Forget being an introvert – self-promotion can make even the most confident businessperson feel a little uncomfortable. The truth is, if you want to create a successful business, there’s no avoiding it. But there is a way to make it feel less ‘icky’: it’s all about finding a way to sell your products or services in a way that plays to your strengths and feels right to you.
Let your message speak for you
Take a look at anyone who is really successful in your industry. Chances are they have a very clear, well thought-out message. Their branding is on point. Everything they produce is high quality and – more importantly – consistent. They’re not chopping and changing with the latest trends or buzz words. They’re not offering something different every week based on what’s popular. Their message and purpose as a business is powerful and speaks volumes, so that they don’t have to.
Spend time getting clear on your message and build consistency in your business to build awareness around what you stand for instead of having to run around telling everyone what you do.
Create a brand that isn’t all about you
These days personal branding is all the hype. The rags to riches stories fly off the shelves like the latest gossip mag and creating a strong personal brand can lead to huge success. But if you’re the private type who doesn’t want your face splashed all over everything you do, create a brand or a movement that’s even more powerful.
Set boundaries around what feels good to share and what doesn’t and stick to it (even if it’s not the ‘popular’ thing to do), and find ways to share your values and the incredible work you do in a way that can connect with your readers or clients. You might not be up for posting selfies on Instagram, but maybe you can build a visual story that shows facets of who you are and what you believe in.
Trust that people need what you have
Due to the inward nature of introverts, it can be easy to forget about the outside world sometimes and feeling ‘icky’ about selling by being too inwardly focused. But remembering that people need what you’ve got (you just have to find them), is a great way to reframe your thinking next time you hesitate to share your work with the world.
Think of something that you’ve bought in your life and been forever changed by it. Imagine if that person had never released it or shared it. Same goes for you – someone needs what you’ve got, so don’t deny them that.
Do marketing and promotion on your terms
These days, there’s a lot of talk about how you can create big business with Facebook ads, webinars, harnessing Snapchat and building a newsletter list of a squillion people. But, hey, that might not be your jam – don’t worry about it. If you hate the idea of the latest marketing ‘must-do’, then ditch it: you’re not going to have success following a system you don’t like.
But don’t let that stop you from trying different things, experimenting, implementing, and refining until you find a way to share your business and connect with clients or customers in a way that works for you. Hating the current trends is not an excuse to avoid marketing and promotion altogether.
Invite, don’t sell
‘Asking for the sale’ is one of those terms that can turn an introvert’s stomach. It takes so much energy and courage to share what you’re selling in the first place, but to turn around and ask someone to buy it? Icky. Instead of creating a sales page or ad that plays to someone’s fears and insecurities or has a hundred ‘buy now’ buttons, connect with people in more personal ways and invite them to check out something you think they might like.
The worst that can happen is that they say no, but you can create a powerful connection with them by singling them out and genuinely expressing an interest in how you can best serve and support them. They might buy this time, or they might not, but you never know what that one-on-one connection will lead to.
Katherine Mackenzie-Smith is a life and business coach helping introverts understand themselves, create businesses that light them up, and cut through the noise to connect with the people who need to hear what they have to say. Connect with her at katherinemackenziesmith.com