Let’s face it: selling isn’t for everyone. Some people, including executives and entrepreneurs, panic at the thought of “putting themselves out there”. Isn’t there a path to growth that doesn’t involve wearing a snakeskin suit? If your knees go weak when you think of attending a company event, or if you find yourself making excuses to avoid speaking to large groups of people, you may be thinking “Am I too shy to market?” or worse, presuming that this is a fact: “I’m too shy to market.”
But that isn’t true.
Just as there are different types of people, there are different types of marketing. Here are some ways for shy or introverted people to better market their company:
Social media is the shy marketer’s best friend because it allows a person to connect with hundreds of people without feeling awkward, intimidated, or superficial. No need to stress over saying the wrong thing, or being judged for what you are wearing when you sit across from a computer screen. Social media avenues allow you to think about what you want to say, ensuring that your meaning gets across concisely and clearly. Each avenue of social media has its own benefits. Find the ones that work best for you.
- Blog – Because you are not limited to any fixed amount of characters, blogging allows you to share what you know in detail. Share products, as well as your knowledge of issues that relate to your business. If it fits with your brand, you can also share personal experiences.
- Facebook – Facebook is great to help people stay updated on significant company news. Finding groups to join and relate with on Facebook may also be right for your business.
- Twitter/Instagram – Twitter and Instagram makes it easy to connect with like-minded people. Every time you follow someone, other options pop up of similar people who you can connect with. This can help you find and connect with people who create materials similar to you, allowing you to share knowledge. Twitter/Instagram can also help you connect with potential clients. The limited characters on Twitter make a great place to share just a little bit about your company, and tidbits of information that will draw people to your website (or blog) to learn more.
- Pinterest – Use Pinterest to show what your product looks like, as well as create boards that inspire your work, and may help inspire like-minded people.
One on One
If large crowds of people intimidate you, try to set up situations where you can meet with clients one on one. Instead of focusing on quantity, focus on quality. Establish a relationship with your client over a business lunch, game of golf, or other activities you mutually enjoy.
Emails don’t have to be mass market or appear spammy. Use emails to connect with clients, stay updated, or let them know of special deals you think they might like. By establishing a personal connection with your client, your emails will mean more.
Marketing Tips for Introverted Entrepreneurs
As entrepreneurs if the thought of marketing your small business makes you want to crawl under the nearest rock, you’re not alone. Traditional strategies like cold calling and networking can cause shy types to break out in a sweat. But marketing your business may be less overwhelming than you think.
Here are a few marketing tips for introverted entrepreneurs:
1. Change your perspective. I believes what prevents you from reaching your marketing goals is not intimidation or a lack of confidence. It’s the energy involved. For introverts, or people who feel most energized when they’re alone, the idea of continuously selling themselves can be draining.
Instead of perceiving any marketing task as an insurmountable chore, I suggests thinking of it as “educating, communicating, and relationship building. It’s about presenting solutions to problems. It’s not about who can shout the loudest, but rather who’s consistently bringing meaning and useful information to people.”
2. Manage your time. If you will be spending a significant amount of time on extroverted activities, such as networking (online and in-person), make sure to schedule downtime for yourself. Carving out activities that replenish your energy after a long marketing session “is not a luxury,” Buelow notes. “It’s a necessity.”
3. Focus on your client. Instead of worrying about how you’re coming across — which is what introverts tend to do — try focusing on others. If you work on building relationships and helping make people’s lives easier, you will be less anxious about marketing your business. Besides, the most successful entrepreneurs are those who sincerely care about their customers.
“You have a responsibility to share your solution. If you don’t let people know what you have to offer, then you’re denying them an opportunity to make their lives easier.”
4. View your weaknesses as strengths. Arden Clise, president of Clise Etiquette and a self-proclaimed introvert, struggled with self-promotion. Initially, marketing felt to her like bragging or being too pushy. But she took what seemed like characteristic weaknesses of being an introvert (that is, quiet and introspective) and turned them into strengths.
“My ability to listen and show a sincere interest in others rather than talking about myself has been an asset” Clise says.
Finally, when you become an entrepreneur, your main job is to use your skills to provide the public with something that will make their lives easier. If you’re an introvert, you can use your attention to detail, one-on-one people skills, aptitude for listening and intense empathy to find out exactly what that will be. The next, crucial step is to promote these ideas, which you can do by relying on the exact same set of skills. You’ll end up giving the public the one thing that was missing from their lives.