Introvert marketing- even the idea of introverts and marketing in one sentence feels weird, right? Why do introverts find it so hard to market themselves?
Self-promotion and introvert go together like complimentary cactus at a nudist retreat. It’s a lot of awkward blushing and giggling because it’s double the prickle and a lot of “I’m not sure what I am supposed to do with this.”
The level of exposure is enough to make your heart crack through the ribs. There’s a lot of resistance. But it’s not only “I am too shy to do this stuff” that comes out as the dialogue. When we sincerely don’t like the spotlight shown on us with self-promotion, it looks a lot like:
“I am allergic to sales and sales speak”
“Creative people don’t do marketing”
“I just don’t like talking about myself”
“I’m not arrogant enough to enjoy this”
“I don’t enjoy networking events”
“I just find it all so…. plastic and fake”
“90% of marketing aimed at me annoys me- I don’t want to be like that to someone else!”
“I am not the kind of person to throw my business cards like ninja stars”
“I can’t do what you do”
“I really don’t want to have to be strutting around like a peacock, talking about how great I am all the time”
“I prefer the work to speak for itself”
“I freeze when it comes to talking about myself”
“I don’t want people to think I am like <person who is OK to market themselves>”
“I haven’t needed marketing until now”
“Can you do it for me?”
A lot of the time, too, when introverts start a marketing conversation, a far more extroverted person will reply with how easy it is. Or how you just have to get over it.
Being an introvert is not some personality flaw you need to overcome. It isn’t about waking up one day and suddenly forcing yourself to speak to all and sundry.
And marketing doesn’t magically become authentic because someone says to you “I can do it, what the heck is wrong with you?”
Why introvert marketing seems so…gross
A lot of what is done to counsel introverts on how to manage self-promotion is still about forcing us to buck up and play the game. The problem is, when you see the game as something that is ill-fitting, ingenuine and counter-intuitive to what you feel comfortable with, things aren’t going to change.
We’re forever being told that this is how it has to be and that’s the end of the story.
Or they will change, and you’ll end up with a whole lot of other problems, like:
- Marketing yourself in a way that doesn’t match how you are as a person. This invites a mismatch with clients and the potential for you both to realise you’re working with the incorrect person
- Resenting your marketing- and slowly but surely avoiding it to the point where nothing happens
- Uneven marketing occurs. I see this a lot with introverts who psych themselves up to marketing, do it for a little bit and then start to peter out. The time taken to recover from the last stint of marketing outweighs any good that is done by looking patchy
- Introducing doubt about your abilities. If you can’t play the game everyone else seems to play with ease, it can start to make you question whether there is something you don’t understand about how things work. This in turn reinforces existing doubts and even increases them
- Spending a whole lot of money with some extrovert coach or marketing training course only to find the minute you are away from direct support or left to your own devices, none of what you’ve learned is useful.
What bothers me most about these sorts of situations is that it still becomes a cycle of the introvert blaming themselves for the marketing not working. Or getting resentful towards marketing and thinking we’re all charlatans and blowhards.
The truth is really simple- you’re being taught to market in a way that doesn’t suit you. No matter how many times you try to learn those techniques, if it reminds you of feeling awkward, plastic and weird, it isn’t going to stick with you.
Imagine if someone taught you to drive by putting on a big costume while reciting the streets, road rules and directions in a language you didn’t know how to speak. Then, you would told to prank the driving test manager every chance you got.
You wouldn’t pass. Or you’d take a bloody long time to.
That’s what learning an extrovert’s way of marketing does to someone who isn’t suited to it.
We forget that there are introvert customers, too
For every freelancer that is desperately looking at a way to do self-promotion without feeling as though they’ve entered some reality TV show challenge, there’s a client saying the exact same things.
That a lot of marketing strategies are hard to stay with because it feels so alien. And that they beginning to dread marketing and avoid it because it doesn’t feel authentic and it doesn’t suit their customer base.
Introverts are everywhere. We have introverted clients with introverted customers.
Introverts are doing marketing. And offering communication services to our clients. We work in SEO, content writing, design, development and more. We’re thoughtful enough to make great teachers and lecturers. We love detail and the quiet, still moments, which makes us uniquely gifted at planning and research. When a crisis is occurring, we have enough self-maintaining energy to be able to power through. Our leadership style is one of listening, thinking deeply, problem solving and connecting dots.
Why then shouldn’t introvert marketing reflect these values and demonstrate them for the benefits they are?
Not only that but think about it for a second. Even if someone is as extroverted as a clown car filled with red cordial powered clowns carrying enough horns to create a brass band, loud marketing, self-important marketing, intrusive marketing, formulaic marketing and marketing with no room for the customer annoys extroverts, too.
Last year, I went to the beautiful Central Coast and presented ‘marketing for introverts’ to an audience of 20 people. After waiting for COVID-19 to recede, I realised it’s time to get back on the introvert marketing trail. But this time, do it online so that as many introverts as possible can join in. After all, we introverts don’t always want to turn up to a room full of people anyway.
Introvert marketing by introverts for introvert freelancers.
Join me (Rebekah Lambert) for four Friday morning sessions to work on your marketing.
Unit 1- Why are you and marketing at odds? Unpacking that cringe and putting it away for good
Unit 2- Who are you, anyway? Defining what makes you attractive to clients
Unit 3- Marketing on your own terms: Matching your marketing to your personality
Unit 4- Making time for marketing: Planning for consistent, low barrier effort
FORMAT FOR UNITS 1 THROUGH 4
2 and half hours per session (150 mins).
Agenda for each is a presentation of 45 mins plus questions.
Short break before we move into workshop format.
There will be homework at each session. This homework will be reviewed from the previous session at each week.
OPTIONAL Unit 5- Owning your new introvert marketing approach in a blah blah world
For unit 5, you will present your changes and discuss what you have learned in the process in a one on one 1-hour session. This is optional and must be taken up by February 14th, 2021 (this is to avoid some dates I am away and also give you the chance to test what you have learned in real time).
This course is available to Patreon members on the $10 USD a month level.