The world seems to think that every introvert is the same. But actually, according to Jonathan Cheek of Wellesley College, there are four types of introverts.
I'll describe them below, along with marketing tips customized to each type. These tips are designed to help you identify the most effective ways to market your business without sacrificing your energy or personality.
It’s possible that you may identify with more than one of these. Many of us do! If you find that this is true for you, see if you can tell which one is your primary and which is your secondary.
1. Social Introvert
This is the classic type of introvert that we think of. They prefer to hang out on their own or in small groups. It isn’t hard for them to drain their energy so they need to take some downtime to recharge fairly often.
If you are a social introvert, it can be helpful to be aware of what it is that drains your energy. Take advantage of automation so that when your energy is up, that's the time to work on your marketing and schedule things out so that if something needs to go out into the world and your energy is low, that's okay because it's been scheduled ahead of time. This way, you're not allowing your energy fluctuations to interrupt the flow of your marketing.
2. Thinking Introvert
This type of introvert is a self-reflective, deep-thinker with a rich inner life. They spend a lot of time in their own head.
I am very familiar with this one because it’s how I operate. I can be walking down the street thinking about something and if somebody says something to me, I’ll miss it altogether because I’m so deep in my own head.
It's not unusual for thinking introvert to not be scored as an introvert because we have no problem being interactive. We’re perfectly happy to be with other people. We just have a lot going on in our head.
If you are a thinking introvert and you don't have a problem being social, don't limit yourself because “you are an introvert.”
If you are comfortable putting yourself out on social media, do it!
There is no one standard way of a person being an introvert, and I think this is a great example of an outgoing introvert.
3. Anxious Introvert
When an anxious introvert spends a lot of time with other people, they can feel really frazzled. On the other hand, they can also be anxious on their own, especially when they spend a lot of time in their head thinking about what went right and what went wrong. They're just anxious.
Anxious introverts actually might have a high need for social interaction because it can create some validation for them and it can make them feel better. But if something goes wrong while their interacting with others, it can make their anxiety worse.
Again, this is contrary to what we tend to think of introverts because they don’t necessarily prefer to be on their own… but it’s important that anxious introverts power down with some alone time, especially if their anxiety peaks because they've been out in public.
If you are an anxious introvert and you need to be marketing because you own a business, it can help to get clear about what it is that makes you anxious. Once you know that, work on some of those skills to help you be more comfortable and reduce your anxiety. Try to identify which marketing activities are closest to your comfort zone, so that you don’t have to step too far into discomfort in order to promote your business. For example, if you are a writer and writing is in your comfort zone, use marketing tactics that allow you to communicate through writing. (Like blogging! )
If you really need to limit how much access people have to you because of your anxiety, let your online presence do the heavy lifting. Leverage your website, your social media, and your email list; Use them to interact with other people and they can also serve as a buffer.
4. Restrained Introvert
A restrained introvert can take a while to warm up and get going. They can do social interaction, but they might need to hang out at the edges at first and get a read on what's going on in the room before they step into the action.
This is my secondary type. When I got to parties or networking events, I start out hesitant. It takes me a little while to get a feel for the room, and what is happening where. Even if I know everyone, I’m just slow to warm up.
If you're a restrained introvert, lean into tactics that allow you to plan. If you decide to do video, do pre-recorded video rather than Live so you can really plan and script it out.
So those are the four types of introverts: social thinking, anxious, and restrained. Which type are you?