As a personal brand and one person 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 or someone who feels uncomfortable with the usual styles of self promotion.
HOW DO YOU GAIN ENERGY?
I’m fairly introverted (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 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 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 you over someone else?
It’s more than what you do, 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 so putting your face out there can really help in showing them that you are a good fit for what they are looking for.
WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE?
SHOWING YOUR FACE
I really struggled at the start with putting myself out there. 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?
A big shift came from seeing myself almost as a different persona in business and thinking of my brand and what it conveys and focusing on those things.
I talk about using your intuition and doing things that feel right and true and 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.
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 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 insecurities. Having that strong brand identity formed before allowed me to become my brand during the shoot.
STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE WHEN IT FEELS RIGHT
EMBRACE YOUR INTROVERSION
Another important thing to remember is you don’t need to copy the extroverts. 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 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 comfort zone there are still so many ways you can connect and promote your business 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 without putting yourself ‘too’ out there
- Set yourself a challenge for the month and make sure this is something you know will help your business.
- Embrace your high points of 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’. 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 out there too so use this and show you are different to connect with them further.
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If you feel you need a bit of help with the direction of your brand and what makes you unique then I’m offering Brand Renewal Sessions that include a 1 hour virtual chat where we can explore your ‘WHY’ and ‘WOW’ and I can recommend how to approach your branding and marketing with this in mind.
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Hello! I’m Charlotte the founder of Creative Wilderness. I love to collaborate with forward thinking brands. I’ve had over 10 years in the design industry working at big agencies on brands including Wilkinson Sword, Peroni, Kozel, Energizer, McCann, The Hut Group, Pilsner, Aldi, Cambridge University, Harbour Hotels and many many more.
Before jumping into design I dreamed of being a Rock star and studied music at Paul McCartneys music school ‘The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts’. I spent a few years as a pro musician where I toured, played festivals, recorded albums and also a music video. I still love playing sax and bass in bands and music and design make me feel alive and inspired!
3 things that keep me motivated are yoga or runs every morning, matcha tea and 6music!