Introverts: What You Need To Know About Small Business Marketing
Today I want to share with you something close to my heart - small business marketing for introverts. I'm an introvert, an INFJ specifically (which incidentally is the rarest type but the most common for writers - we’re such sensitive souls!) and even after 3 years, marketing my brand in the digital age is something I still struggle with. I mean, I'm not only sharing my ideas to millions of potential readers, I'm inviting others to judge me - my skills, experience and expertise.
(Talk about overthinking things, eh?)
Last year, I was asked to speak at a Pechakucha event in Vientiane about my Laos blog, Eat Drink Laos. I have to tell you that I loathe public speaking; all those eyes and scrutiny makes me all nervy; I talk too quickly, stumble over my words and my jokes fall flat (you'll just have to believe me that I'm actually quite funny).
So, I dithered and delayed putting together my presentation. Then I finally practiced it out loud with my husband and was surprised to find that it wasn't hard at all - because I had so much enthusiasm for the subject.
And therein lies your secret weapon for marketing as an introvert: design your business around something you're passionate about. Then the idea that you're sharing your ideas with the world doesn't seem so insurmountable, and it can even be enjoyable.
So, here's how I, self-confessed introvert, bypass my own nature to create a confident digital brand.
1. Accept that marketing is part of any digital business
This is a big one; if you want to have a business today, it needs to have an online presence, and that presence needs to be strong. Once you accept this, your mindset will be stronger. Go forth, my child; you can do it!
2. Choose a business you're passionate about
You're inevitably going to be good at something you enjoy because learning, practising and working at an activity which brings you joy is never a chore. And the more you work at something, the better you get. Your knowledge and passion makes you an expert in your field and that is that very thing that you need to market to the world.
3. Choose a business name you're comfortable with
I agonised over choosing my name as my business. There's really nowhere to hide when your name is your business. I tried using other names; "The Tenacious Scribbler" was one! But in the end I chose my name because I feel that it shows transparency, expertise and confidence in my business. Not to mention originality. If my name were Jane Smith, I might think again.
Think about the impression you want to create with your business. If you're selling a product, you've got more creative choice over a name but if you're a freelancer, you may have to bite the bullet and make the same choice as me.
4. Outsource the stuff you don't enjoy
Digital marketing involves visuals. "Visuals" are all the rage these days; people love polished photos and infographics, slick websites and videos. It's why the likes of Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat, for example, are so popular. But not everyone's great at creating all these things, so outsource the stuff you don't enjoy or have no knowledge of, and save your time and energy for what you love.
5. Have a system
Though you can outsource some stuff, you still have to do a lot of self promoting; there's no way round it. And the best way to tackle it is to have a system - a procedure that you follow time and again until it becomes normal, and distracts you from its true nature - self promotion.
For example, every time I write a blog post, I create social media graphics, and promote the post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn. Each requires an image and a slightly different one line description with lots of tags. I then re-promote the post several times more times over the next few weeks, using a scheduling tool, Buffer. (Yes, exhausting, I know!).
But that's my system for marketing blog posts, and it works because it brings in traffic and builds client trust and reputation.
Tell me: How did you choose your business name?
About the author: Lilani Goonesena is an Australian freelance writer, Squarespace web designer and blogger currently based in Vientiane, Laos. She loves helping freelancers and small businesses get online with web design and content, blogging and her awesome weekly newsletter on digital marketing, social media, content, SEO, web design and "all that online stuff". She also writes food and travel articles for businesses and magazines, and blogs at the delectable Eat Drink Laos, just for fun.