Do you avoid marketing your business? Maybe you procrastinate around it… or you think about it in great detail, but find it difficult to take action on what you imagine yourself doing?
That’s not actually uncommon for business owners with a strong introverted side… not in my experience, anyways.
There are three specific reasons that I hear more than any other about why introverts struggle to market their business, and I wanted to take a moment and explore them with you here because there are answers to each of them that can help you get moving forward.
Here’s the thing – if you want your business to succeed, you do need to promote it. If you don’t promote your business, no one is going to know about how you can help them, which means that it’s going to be really hard to make sales. And if you want your business to thrive, sales are kind’ve important.
So let’s get to it… here are the three biggest reasons that I see introverts and ambiverts struggling to market their business, and what you can do about it to get in front of the people who need what you offer.
Reluctance to Put Yourself Out There
This is absolutely the one I hear the most:
“I don’t want to put myself out there.”
“I’m afraid to put myself out there.”
“I hate the idea of putting myself out there.”
I totally get it because I've been there, repeatedly. Talking about your business online brings with it a huge sense of vulnerability.
That vulnerability shows up as a lot of things, but I think fear of being judged is at the front of the line.
What will people think? What will they say?
And so we judge ourselves before anyone else has a chance to, and that makes us feel embarrassment and shame… and so we get stuck in one place, knowing we need to speak up for the sake of our business but feeling like we would rather run and hide.
Let’s start by working with some of our language here because what we say matters.
Are you putting yourself out there or are you putting your business out there?
Even if you’re a solo-entrepreneur, there needs to be some separation here. You aren’t selling yourself. You are selling a product or a service… a set of skills that you possess that other people will benefit from.
I get that this is a small difference, but it’s a very important one so I want to say it again: You aren’t selling you. You’re selling the product or service that is a result of your skills, talent, and knowledge.
And if you don’t tell people about what you offer and how they can benefit from it, they aren’t going to buy from you. The survival of your business depends on you putting your message (not yourself… your message) out there.
Following that, I’m willing to bet real money that how you imagine people will respond is not as bad as how they’ll actually respond. It’s so very easy to create big, disastrous stories in our head… been there, done that on repeat!
But people are rarely like that. One of my friends saw my Facebook Ad when he was playing a game on his phone and he was thrilled and, honestly, a bit impressed. I got a, “Check you out!” followed by a real discussion about what I do in my business. Sure, I was embarrassed at first that my friends could see what I was up to… but it turned out to be very, very cool. And now that my friend has a better understanding of what I do, maybe I'll come to mind if he talks to someone who needs my services. You never know!
And truthfully - if anyone tries to judge you poorly about how you are talking about your business online, do you really want that person or that kind of negativity in your life? You have more important things to do with your energy and your time than put up with that!
The "Standard" Way of Marketing Feels Out of Alignment or Inauthentic
Do you see other people - extroverts, perhaps - killing it in their marketing? They’re everywhere all the time and they look like it’s working for them. It also looks exhausting and though you can’t imagine doing the same thing, you’re wondering if you need to try.
Let’s take this one step by step…
Just because they are everywhere does not mean that they are successful. They might be… but they might not be. And if they are unhappy with their results, they won’t be telling us about it!
We cannot assume that what other people are doing is working for them. And even if it is… we cannot assume that THAT is the only way to do things.
There are many ways to market your business. Theirs is just one way… and if it’s out of alignment with how you tend to show up in this world, then it’s not the right way for you.
It's good that you are noticing when a particular marketing tactic feels out of alignment or inauthentic. That underlying factor - alignment between you, your business, and your marketing - matters. It drives a sense of authenticity and, honestly, ease.
Yes, ease. Marketing can be easy… or at least easi-er, when you choose a strategy that is in alignment with how you prefer to be.
What do I mean by alignment? If your most natural way of communicating is through writing, lean into that. What feels comfortable to you will come more easily. And when you make that choice, it will enable you to show up authentically.
Authenticity matters. It drives trust. And trust is what drives a person to be willing to buy from you… because they trust you. So listen to that instinct!
Marketing Feels Overwhelming
There are many, many possibilities for how we can promote our businesses online, and it’s easy to feel like we're going in ever direction at once.
As we dive in, they lead to so many questions:
Am I doing all of the right things?
What am I missing?
How do I get them all done?
Am I doing them right?
Is it working?
That sense of having too much to do can make us feel unfocused, unsure, and unproductive. It feels like our marketing is never done!
Honestly - this is why I bake. It’s always very clear when the cookies are done and I feel a sense of accomplishment that is hard to find in marketing.
Baking not withstanding, here's what I'm getting at:
WE get to define the limits of our marketing: What we will do, what we won’t do, what the boundaries and end points are, and when we’ve done enough.
Whether or not it’s “right” or “working” is something only your audience can tell you and you will only get those answers by putting your message out there.
You can’t do “everything,” so don’t try. Instead, identify what you will do and what you won’t do. Set a window of time during which you will run your current program (I recommend 3-6 months) and then make your decisions about what to do based on the data of what you did.
The best thing you can do to promote your business is set a clear, defined marketing strategy on rinse-and-repeat because that consistency across time is what will get you results.
Where Should You Start?
In my experience, the best place to start is with marketing tactics that are best suited for introverts. You'll find a list of them in The Introvert's Tactical Guide to Digital Marketing. When you read through the guide, take the last point we discussed above to heart: Pick and choose the methods that you want to use right now and set the others aside. Focus your efforts and energy so you can get consistent, and you'll get results!