Are you an introvert who struggles to keep up with the extroverts in business and society? Do you find it hard to find ways to market yourself as an entrepreneur?
Does this sound familiar?
- At times you can’t think, concentrate or communicate something important to you
- You get exhausted and need a nap after speaking with people at events or parties
- You feel misunderstood by other people
- You prefer to stay home while others are out at networking events
You are not alone. I totally get it! There is nothing wrong with being an introvert.
Today I will share with you tips on how to market yourself if you’re an introvert.
Introvert? well, I like to say that I have transformed from a caterpillar into a butterfly. All through middle school I felt I did not fit in. I was an unapologetic introvert. I had a few friends and I was happy. I was not the type of person that needed to be part of a large group of friends. In high school, I would come home exhausted and was the first one out of all my siblings in bed by 8:30 PM. I would also make up excuses to not have to show up to parties or events that would literally drain the life out of me.
When I worked in corporate people thought I was shy when in fact I was not. I was just quiet and preferred to focus all my attention on my work. I was very happy in my last corporate job, as I managed to write up a proposal and convince my boss to let me work from home 3 days a week. I have slowly become more of an ambivert. However, I still need my naps and time alone to recharge my batteries when I feel exhausted from the days events.
You have to know what an introvert is in order to maximize your strengths.
Introversion is the state of being predominantly interested in one’s own mental self. Introverts are typically perceived as more reserved or reflective. Some popular psychologists have characterized introverts as people whose energy tends to expand through reflection and dwindle during interaction.
Extraversion is the state of primarily obtaining gratification from outside oneself. Extraverts tend to enjoy human interactions and to be enthusiastic, talkative, assertive, and gregarious.
Ambiversion is falling more or less directly in the middle. An ambivert is moderately comfortable with groups and social interaction but also relishes time alone.
Want to know how you deal with people, process information and make decisions? Are you an extrovert or introvert? Take this FREE personality test. Jung Personality Test
You can also take the official Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ($49.99USD): mbtionline.com/TakeAssessment.
Everyone knows an introvert
Even if you are not an introvert I bet you know someone who is. A family member, a friend or someone you work with. Introverts are usually labeled as being too quiet and extraverts too outgoing. Introverts are usually labeled as being shy. Contrary to popular belief, not all introverts are shy. Introverts are also labeled as being self-absorbed or rude sometimes. Why? Because most people do not understand how the introverted person feels or functions.
Introverts, for the most part, prefer to be with smaller groups of people. They prefer to spend time alone. Introverts do like to socialize, but not to the extent that extroverts do. They prefer to concentrate on a single activity at a time. They are careful to respond or answer questions too quickly. Introverts are easily overwhelmed by too much stimulation from social gatherings like networking, conferences or holiday parties.
While most introverts prefer small intimate gatherings with people they know well, some also like to go out and mingle. However, for most people like me, attending social gatherings of any sort can become draining and we need some time to be alone to “recharge” afterward.
Extraverts seem to have an advantage over introverts in business because they are so outgoing and tend to work well in groups. They like to be surrounded by lots of people. They do not like to be in boring situations. They are not afraid to communicate their ideas or feelings. Most thrive on being the center of attention. Most introverts, on the other hand, do not like being the center of attention.
Would it surprise you to know that introverts make up one third to one half of the world’s population?
A 1998 MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) manual stated that the ratio of introverts to extroverts in the general population was as follows:
This includes ambiverts who are somewhere between introversion and extraversion.
- Introverts are highly intuitive
- Introverts and extroverts are attracted to each other
- Introverts have trouble thinking on the fly
- Introverts are seen in some places as calm, unemotional and wise
- Introverts are great listeners
- Introverts prefer to know fewer people, but know them well
- Introverts dislike small talk
- Introverts do not like being labeled antisocial
- Something as simple as shopping can drain our energy
- We do not like being underestimated just because we are quiet
- Most introverts do not like to talk on the phone
- Men are more likely to be introverts than women
- Introverts may be better public speakers
- Introverts tend to prefer environments with low stimulation
Common misconceptions about introversion
- That they are highly sensitive
- They can’t become successful entrepreneurs
- They are socially anxious
- They always prefer solitude over social interaction
- Deep thinkers
- Are all shy
- Are not risk takers
- Cannot work in teams
Susan Cain the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking argues that modern western culture misjudges the capabilities of introverted people, leading to a waste of talent, energy, and happiness. Cain describes how society is biased against introverts, and that, with people being taught from childhood that to be sociable is to be happy, introversion is now considered “somewhere between a disappointment and pathology”. In contrast, Cain says that introversion is not a “second-class” trait but that both introverts and extraverts enrich society.
Introverts can start businesses and excel at marketing
As an entrepreneur, your chances of succeeding are higher when you make connections and build relationships with other people. The good news is that there are now so many ways that you can self-promote as an introvert and still feel comfortable doing it.
6 tips on how to market yourself if you’re an introvert
Note: I am offering tips to help you along your journey as an entrepreneur. I am not trying to change who you are.
1. Learn to embrace your introversion
Let go of what some call ‘comparisitis’. Stop comparing yourself to others. You do not have to act like an extrovert. Be yourself and embrace who you are. Build your success on your strengths. As an introvert, you have your own unique gifts to share with the world. Do not feel like you have to change for anyone.
2. Do your homework before choosing your business category
As an introvert, choose your business category carefully. Consider how all your business ideas fit in with your personality and emotional needs.
A few business ideas for introverts:
- Web Designer
- Web Developer
- Graphic Designer
- Social Media Consultant
- IT Consultant
- Massage Therapist
- SEO Consultant
- Public Speaker
3. Build close-knit relationships
Find the right people (your Tribe). People that get you and understand you. Find partners who will complement you.
The key to success is to take any time you can (every little bit of it) to recharge your batteries. Get your calendar out and schedule some quiet time for yourself throughout the day. Reduce stimulation by turning off electronics as much as possible. Take breaks throughout the day and spend time with nature. Stay away from energy-sucking relationships (toxic people).
Take care of yourself
- Self-care is very important.
- Take one day during the week to pamper yourself.
- Get a manicure.
- Enjoy lunch with a friend.
- Enjoy a movie.
- Make sure you tell your clients that you are OFF LIMITS.
Don’t let your inner critic nag you with negative self-talk. Your inner critic thrives on negativity and criticism. Don’t be intimidated. Remain confident and never apologize for being an introvert. If you walk into a networking event and you’re telling yourself, “No one is going to talk to me” or “No one is going to be interested in what I have to say” you will struggle to present yourself in a confident manner. Let go of all the negative self-talk. As an introvert, you have great qualities and gifts.
6. Be honest
Most introverts are quickly drained by social activities that involve a lot of interaction. Learn to say NO to activities or situations you do not feel comfortable with without feeling guilty.
- Don’t feel pressured by the expectations of others.
- Don’t pretend you’re someone you’re not. Being fake in any situation will backfire and cause you more headaches. The end result can be burnout.
- Set boundaries and own your NO.
8 networking tips to keep in mind.
Network the smart way. Some people find this emotionally draining.
1. You don’t have to speak to everyone
I remember a coach telling me to speak to at least fifteen people when I went to a conference. I knew that wasn’t happening. I did what I felt comfortable doing and ended up speaking to six people that day. I did, however, reach out to the others who gave me their business cards by email the next day when I returned home from my trip.
- Start slow and network with one person at a time.
- Don’t speak too fast and do not interrupt someones’ conversation.
- You don’t have to know all people, but you need to have deep and strong relationships with a few key people who can help you achieve your goals.
2. Invite a friend to go with you when you are networking
You can still talk to other people and this takes some of the pressure off you. Even better, if you have a friend or colleague who knows most of the people at the networking event ask them to introduce you.
3. Get there early
This makes it easier for you to introduce yourself and speak to one person or a few. It’s less overwhelming than having to feel like you have to participate in an already established conversation within a large group.
4. Smile – smile-big
When you approach someone you want to speak with SMILE when you say HELLO. The last thing you want to do is have a worried frown on your face when you approach someone. Relax, smile and if you need to step away then do so. Hit the bathroom or step outside for some fresh air if you can.
5. Plan your schedule and prepare the night before
Make it as easy as possible for yourself.
Make a list of questions for conversation. Example: What did you think about that presentation? Have you networked at this venue before?
Find out who is attending. If you have the name of the participants you will be networking with then look them up on your social media and try to have a conversation online with them before meeting them in person. You can look them up on social networking sites like Google or LinkedIn. This can be an icebreaker and make you feel less nervous when you meet them in person.
Make sure you have a handful of business cards where you can easily access them. If you don’t have an agenda ahead of time, ask for one so that you can have plenty of time to look it over.
6. Listen – listen carefully
At the networking event let the other person do the talking, and then you can ask your business questions. People love to go on and on talking about themselves and their businesses. Give them your full attention. Listening is easier than talking. In the long run, the person you are having a conversation with will appreciate that you gave them your full attention.
7. Leave if you must
When you attend the event give yourself at least a half hour to mingle. If you are totally uncomfortable then leave politely. Say your goodbyes and call it a day. Remember that you took a big step in going there in the first place.
8. Relax and recharge
Again be proud of yourself for having shown up. Have a plan in place so that when you get home you are prepared to relax.
- Listen to relaxing music
- Enjoy a favorite beverage
- Read a few chapters of a book
- Relax with your family
WHY THIS IS THE AGE OF THE INTROVERTED ENTREPRENEUR
Gary Vaynerchuk is an American entrepreneur, four-time New York Times bestselling author, speaker and internet personality. See what Gary Vaynerchuk has to say about this in this video clip.
As an entrepreneur, you can market yourself in so many ways through as many social media platforms as you want. It’s not necessary for an introvert to become extroverted in order to run a business.
In the book titled – Hiding in the Bathroom: An Introvert’s Roadmap to Getting Out There (When You’d Rather Stay Home) by Morra Aarons-Mele
It explains that the common advice these days is to get out there network and plainly put yourself as an introvert in situations you are uncomfortable. This author’s perspective is that you do not have to get out there 24-7 and put your business first at all cost. She indicates that you can have success while still being you… the real you.
How do you market yourself? You have to decide how you are going to be visible and promote your business.
Ways to use online networking and interaction
Inbound Marketing – videos/webinars/blogs/e-mail marketing
Thanks to modern technology there are so many ways that you can put your ideas, thoughts, and words out into the world. Introverts are usually much better at written rather than oral communication. Therefore, having an active blog, for example, is a great way to be visible as it can showcase your expertise. You can write articles on platforms like Medium, do guest blogging, or answer questions on Quora.
Webinars are a great way to grow an e-mail list and stand out as an expert in your field. Once you do a webinar they work for you over and over again. You can make virtual presentations 24 hours a day by posting webinars and audios online.
Today video is an essential channel for marketers. Do not be afraid of doing videos. You can make short videos to educate your customers about your products or service. You have to be visible someway in order to grow and make money in your business. If you love what you are doing (and I hope you do) don’t hold yourself back. Don’t talk yourself out of doing a video. It is so easy to do and if you don’t like it you can delete it and start all over. As an introvert, it may be much easier for you to do a video than having to show up to and give a live workshop or teach a class in person. You can sit at your desk and do a series of videos in one day. Let go of the idea of everything having to be perfect. Let your authentic self-share from the heart.
Partner with other people
Marketing doesn’t have to be you doing everything. Call in the troops. Ask for help. For example, if you are an introvert partner with an extrovert. Sometimes we can’t do it all alone. I know people who are introverts and have partnered with an extrovert to do webinars and Facebook live to sell their services and products. This allows you to play to your individual strengths…. it’s a win-win situation.
This is another way to increase your following and get peoples attention. You can do a podcast in your pajamas in the privacy of your own home!
Speak at events. You would think that this would be an introverts worst nightmare! However, introverts are some of the best public speakers. This type of venue provides them a one-way conversation they can control as long as they have prepared well ahead of time. Did you know that there is a big difference between being an introvert and being afraid of public speaking? If you are afraid to speak on a stage that is FEAR raising its ugly head. Fear is there to tell us that we still need to grow and evolve, and it has nothing to do with being an introvert.
Social Media is a great tool for building your business from home
Many introverts prefer social media to in-person events. You can use social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to help create a brand for yourself. You can connect, give value and educate your ideal clients without having to meet face-to-face. However, do not feel like you have to be on all these platforms. Start by getting really good on one platform and then when you are comfortable move on to another. Contrary to popular belief, it is smart to choose one platform to focus on.
Join relevant groups on social media. For example, you can join a LinkedIn group, Facebook group or Twitter chats and be social. When you are in these groups be an active participant, ask questions, and most importantly provide value. You can also start your own group and invite others to engage with you and your business. By utilizing these platforms you can leverage your strengths on your terms.
- Eleanor Roosevelt (Former First Lady from 1933-1945 of the United States)
- JK Rowling (Creator of the Harry Potter series)
- Hillary Clinton (Former First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001 and Secretary of State)
- Marissa Mayer (American information technology executive, formerly serving as the president and CEO of Yahoo)
- Meryl Streep (American actress and philanthropist)
- Audrey Hepburn (British actress, model, dancer, and humanitarian)
- Bill Gates (Co-Founder and Technology Advisor of Microsoft)
- Michael Jordan (Retired professional basketball player, businessman, and owner of the Charlotte Hornets)
- Albert Einstein (German-born theoretical physicist)
- Steven Spielberg (American director, producer, and screenwriter)
- Elon Musk (Entrepreneur, engineer, inventor, and investor)
- Jay-Z (Rapper and businessman)
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
- The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World by Sophia Dembling
- Slay The Introvert Way: A Woman’s Guide To Seeing Her Value, Finding Voice, and Getting Ahead by Danielle D. Dupree
- Hiding in the Bathroom: An Introvert’s Roadmap to Getting Out There (When You’d Rather Stay Home) by Morra Aarons-Mele
- Network Marketing For Introverts: Guide To Success For The Shy Network Marketer by Argena Olivis
- Marketing for Introverts: How Quiet Ones Can Zing by Marcia Yudkin
- The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify Your Strengths and Create Success on Your Own Terms by Beth L. Buelow
- The Introverted Entrepreneur: How to Thrive in Business as an Introvert by Nicole A. Thomas
You can also find a great podcast list for introverts on – PlayerFM
Listen to be an entrepreneur means to be a salesperson. And marketing is about getting in front of the right people and requires a strategic approach. You can be seen and heard even if it’s from the comfort of your own home. Introverts have long been given messages by society that we have to be something we’re not (extroverts) in order to succeed. Every person has the opportunity to become a successful entrepreneur, no matter how they may seem on the outside to others. Remember your personality type is not an excuse. In the end, you have to be comfortable in your own skin. Feel free to leave me a comment below. Cheers to your success!'As an introvert, you can be your own best friend or your worst enemy. The good news is we generally like our own company, a quality that extroverts often envy. We find comfort in solitude and know how to soothe ourselves.” ~ Laurie HelgoeClick To Tweet