Quietly making a noise
Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash
By Mike Hindle
Easily overwhelmed with most forms of social interaction, near-permanent cravings for solitude, softly spoken, contemplative and reflective. For these reasons and many many more, an introvert will often work solo as a freelancer or set a business up based around their characteristic traits.
All well and good. But what if those traits come across as the opposite of what’s acceptable in the corporate world, quiet. A quiet person can’t run a business, can they? On the surface, no. Not if they want it to succeed anyway.
However, where introverts lack in the want or need to raise our voices, they altogether make up for with an endless flow of creative ideas, entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to work and market themselves differently.
The alternative approach
The online arena of business networking isn’t actually networking at all. It’s people shouting at each other, mindlessly firing out sales message after sales message with zero interest in what their audience wants. Spoiler alert! It’s not sales waffle!
Admittedly, you need to make sales or sell your service to survive, yet pushy phone shop style selling isn’t how you achieve this. At a time when the volume of the internet has reached unbearable levels, it’s the alternative approaches to marketing that’ll get you noticed.
‘‘By adjusting your strategies, you can spread your message without forcing yourself through experiences that drain you and feel untrue to your nature.” — Corey Pemberton, Marketing for Introverts.
Listen, think, then speak
Introverts are notoriously good listeners. We’re in no rush to speak up without first absorbing and thinking. Applying this to our online marketing strategy offers an immediate benefit. Observing and listening to your audience, then taking the time to compose what you want to say means you can ramp up the passion and quality.
Carefully thought out articles, blog posts, social media posts and maybe even videos provide the opportunity to connect your followers with media that they want to consume.
Channel your inner extrovert
This approach has long been my online mindset when it comes to marketing my businesses. The extrovert ideal is still very much present in the corporate world. Chatty, loud, charming, confident, Likeable. I can’t tick any of those boxes when awkwardly trying to navigate a face-to-face meeting. Nonetheless, reaching out from the comfort of my home office, completely doable.
The version of yourself that you can portray online can be thought of as the true you. Who you are when you’re with the people you feel most comfortable around.
Embrace it, let it out, show your quirks, differences and outright individuality. While we wouldn’t dream of acting this way to a room full of strangers, it’s somewhat comforting to be able to express ourselves in this way online.
Give more than you take
Unsocial Media? One thing I see a lot of is businesses that’ll happily lap up all of the likes, comments and praise, simply to offer nothing in return. It’s the real-world equivalent of rocking up to a party, instantly shouting about yourself and completely ignoring anything that anyone else has to say. They’d soon be referred to as a dick.
I’m in quite a few Facebook groups for local business in my area. These are the absolute worst places for selfish practices — practically zero engagement, full of ads and pitches, absolutely no networking.
Almost every time I engage with a post, the business simply sends me an invite to like their page. I’m sure you can imagine my choice of responses between accept and reject.
Trusted advice and inspiration
Show, share and add value. One of the easiest ways to invoke trust and credibility is to provide expert tips, tricks and hacks for your audience.
Not only are you sharing material that’s both useful and inspiring, but you’re also further demonstrating your skills and level of service. Sharing is caring (just not when it comes to food, hands off my pizza!). Let your knowledge and area of expertise become the reason that your clients and customers contact you over anyone else.
‘‘By building this type of authority, you can stand out in any industry because both your peers and customers turn to you for expertise, regardless of the size of your company.” — Paul Jarvis.
Time to raise the volume
Of course, most introverts would love nothing more than to do what they do best without having to worry about marketing themselves. However, if you’re determined to make your career a success, you’re going to need to (quietly) shout about what you do.
Caring about your audience and what they want to consume is your number one starting point. Keep this in mind with everything you say, publish and share. Your five easy wins for marketing yourself or your business as an introvert are:
Embrace the alternative approach.
Listen, think, then speak.
Channel your inner extrovert online.
Give more than you take.
Provide trusted advice and inspiration.
I hope you enjoyed today’s article. Feel free to comment your thoughts.