Authenticity and Truth for Introverts
by Marcia Yudkin
Not far from
my home in rural Western Massachusetts, you
can enjoy brunch on weekends at a farmhouse
cafe constructed of straw bales. On one
wall, Strawbale Cafe sports what it calls a
"truth window": Pull open the window
shutters to see for yourself that the walls
of the building truly are constructed of
highly compressed, nearly airtight, stacked
bundles of straw.
When it comes to branding, some introverts
shy away because they think it involves
putting on an act or creating a big fuss
over something ordinary. (Introverts are
those who enjoy spending time alone, canít
be bothered with small talk and prefer to
keep their personal life private.)
Strawbale Cafe, however, you can be
both unusual and honest in your
self-presentation and, like them,
even build in a "truth window."
Your "truth window" will be unique,
of course Ė as you are. Here,
though, are some ideas:
* A narrative that explains
convincingly how you got from there
to here. You did not spring out into
the world fully formed and able to
do what you now do. Tell the story
of how you discovered your talent,
invented your item or developed your
following. Even without documentary
backup, the turns and twists in your
tale substantiate your journey.
Ebook Available on
* Piles of testimonials.
Skeptical people might wonder whether one or
two testimonials were faked. But when they read
quote after quote about you, each expressed
differently and shining a light on you or your
product from different angles, you come across
as undeniably real.
* A video taking people behind the scenes.
I'm thinking of those restaurants that do
all the cooking where interested diners can
watch. Their equivalent might be a video
demonstrating the steps in what you do or
showing a revealing snippet of you at work. I
did a copywriting project earlier this year for
a client featuring a video of a coaching session
where in just minutes the coach led the client
to surprising insights about herself. That video
had the power of a hundred testimonials.
Attract Business Quietly and In Tune With
Discover how to attract clients and
customers by highlighting instead of
masking your personality
and preferences. My report, "Marketing In Tune
With Your Personality" provides tailored
tips for the eight distinct types of
introverts, along with a success profile
of a real-life marketer for each type.
Get ready to change how you view
* An event. Artists and
craftspeople hold "open studios," which curious
art lovers attend to get a sense of the process
of creating artworks in the setting where they
are made. Can you similarly invite people
informally to your den of creativity? If your
work is intangible, the equivalent might be an
unscripted Q&A session where attendees get a
sampling of how you think through a problem.
* Third-party commentary. Authorities
like university professors, medical doctors,
government officials or journalists who attest
that you can indeed do what you say you can
carry a lot of weight. Most people believe such
figures are not easily fooled by charlatans.
Quoting them provides a kind of "truth window"
from the outside looking in.
* Photos, videos or documents that show
you practice what you preach. If you're, let's
say, a live-lightly-on-the-earth consultant, you
could display how you calculated your carbon
footprint. You could post photos of how much
trash you send to the landfill every week or
offer a video tour of the green energy
retrofitting of your office.
Personal Branding for Introverts
* Sharing of what you did on a typical day.
This helps transform the abstraction of your
work into a well-rounded reality. Pink
magazine used to publish a two-page spread in
each issue featuring the
waking-up-through-bedding-down schedule of a
highly successful woman. It created a
fascinatingly full picture of the day-to-day
reality of someone who was indubitably busy and
For sizzlingly authentic personal branding,
select one or more of the "truth window" ideas
above as the final touch for your distinctive
angle on life and work.
Jimmy Buffet fans generally believe he lives
somewhere in the Florida Keys or the Caribbean,
sipping Margaritas on the beach all day and
partying every night. Although he did once revel
in that lifestyle, Jimmy Buffet now spends most
of his time in his office on Long Island in New
York, running his entertainment and product
empire around that hedonistic ambiance.
If you feel Buffet's image stretches the truth,
you don't need to go that route. Attract
attention for who you really are and what you
stand for, then use your "truth windows" to turn
interested customers into long-term clients.
Your marketing mentor,
P.S. If you're an introvert and could use
intensive feedback and guidance on your
branding, web site, marketing strategy or a
publication project, come work with me
one-on-one one-on-one next spring on Maui.
retreat is structured so you have ample time to
relax on the beach and tour the island, too -
and most likely, your whole trip is tax
private marketing retreat.
And be sure to
download the free Marketing
for Introverts Manifesto!