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. Beth Buelow, author of Insight: Reflections on the Gifts of Being an Introvert and founder of the Introvert Entrepreneur, believes that 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, Buelow 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,” Buelow says. “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.