introvert, I am uncomfortable with being in the limelight and would rather listen than talk about myself. However, that doesn’t mean that I/we can’t promote ourselves or our businesses.
In a world full of extroverted marketers, we feel like we need to live up to their standards and appear to be flashy and flamboyant. We’ve been taught that in order to promote ourselves, we need to be extroverted and talkative.
But remember that both introverts and extroverts have their own strengths and weaknesses.
As an introvert, I have learned to harness my natural curiosity in order to have interesting conversations with other people. Because of this, I can carry great conversations while seeming like an extrovert (when in fact, most of the time, I’m just nodding my head).
To answer your question whether introverts can promote themselves, the answer to that is 100% YES.
It may take a few step backs and a bit of learning from our end, but ANYONE can be a marketer. Anyone can market his/her brand and be authentic about themselves without having the need to appear extroverted.
So how as an introvert, do you promote yourself?
Here are some of the lessons I have learned as an introvert marketing himself in a world full of extroverts.
USE YOUR INTROVERSION TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Think Like a Scientist
You may have noticed cartoon Tega appear every now and then in my articles or my social media posts. Most of the time, cartoon Tega dresses up as a scientist, because I like to consider myself a scientist conducting experiments in business.
This mindset means that every business, every piece of content, and every endeavor I get myself into I look at as an experiment.
Rather than focusing on success and getting results, treating things like a scientist means that I’m more inclined to satisfying my curiosity rather than achieving XYZ. I get so focused on the actual “experiment” that I tend to forget about what people are thinking about it.
In experiments, whether you win or lose, it’s all still a win at the end. Losing means that you’ve learned valuable lessons and winning means that you know what to continue doing moving forward.
As introverts, we like to live inside our head. So, let’s make the most out of this and think like a scientist rather than a marketer that’s so focused on impressing our audience.
Act More, Talk Less
I find it much easier to talk about my experiences (aka experiments) rather than about myself. And because I feel like talking about myself isn’t really something, I’m keen on, I’d rather spend my time being productive and doing the thing. This thing can vary from my experiments or spending time with myself learning something new.
Once I’ve done something related to the thing, it becomes much easier for me to start talking about it. If you think about it, it doesn’t seem so difficult to be talking about my experiments because it isn’t necessarily about MYSELF per se.
That way, what I share is useful to other people because I get to talk about my learnings and takeaways. This makes things far more interesting than having small talk (which most of us introverts avoid as well).
Going back to the earlier point, channel your inner scientist, and talk about that and because you are so focused on the actual doing of the thing, you disregard what everyone else thinks(At least, that works for me).
Don’t Focus on Making an Impression
This tip applies for both introverts and extroverts alike. And this goes not just for self-promotion but life in general. If you are constantly worried about what other people think, you will be in this endless cycle of always trying to please everyone.
I realise that not everybody thinks the way I think about things. We all have our own unique likes and dislikes. This is especially reflected on Social Media. The ads I am attracted to can be something utterly useless for someone else.
So, when I reflected on this, I concluded that I cannot please everyone with my content. Some people will enjoy it, and others will not. For those that don’t care about your content?
Don’t care that they don’t care!
Everyone is so busy worrying about their own issues, challenges, triumphs & perceived failures rather than your stuff and when you promote yourself, you do not have to be self-conscious at all. Simply focus on your ideas and being the curious introvert that you are.
Utilise the Power of Words
Promoting yourself does not always have to be about creating entertaining videos or hosting impromptu livestreams to get attention.
There are so many ways to promote ourselves and as introverts, we need time to think about what we put out there. We know there is power in choosing the right words to say, and it’s not something that we can come up with on the spot.
This means that we are more inclined to content that allows us to sit down and reflect before saying what we want to say.
Written content is much more attractive for most introverts because what we say is carefully curated. Thankfully, because of the internet, we introverts have a myriad of avenues to choose from in order to put our words out there.
Personally, being “talkative” on Social Media, this website, and to my email lists is something that I have grown accustomed to. I have nurtured most of my business relationships and built my brand through these platforms because I found that I am most comfortable with them.
Choosing which platforms work best for you will need you think like a scientist again. Each person is comfortable and uncomfortable with different things so if something doesn’t feel right to you, you can always experiment with something else.
Focus on Helping Over Promoting
The final tip that I want to share is that whenever I create new content or start a new business, the number one goal for me is to help other people. That’s the main reason why I started all my agencies and created a personal podcast.
Promoting myself and garnering fame was the LAST thing on my mind.
Even this article was written with the sole purposes of helping fellow introverts out there get over their shyness or hesitations so that they too can grow their businesses and in return, help more people.
So, if the inner gremlin in your head stops you in your tracks while composing that next social media post, tell yourself “If I’m not going to help other people, who else will?”
Just because I’ve shared these tips with you doesn’t mean that I’ve mastered them all myself. As I’m slowly growing my brand and getting more clients, I still struggle at times with my introversion.
Sometimes, my inner gremlin can be my best friend or my worst enemy. But hey, that’s life and we must accept all its ups and downs. I am slowly learning to become a better marketer (or should I say, scientist), and I know that getting out of my shell will take time and experience.
I hope that all these tips made you realise that you as an introvert also have the potential to create wonderful things and be proud to share it with the world.