Introversion: Advantage in Noisy Marketplace?
Because there is such an incredibly high volume of marketing noise, and a bit of mistrust in the current business environment, an Introvert's preference for more meaningful connections and private conversations is most certainly an advantage, and one that can be employed for positive results. Generally speaking:
We are good listeners.
We do better connecting with people in a one-on-one business conversation.
We prefer to ask questions than be in the spotlight.
We don’t mind taking the time to build a good relationship with others.
We may not have thousands of followers, but the people on our lists are likely to be people we know well.
Let’s take a look at how this can be used to our advantage in marketing. There are easily 100 marketing activities to choose from, and none of us should ever try to do all of them. We only have to identify those activities that will help us reach and talk to our prospective clients and customers, in a way that is most easy and comfortable for us. The trick is to look to your natural strengths and find a home for them in marketing.
Here are a few examples of marketing activities that can work quite well for someone who is introverted.
Networking Options - If you are just starting out and is uncomfortable with groups, join a Business Networking International (BNI) group rather than a business networking organization. BNI meetings are very structured which works well for the introvert. Weekly meetings can help you build confidence and teach you how to talk about your business, but in little doses.
One caution, though. BNI groups cater to the small business population. If your target clients are not members of that group, consider something like a Rotary Club instead, where the focus is on good causes, but people also talk about business.
Or, join a professional organization where you’ll meet other peers, where the discussions about your profession dominate the conversation. Combine this with attendance at a BNI group and you’ve got a good, consistent, solid networking strategy.
Don’t try to sell your services at a networking meeting. That doesn’t work anyway. Invite people with whom you strike up an interesting conversation, to meet you for lunch or coffee.
Public speaking in a workshop format: If you know public speaking would be a good strategy, do what I did. Teach a well-structured program and start small. Try a group of 5 people, or 10. For several years I only talked to small networking groups where there were just 15-20 people in attendance. With a small group, you can leverage your preference for one-on-one interactions; it’s easy to invite conversation, questions, and other kinds or breaks and interactions.
If you really hate taking the lead in business conversations, get to know and form referral type partnerships with other business people who also serve your target clients. Give them a sample of your work in exchange for a promise that they’ll tell others how you helped them.
If you ever get stuck and doubt your ability to be effective with marketing, think connections instead. If you're still having a hard time, make a list of at least 10 activities you thoroughly enjoy. Then select 2 or 3 of those activities, the ones you think you could parlay into marketing opportunities and give them a try. Caution: don't try for just 2 or 3 months, be consistent with your engagement for at least 5 or 6 months. Then assess your results.
Secret to marketing success: know, like and trust. Right up an introvert's alley if you ask me.