Marketing tips for people who hate to self-promote
You’re on a mission to change the world. And that means really getting your message heard. You need to reach more people. More often. In more ways.
But when you hear the word ‘marketing,’ the first things you think of are ‘Loud’. ‘Brash.’ ‘Self-serving’. And that’s not you. You’re definitely not the type to stand up in front of a crowd, shouting, “Look at me, look at me!” And honestly? You don’t WANT to be. You want to have a quieter impact on the world. To orchestrate subtle, powerful change. To connect in gentle, personal ways with the people who need your help.
But the bottom line is that to help them, you need to find them. And that means getting out there –somehow – and spreading the word.
I get it. I’ve been where you are.
The thought of putting myself ‘out there’ was absolutely terrifying to me. If you’d told me a year ago that I’d LOVE videos, interviewing, podcasting, I’d probably have choked. Me? In front of a camera? With thousands of strangers watching?! Unthinkable.
And yet here I am, getting ready to host another global virtual conference – the third of its kind. And you know what? I simply adore it! I absolutely love having deep, meaningful interesting conversations with women who dream as big as I do. I have to admit it, though. It took a crazy amount of courage to do those very first few interviews. I’m quite sure everyone could hear my voice shaking, and see how utterly terrified I was.
However, over time, I got so caught up in the joy of interviewing these amazing women that I managed to forget the camera was even there. And now, I don’t need to forget. The camera just doesn’t scare me nearly as much any more. Don’t get me wrong – I still get ‘butterflies-in-my-tummy’ moments before I hit publish. It still takes weekly moments of courage to put my work out there. But when I’m doing the interviews, I no longer worry about who will be watching. I know the value and contribution these women and I am making and I just dive in and lose myself in the fabulous conversation.
Of course, podcasting and summits won’t be the solution for everyone. It’s about finding your own way to shine. I’ve always gravitated towards the quieter ways of marketing my business and never thought that I’d love this visibility tactic but it works, for me. And believe me, there are plenty of ways to go about being seen and heard, without having to be bolshy and brash, or to out-shout the extroverts.
But can be quite overwhelming to know where to begin. It can feel like there is so much to do and so many platforms to get your head around. Without knowing if any of them will even work.
So, for all you gentle introverts out there who NEED to get your message heard, I’ve put together this simple guide with 13 different strategies to market your business the personal way.
This will make it all a whole lot easier for you to experiment and figure out which will be most effective for your business and community.
In this guide you will find a selection of 13 different strategies for improving your visibility online. Underneath each description is a visibility ‘fitness’ ranking to assess the level you are currently at. Once you have determined how fit you are in that strategy, select the Action Steps to get you to the next level. Now you may have never tried implementing some of these strategies in your business. This is okay. Find the ones that work for you. Find the ones that work for your ideal client and start at Level 1: Easy. Gradually you can work your way up to Level 3: Difficult.
But the most important thing you can do to improve your fitness is to take action.
And how do you get into action? These are my top four tips to help you.
1. Beat fear with a shift in perspective
Just for a moment, try to forget that you’ve ever said the words ‘sales’ and ‘marketing’ in the same breath. Yes, you’re in business to make money, which of course means selling your services. But as a heart-led entrepreneur there’s something far more important than sales: people. And when your primary goal is to build genuine relationships with your clients, marketing is not about sales at all. It’s about communication and building mutually beneficial relationships with your clients.
While selling and self-promotion are words that give most introverts the screaming heebie-jeebies, listening is one of our superpowers. We totally rock at hearing the needs of other people and finding out what makes people tick.
Instead of always looking inward and trying to ‘sell yourself’, focus outward, and really listen to your clients, get present to what they are saying and how you can help them.
When you start thinking of marketing in those terms– of simply having the kind of deep, purposeful conversations we enjoy and excel at – suddenly the whole thing becomes far less scary
2. Conserve your precious energy
Possibly the best news of all for introverts is that you really can pick and choose what you do to market your business – especially if you’re offering services for a very specific audience. The narrower your niche, and the more you know about your prospective clients, the more targeted you can be in when and how you promote your work.
After all, when you’re trying to connect with a particular group of people there’s no point spreading your message in places they won’t see it. And as an introvert you have limited energy for social interaction, so you might as well use it wisely.
- If you’re signing up for some face-to-face networking, pick an event that your audience attends. Don’t be afraid to limit how much you do while you are there, too – there’s nothing wrong with having a few important conversations and then recharging somewhere on your own.
- If you’re going to converse on social media, choose one or two platforms where you feel you can really make a contribution. You’ll feel more comfortable about engaging when you have something genuine to say – and you’ll create much more impact by adding value than by joining in the general chat. Don’t feel that you have to communicate in large groups, either. As introverts, we thrive on communicating one-on-one. Not only does this make us more comfortable, it allows us to have deeper conversations, to listen more closely, and to build more meaningful connections. I personally put a huge amount of effort into fostering my one-on-one relationships.
- If you’re going to host an event or give webinars a try, don’t be afraid to limit the number of participants, or restrict attendance to people who are already in your community.
The important thing to remember is that you are in control. You can choose which conversations to have – and you’ll achieve much more with heartfelt, targeted communication that suits your style, than with scattergun marketing tactics.
3. Let yourself shine on a platform you love
So yes, podcasting and virtual conferences are now my ‘thing’. That still amazes me. And it’s taught me something mega: when you find the right platform (one that fits perfectly with your personality), sharing your message becomes both effortless and FUN.
Of course, you may already have a talent. Like writing or drawing, singing or making animations. You may love public speaking, or be a prolific blogger. If there’s a medium you love then don’t hold back – go all out and use it to express yourself and spread the love.
But if you haven’t yet found your platform, don’t be afraid to experiment. Write a few articles. Record a few podcasts. Dive into a few conversations on Twitter. You simply never know where it might lead, or how it might change lives – both yours and other people’s.
Here’s the guide to 13 different strategies that you can try.
The key here is to start small and test out different media, to find out what you enjoy and what you don’t. You can always expand your audience and ramp up your output when you become more comfortable, or find something that you LOVE doing.
4. Seize that one moment of courage
I talk about this a lot, because it’s such a crucial part of being a successful entrepreneur. You could say it’s one of my mantras. It only takes a single moment of courage to achieve something amazing.
The single hardest thing about any marketing effort it making it live. Writing a blog post. Creating a resource. Recording an interview. None of those things are particularly terrifying. Introverts tend to excel at knuckling down and getting that kind of work done.
But pressing the button and putting your work out there? Holding it up for public judgement? That’s the hard part. The bit that makes us shake and tremble. That sets off the inner critic and sends all our self-doubts into thunderous overdrive.
I’ve found that there are three great ways to overcome that terror. The first is to grab the hand of someone who loves you, count to three, take a deep breath, and JUST DO IT.
The next will save you the misery of having to do that every time. Instead, you could schedule the publication of your content. You still have to find the courage to upload it of course – but there’s something comforting about knowing you’re not actually making it live then and there.
Once your posts are scheduled, you can go get on with something else (or, you know, go and hide behind the sofa) and let the scary stuff just happen while you’re not watching.
And lastly, I try really hard not to worry about myself and try to focus on the difference I’m making to the lives of others by publishing my content…even if it’s just ONE person.
Despite what you may have been led to believe, marketing doesn’t have to be an introvert’s nemesis! You’re a unique person running a unique business – so there’s no reason at all why you can’t promote your business YOUR WAY. Be yourself, let your authentic message shine through, and you can be sure you’ll find the people you were born to work with. Good luck!
Now have your say!
What’s your favourite quiet marketing tip? We’d love to hear your ideas, so please share them with us below!