The Quieter You Become, The More You Can Hear
Every week, I get the high honor of communing with introvert entrepreneurs on Google + in a private community, where we share common struggles we have, not only with our own personalities & dispositions, but our struggles in being, building, understanding, and translating our value as a 'brand' and human being in the marketplace.
One of the most common struggles I hear most often is the fear/anxiety/gross-ness feeling of tooting your own horn, or what is sometimes called marketing.
As an introvert entrepreneur myself, I understand your struggle. I still deal with it from time to time, but not as much. There's these little pieces of wisdom I grabbed a hold of through working with brand editors and specialists around the web in the last two years that has significantly changed the game for me, and helped me become a little more comfortable with this, at least.
I don't know that any of us ever perfect this, but we can certainly make strides regarding it. I think we have to in order to grow our businesses in a more authentic way.
So how DO we toot our own horns? I mean, how do we work against the very fibers of how we're made in order to sell a product or service? How do we translate value to a saturated market, when our very nature tends to be more selective or withdrawn than others?
The answer to marketing or tooting your own horn with more ease lies in 3 things: Intentionality, Belief in the Offer, and Seeing the Need.
First, we have to talk about intentionality.
You might be asking, "why is intentionality SO important anyway? And intentional about what?"
The answer to those questions starts here...Intentionality matters because the market is saturated. It is literally overwhelming most days, and it can make you feel like you're drowning in a sea of entrepreneurship. Some days that feels good - most days it doesn't for the introvert trying to move forward. We are easily drained by too much garble-dy goop in our inboxes, on our screens, and in our ears. And if you're an HSP (highly sensitive personality) like myself, it can be even more-so.
You are likely trying to consistently cut down, shave off, and trim what and who comes across your eyes & ears path. And you should be doing this - at least once every 3 to 6 months. In Quiet Solutions, my newer one to one service, I help you with this by providing an intentionality template you can use and even modify if you want. It helps ease the trimming for you, and it's a simple tool you can use throughout the rest of your career or even in your life to get rid of unnecessary emails, videos, communities, etc.
A lack of intention online has a lot to do with your marketing because, as an introvert, it can immediately drown out your voice if you allow it to. You can get caught in comparison land, and feel what you have to offer is "not as good as" or "not enough for." Both of these thoughts are untrue about your products, services, and marketing. And if you feel these thoughts are somehow true, that leads us to the second piece of the puzzle we need to look at, which is belief. Belief in the product or service you're offering.
Because, let's be honest - if you don't wholeheartedly believe in something you're offering or have created, the chances you will feel like sharing it with the world are slim to none.
THIS is what I believe to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to marketing for introverts, not actually their quiet dispositions.
I think it often comes back to our own belief in the offer or product we've made. Here's why I believe that:
I spent over 2 years launching products and services and hearing NADA. Nothing. Zero. Pins dropping. Nothing earth-shattering, I can assure you.
Then I moved into a phase where I started working in a more generalist sense with clients, and now, where I'm niched down quite a bit to working specifically with introverts and introvert entrepreneurs, which I LOVE.
At the time I launched random things for 2 years, I did really think I believed in the products & services I was putting out into the world, but in retrospect, I can now look back and say I know I didn't really. I was attempting to act like I believed in them, when really, I was just trying to "test the market."
And don't get me wrong - testing the market is great (when you believe in what you're testing with) - but it's not so great when you're just kind of putting something together to see "if people like it" flailing your arms in the dark.
Lesson(s) learned. BIG time.
One of the biggest ways to really be at "ease" in your own I-offer-products-or-services skin is to believe in what you're offering. It sounds cliche, but if we're honest with ourselves, this is an area that has a lot of potential for change and growth.
There's nothing wrong with testing - but test something that is an actual solution to someone's problem - not just something that solves your problems. I say this in the most loving tone possible as I write to you. I've been in that pain, and I get it.
This leads us to the last way to really be at ease tooting your own horn.
I have since learned the incredible value in believingthat what you offer is exactly what your Best Person needs, because she's tellingyou it's what she needs however that comes - via a private community, an autoresponder answer, on social media, or in a general session with her.
It is our responsibility to SEE the need she has and meet that need on a very real, heartfelt level. As an introvert, you more than likely have this at your advantage already. You are hard-wired, in most cases, to be a little more astute to the emotional needs or thought processes of your Best Person. You might be much more empathetic and familiar with her struggles than other brands - you have the intuition piece working in your favor here - definitely use it to your advantage.
And in the words of Steven Pressfield, we have to "do the work." Not only in ourselves, but in her (or whoever your Best Person is).
All in all, it's very much an inside job.
So, again...those 3 things we really have to have in order for our marketing or tooting of our own horn to be easier is intentionality with who we hear from and why, belief in the offer we're making/selling/proposing, and really identifying and pinpointing (seeing) the need.
And if you want even more tips to ease up your marketing efforts, take my advice - don't try to keep it all up on your own manually. Automate, automate, automate.
Here's some key tools & practices I use to keep my social media and marketing game up, even during the day when I'm not even AT my computer.
- Schedule quotes, pictures, and status updates using HootSuite to go out to your social media pages & accounts on a schedule. If you have no clue how to do this, write me here & let me know you'd be interested in a webinar on this, and I'll see what I can put together.
- Watch the accounts of more prominent names on the web who allow you to toot your own horn! This seems like a given, but a lot of people miss valuable opportunities this way. Kris Carr does this once a month on her Facebook page.
- Leave heartfelt, helpful comments on other blogs where your ideal people are already hanging out. Again...seems like a given, but unless your ideal folks are exactly like you, it's likely they might be hanging out in slightly different spots than you do. Don't make your social media time all about you - find them and where they are. Become part of the conversation they're already in because you genuinely care about where they are - in life AND work. One way to automate this? Set up google alerts for keywords that will bring you quality blogs and communities where they are. This takes some time & practice initially, but once you start getting weekly (or daily) alerts on articles and things they would be interested in or might be hanging out, you can quickly (and easily) insert yourself into those conversations, share them on social media (using HootSuite), and really add value.
Got any more great tips or advice for us on automating? Struggling with one of the above (intentionality, belief, or vision) when it comes to tooting your own horn? Share them with me in the comments! Also, take action this week by using one of the above automated approaches to marketing your blog content, products, programs, or services. Let me know which one you'd like to try.
In gratitude for your reading & taking action,