As I’ve been gradually transitioning my hands-on, in-person organizing business to provide more virtual services, I’ve also been thinking about the business tools I use. Extraverts can, and do, of course, use these tools too, but if you are an introvert trying to make your way in an extraverted world, these might help:
TimeTrade, Acuity (or similar appointment scheduler)
Is there anything worse than the back-and-forth discussion involved in scheduling a mutually-agreeable time to meet with a client? Or with anyone, for anything? Phone tag is the worst! Most introverts hate talking on the phone…unless you’re like me and you don’t mind if it’s a scheduled call. Technology to the rescue! (For more ideas, see 7 Phone Tips for Introverts.)
Skype, FaceTime (or similar video chat app)
I love meaningful, one-on-one, face-to-face interaction. But there are obvious benefits to not having to go anywhere to do it. Eliminating the driving and parking part saves time and money, for starters. It opens up a virtual world full of potential new clients. And, if you are mindful during the call, your conversations will be naturally limited to the pre-arranged block of time. Not all businesses can benefit from this, but many coaching and consulting services can.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (and other forms of social media)
It’s social, but not in person, and can be done on your own time. Clothing optional. Yay! (For those who completely avoid networking in person, though, you might be encouraged to give it another try if you read my post Networking for Introverts.)
Freedom, Stay Focused (or other internet blocker)
Wait, didn’t I just say social media was a good thing? In fact, a godsend to introverts? Yes, but it can also be overwhelming. I might be more productive if I spent less time on social media, but I enjoy it and I have other ways of managing my time (scheduling, time blocking, timers, adjusting notification settings, etc.), but you might appreciate such a tool.
Constant Contact, MailChimp (or similar email tool)
Tell them what you have to say all at once, on a regular basis, especially if they aren’t all on social media. They won’t all read your newsletter every time, but it reminds them that you’re still there, and it sure beats telling them one at a time…or making phone calls…
WordPress (or similar blogging tool)
Some business people despair of getting “enough” subscribers for their blog. I don’t think of it that way. I use my blog posts in many ways. I link to them on social media and in my newsletter. I send them to clients to reinforce whatever we have been talking about in their sessions. I send them to new people I meet — who have expressed interest in an issue that it so happens I’ve written about — as a way of establishing that I can help them, without “selling”. Why keep recreating the wheel? If people keep asking about the same thing, and I haven’t yet, I write a blog post about it.
Adobe Spark (or other video creation tool)
We’ve all heard that videos are the future of social media. Videos? For introverts? Ack! I’ll admit to not having thought of this myself as an introvert-specific tool. But think about it. They can be a way of personalizing your business and reaching people without the pressure of being live. You don’t even have to show your face if you’re not quite ready for that; you can start with voice-overs. Unless, of course, you are ready for apps such as Facebook Live.
(Virtual) Introvert Communities
It always helps to have the support of like-minded people. For me that includes Janet Barclay, creator of this Introvert Retreat blog, and Thea Orozco from Introvertology (coaching, blog, Facebook group, podcast).
Which tools might you try?
What other business tools do you think make life easier, particularly for an introvert?
Please share with us in the comments!
Hazel Thornton is a professional organizer and genealogist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico; creator of The Clutter Flow Chart Collection; and author of Go with the Flow! The Clutter-Clearing Tool Kit for an Organized Life. Visit her online at www.org4life.com.