The Introvert Marketer’s “Get Business by Being Me” Plan of Action
by Marcia Yudkin
So you’re an introvert and tired of pretending to be Chatty Cathy or Talkative Tim. You can reach business success by being yourself if you follow these crucial marketing steps.
First, question “marketing musts” you’ve been told about. When people say you must do such and such to stay in business that you hate to do, don’t accept it. There are almost always alternatives. You can outsource many marketing activities – cold calls, followup with clients who haven’t yet made a decision, even social media networking. One copywriter I know realizes he’s very bad at negotiating about money, so when he’s talking with a new client, he’ll discuss with them what they want him to do, and when it’s time to talk money, he hands off the call to his assistant.
Second, identify your sources of stress. What are your top energy drains and what, on the other hand, gives you energy? Again, there are almost always creative, unconventional alternatives. For example, if it drains you to take spur-of-the-moment calls from just-got-another-idea clients, outlaw them. Accept only calls that have been scheduled by email. If you’re an introvert, you’re probably fine with being unconventional. Figure out ways you can reduce the sources of strain in your work life and increase the situations that make you feel happy, alive and energized.
Third, identify your talents and preferences and make them much more prominent in your marketing. Most of us are in a position where we don’t have to accommodate every single potential buyer. We can afford to be selective in who we attract and who we implicitly turn away. This can be done very subtly and effectively.
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For instance, if you’re a web designer you can say you most enjoy working with decisive clients who want something bold completed as soon as possible. When you say this, you’re discouraging clients who want to dillydally and have a timid, me-too web site after a couple of months of dickering over the details.
On the Consulting page of my own web site, I’m very explicit about who I want to be working with. I say: “Marcia prefers working with clients who are the decision-makers (not a team or committee) and who are not counting pennies as they pursue creative marketing strategies and clearer messages.”
I also have a little profile of what it’s like to work with me: I say, “Marcia is perceptive, precise, to the point and practical.” Snuggled in there, in the third of the fourth point is something that could be off-putting to some extroverts: “Marcia gets right to work without a lot of schmoozing or small talk. She says what's what.”
Whoever you are, whether an introvert or extrovert, you’re going to be happier attracting people who feel comfortable with what makes you comfortable.
Fourth, look into the concept of building a reputation, which enables business to come to you instead of your having to pursue customers and try hard to win them over. We can divide marketing into “push” activities, which pursue people and ask them to become clients and “pull” activities, which attract people and let them propose becoming your client. “Pull” marketing, which includes publishing, publicity, platform speaking, presenting teleseminars and more, is what’s most comfortable for an introvert in business.
When people have read your work or heard about you from others, they come to you pre-sold or nearly so, and the process of talking with them about a paid project becomes one that feels natural, rather than alien, for an introvert.
Marcia Yudkin. All rights reserved.
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