As a personal brand and business it is so important to show the human side and put your face out there to connect with potential clients. But all of that outward energy and being seen is often a very big struggle if you are an introvert entrepreneur or someone who feels uncomfortable with the usual styles of self promotion.
starting a business as an introvert
I’m fairly introverted in business (although many people are surprised as I’m pretty chatty and lively in person) but introversion is more about how you recharge your energy. I love meeting people but definitely need down time after being around people for too long. I also need space to think and dream and these are things that have shaped made my business into what it is now.
Writing, creating and coming up with ideas come naturally to introverts in business but we must be prepared to push ourselves to develop skills in the areas that are more natural to extroverts. Selling, marketing, self promotion, networking, meetings are all areas I’ve personally found difficult.
When I work with clients on their branding and we go through my brand exploration session and exercises I always recommend putting your unique introvert brand personality into your business. Even more so if you are your business offering a service such as copywriting, design, coaching, yoga teaching, therapy etc.
Why should people choose your brand and business over someone else?
It’s more than what you do as a brand, it’s the unique skills and personality you bring to what you do. It can be hard to convey this to new and potential customers as an introvert entrepreneur in business, so putting your face out there can really help in showing them that you are a good fit for what they are looking for.
As an introvert entrepreneur running a business, embrace your high energy times and use them to do something that you normally find scary.
introverts in business have unique ideas and are able to think deeply and creatively.
self-promotion and marketing as an introvert in business
I really struggled at the start with putting my business out there as an introvert entrepreneur. The thought of personal photos, posts and Instagram stories made me feel rather sick to the stomach! However a year or so later I’ve chatted on podcasts, spoken at events, recorded those scary talking to camera Instagram Stories and had personal photos taken so I can share the face behind my business with people. But how did I get from someone camera and self-promotion shy to where I am now, embracing my introversion and running a brand and business?
A big shift came from seeing myself as my brand and thinking about what it conveys and focusing on those things.
using your introvert intuition in business
I talk about using your intuition and doing things that feel right and true to your business and brand if you go from that place then what you are putting out there will resonate with people and you won’t get that ‘eugh’ feeling as though you are selling sleazily. As an introvert entrepreneur embrace your high energy times and use them to do something that you know will help your business but may scare you, that could be talking to camera or sharing your face in social media.
a great brand and website can do a lot of the hard work for you
Make sure your brand and website are working hard for you and conveying your business value. This means people will find your brand organically without you having to do a lot of networking. If you hate selling and networking then connecting with people through a strong brand will take the pressure of you going out there and hustling for work. This often feels draining as an introvert entrepreneur.
Spending time uncovering your brand roots, and working hard on your website gives your business a unique space to stand out and attract the people you want to work with. As an introvert in business your gifts for creativity, writing and communicating meaningfully all can be used to create a memorable website and brand experience that people connect with.
Building business connections as an introvert brand
I personally hate having my photo taken. At the shoot last year with Alex from Rugged Wisdom I said I’d rather do a parachute jump than pose for camera! But that fear and insecurity was standing in the way of my business and I knew I had to step out of my introvert comfort zone to deal with it.
The response and change was incredible! People felt a connection when going on my website and social media posts with my face or smiling to camera in seemed to get the highest engagement. There is definitely something in human nature where we love seeing another persons face.
Before the shoot I created a brand photo brief and I’d also explored my brand and formed a strong brand identity through working out my values and what stands me apart. This helped me to see myself as ‘my brand’ and I think that distance allowed me to almost forget my personal introvert entrepreneur insecurities. Having that strong brand identity formed before allowed me to become my brand during the shoot.
STEP OUT OF YOUR introvert COMFORT ZONE WHEN IT FEELS RIGHT for your business and brand
EMBRACE YOUR INTROVERSION in business
Another important thing to remember is you don’t need to copy the extroverts in business. I watch people who are talking to camera every day and posting videos and the thought of that exhausts me so I don’t do it. I go with how I’m feeling and as an introvert entrepreneur that is so important.
I recorded my first Instagram story straight after a sweaty run, I think the endorphins helped get rid of that fear! The key is not to overthink it and experiment with things. If you notice people are responding and connecting then you know there is something good in what you are doing. The key thing is to feel the fear and do it anyway!
If all of this still sounds very out of your introvert comfort zone there are still so many ways you can connect and promote your business brand in an introverted way. You probably have lots of ideas to share so could you record a podcast in the comfort of your own home or write a blog post? Mailing lists and blogs are both great ways to show the personality behind your business brand without putting yourself ‘too’ out there
TOP TIPS for introvert entrepreneurs in business
- Set yourself a challenge for the month and make sure this is something you know will help your business.
- Embrace your high points of introvert energy and use those times to do the more extroverted things
- Remember you are sharing your knowledge and this will help people focus on this as opposed to the scary thought of putting yourself out there.
- Try to find events and ways to connect that feel ‘you’ and are introvert friend. If you hate networking perhaps you could find a group, course, online Facebook community to get involved with.
- Remember there are so many other introverts in business out there too so use this as support and inspiration and show you are different to connect with them further.
- Make sure your brand and website are working hard for you and conveying your value. This means people will find you organically without you having to do a lot of networking.
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