The introvert entrepreneur’s guide to startup marketing and self-promotion

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A woman holding a hat to cover her face.

We all know that marketing and promotion is an essential part of business – but what if it takes you well beyond your comfort zone and seems to conflict with the essence of who you are?

This is for the shy, humble and introverted entrepreneurs among us – the ones who would rather stay in their office than get out and network, and the ones who feel inauthentic and at times even arrogant when singing their praises.

Here are four ways you can help build credibility and customer base without feeling like you are bashing, bragging or boring people with your sales message.

1. If you don’t want to talk, listen

Don’t want to be the centre of attention? Then make your market the centre of attention.

Get good at asking questions and be even better at listening. Find the hidden opportunities, the secret frustrations, and the bigger problems that your customers aren’t aware of. Listen to what others in your industry are saying and how customers are responding.

Listening will give you something far more powerful than your own words – it will give you your customers’ words and they will convert sales much faster.

2. If you don’t want to be the face, be the voice

Don’t want your name up in lights? Then find ways to create impact from the shadows.

There are so many marketing activities and tools that can help introverts play the role of an extrovert.

If you don’t want to speak on stage or camera, write blogs, articles, books and opinion pieces, do podcasts and be active on social media. Be the consistent, powerful voice that drives your company.

3. If you don’t want to sell, solve

Don’t like selling? Then start solving.

Selling implies work; you are trying to convince someone to buy something they don’t need or want. Solving implies value; you are providing the solution to fill an existing need or want. Tell stories of how you have helped customers in similar positions, offer guidance based on your experience, and information based on your expertise.

Solving will relieve your performance anxiety and help you to feel more comfortable in talking about your products, services and experience. It will also ensure that potential customers always feel like they have received value when talking to you.

4. If you don’t want to shout your praises, find someone who will

Don’t feel comfortable with promoting yourself? Find others who are.

One of the best marketing strategies for shy or introverted business owners is to form strategic alliances with business owners who are the complete opposite of them. Find the extrovert, the networker, the sales extraordinaire and help them to fall in love with your products or services.

Turn them into raving fans, offer commissions for sales, let them white label your products or services and look for ways to package your offering together.

So don’t think you can’t compete with your boisterous, extroverted, self-promoting competitors. You can very quickly turn your challenge into your edge with a little leverage and creative thinking.

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Amanda Jesnoewski is the owner of Velocity Media + Communications and a copywriter, marketing strategist and publicist.
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