I'd love to do marketing and get my sales rocking, but I'm an introvert, it's just not me.
Oh how I hear you. I know it because I’ve felt the same. But guess what.
What if I told you it doesn’t matter?
What if I told you it’s not even close to the point?
What if I told you in fact that it could be an advantage to feel like that?
What if I told you that having an aversion to self promotion and branding could help to set you apart?
What if I said that all that matters is that you believe in what you’re doing - believe in your product, your service, your mission, your art, your message and let that come through in everything you do?
Well it’s true and here’s why …
Blurting out messages to the world at large and vying for attention from the masses by disrupting people in their everyday lives is just adding to the noise and clutter. And there’s a lot of it. So much in fact, that people are getting really good at tuning it out, ignoring it, pressing delete and carrying on. We have so much noise and so much connectivity to technology and devices and marketing, that what we’re really looking for, what really stands out and gets our attention is real connection. REAL being the operative word.
I love working with people who are introverted or shy, who don’t like to promote themselves and who worry that marketing is, well, too ‘out there’. I love it because these people tend to be much more inclined to look inside first. They usually feel much more comfortable with being in touch with their passion and their reason for doing what they do and much more inclined to tell an authentic story and make connections they’re genuinely proud of.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not bagging extroverts here by any means, but as far as introverts and extroverts go, it’s just that introverts are usually much less attracted to the big splash, the glitz and the slick than our more extroverted comrades … and that’s fine, absolutely fine. You can do a killer job of splash, glitz and slick, but you certainly don’t have to if that’s just not you. As long as your message is coming from, has its roots in something deeper and the message is genuine, it doesn’t matter if its loud and flashy, or quietly compelling. Unfortunately though, being starstruck can sometimes mean the genuine core drivers are overlooked and you end up with empty noisy glitz that gets tuned out.
That famous Peter Drucker quote, exemplifies the connection philosophy and starting on the inside first. How can you have any hope of achieving this if you don’t pour your energy into connecting with your customers? Pour your energy into knowing them, understanding them, delighting them? And I always circle back to the fact that in order to do that, you have to know yourself first and that’s because you can’t have genuine connection when you’re not being genuine. Being able to sniff out a fake is part of we human’s incredible skill of tuning out masses of noise.
In all this noise, we seem to have moved away from the understanding that it’s the connection we make with our customers that’s the important thing. Hands down, no doubt about it. For every product or service you sell, your customers will usually have a plethora of other similar options available to them. What they want, what sets you apart is YOU. It’s the connection they seek and a perfect product at the perfect price point isn’t enough because you’re not the only one. What keeps them coming back is connection and trust.
Feeling uneasy about disruptive, attention-seeking marketing tactics is a good thing and it doesn’t matter a twitch if you’re an introvert or an extrovert. Starting on the inside, focusing on your existing customers is not only a viable alternative, but probably a better way to go. By being cognisant of your true mission and making the creation of a strong and loyal community your ultimate goal, you’re building a brand around a culture that’s deeply connected to the customers you serve. When your customers are deeply connected to a brand, or a cause or mission if you don’t like the term brand, then they become evangelists. Imagine that! Imagine YOUR customers and clients being so stoked with what you do that they’re out there voluntarily telling the world about it. I want that, don’t you?
So please introverts, don’t think marketing is not for you. Marketing is in everything you do so if there’s stuff you don’t feel right about, it’s ok to go inside and get closer to what matters to you. Delight the customers you already have. Ask for their help, let them know you care, seek to understand them. Be genuine and build trusting relationships in a way that feels authentic to you. Build your brand from the inside around a culture of shared values. Get passionate about it and do it exceptionally well. This is the type of marketing that both you and your customers will flourish in.
Photo credit: How Not To Manage An Introvert by Nguyen Hung Vu via Flickr