I recently read an interesting article by Introvert Marketing Coach Donna Gunter, in which she identifies the six best ways for introverts to promote themselves easily. I hadn’t thought about it in quite this way before, but after some reflection, it seems that all of these strategies have worked well for me.
Here are Donna’s recommendations, along with my comments as to how I’ve applied them in my business.
1. Step into the shoes of your ideal client and target market.
When I started my business, I didn’t have an ideal client in mind. Like many new entrepreneurs, I was delighted to work with anyone who was willing to pay me. Gradually I came to recognize that I was happiest and best suited to working with professional organizers. Having been an organizer myself for a few years, I have a good understanding of their needs, so it’s easier for me to tailor my messages to that group.
2. Discover and use your “profitable essence.”
Since I discovered my passion for WordPress, blogging, and social media, I haven’t had to work hard at selling my services. I’m so enthusiastic about what I do, that people “get it” just from hearing me talk or seeing my online activity. I don’t need a sales pitch!
3. Share your knowledge.
Sharing knowledge is really what social media is all about, isn’t it? There’s so much information that can help my clients and potential clients to reach their business goals. When I write out my own ideas in the form of blog posts, they can see that I’m knowledgeable, and when I share links to what others have said, they can see that I’m resourceful. Either way, it’s a win-win situation.
4. Teach what you know.
I’ve been doing presentations, seminars and workshops almost as long as I’ve been in business. Of course, I was terrified at first; that’s common even for extraverts. But what I’ve discovered is that it’s challenging for me to catch people’s attention, especially in a large group of people. However, when I’m the speaker, I already have their attention, so all I really have to do is stand there and do Steps 1, 2 and 3. And when I’m really into my topic, I don’t fall into the trap of reading my notes; I just talk.
5. Seek out one-on-one opportunities.
Business networking events are a good way to meet new people, but they’re not ideal for getting to know them well. Conversations can be interrupted by other networkers, announcements, or a shift to the next stage of the agenda. Make a point of scheduling a lunch or coffee meeting with some of the folks you meet, so you can sit down and really get to know each other and explore how you can help one another’s businesses.
When it’s convenient, arrange to drive with someone to meetings or conferences. Driving time can be a great opportunity for one-on-one interaction, and walking in can be a bit less overwhelming when you’re not by yourself.
6. Network selectively.
There are all kinds of networking opportunities, and you need to find what works best for you. I’d prefer to go to a small event with 20 or fewer people in attendance and have a good conversation with two or three, than a large event with a roomful of people I don’t know.
In her article, Donna mentions that she’s most comfortable with structured meetings, and I tend to agree. In the past, I’ve been to various events put on by Neworld Coaching: Intimate Alliances involved sitting down with other participants one-on-one to discuss pre-defined questions, and the Beehive Game “Live” involved collecting as many leads as possible for a specific need in a short time. Although the formats were completely opposite, I enjoyed both, and I think it’s because the structure meant it wasn’t up to me to decide who to approach and when, or what to talk about.
I encourage you to read about Donna’s 6 Proven Strategies Helping Introverts Easily and Effortlessly Market Themselves and learn some more ways you can apply them in your own business.
This post was originally published on Your Organizing Business on November 22, 2010.