When I began to market my business online, I just started to do things that were pretty natural to me. I'm a great teacher, so I held teleclasses, and I'm also a great writer and researcher, so I began to write about what I knew. Holding teleclasses was definitely a strategic marketing move, but not so much with the writing. Once I found my own voice, I wrote because I enjoyed it, was good at it, and got high praise for my efforts. I never envisioned it as my primary marketing strategy.
What many introverts fail to realize is that they have all that they need at their disposal to effectively market their businesses online. All they have to do is tap into their quiet gifts, which tend to revolve around writing, researching, and listening, and they are good to go! However, if you're like me, you may be slow to realize that what you do naturally is a gift and what you know is unique. For so long, I thought everyone knew what I knew or could do what I do. It never occurred to me that not everyone was like me.
My big "a-ha" came at a women's networking group to which I actually loved belonging (even as an introvert!). We were seated at a table of eight, and each of us had the opportunity to give a short introduction of ourselves and our business and to make a request of the other women at the table. My request was that I wanted each of them to sign up for my email newsletter. Much to my surprise, not only did all 7 of my tablemates comply, several of them came up to me afterward and wanted to know how I put together my email newsletter. I was really puzzled, as I thought, "Wow, doesn't everyone know how to do this? I've been doing this for years (so it was old hat to me)." The light bulb went off. All this "internet marketing" stuff I had been doing that I thought EVERYONE knew about was old news only to me!
Better yet, I really did very little "traditional" marketing to get the word out about my business, i.e. advertising, attending networking events, cold-calling, etc. I simply published an ezine and wrote about what I knew and syndicated that info online and put it on my web site, and clients were naturally attracted to me like magic. I never understood until much later that this method of marketing my business was unique yet permitted me to be successful at what I do. Moreover, it was a very authentic way for me to market my business as an introvert because I freely shared what I knew with others, and that also helped me establish my expertise online.
In fact, because this strategy flew in the face of conventional marketing, I got some critical feedback from the leader of a networking group to which I used to belong. He thought my web site was odd in that I wasn't really doing a hard sell on my site. Instead, I just talked about who am I, what I do, my ideal clients, and lots of info about what I know. He remarked he'd never seen anyone just "put it all out there" and chastised me for leaving money on the table, i.e. turning down sales opportunities coming from clients who weren't my ideal clients. I told him that I didn't want to work with everyone, as everyone wasn't a good fit, and that there were more than enough clients to go around. He wasn't convinced, since he'd been schooled in the "old school" of marketing, so we had to agree to disagree.
As I wrote more and more articles and syndicated those to various article banks, I began to get more and more calls from people who wanted coaching from me. However, these were not like calls I'd had in the past. Rather than wanting me to "convince" them that they were making the right choice by hiring me as a coach or a consultant, they were ready to get started and just needed to know how to do that, instead. What they did tell me is that upon discovering my web site, which I now know is called an authority site, they camped out on the site and devoured every piece of information there. Once they had finished going through the site, they then wanted the guidance in how to implement the strategies that I discussed in my articles and thus would call me to find out how to hire me. This was amazing to me, and required no "selling" at all on my part!
I loved this process, even though at the time I was clueless both about how and why it worked as well as the fact that I'd really designed it to survive as an introvert in an extroverted business world. I guess I would have to dub myself, "The Accidental Introverted Internet Marketer." I stayed away from those Internet marketing strategies that didn't "feel" right and stuck to doing those things I could feel good about. So, my marketing as an introvert meant I didn't have to beat anyone over the head to convince them to hire me. By freely sharing what I know (thanks to my natural gifts of research and writing), potential clients who value substance over sizzle were naturally attracted to me and were willing to pay me to help them. And, ironically enough, those clients were my ideal clients!
Then, I took my marketing to the next level in the form of content marketing. I now share my ezine and articles that I write on my blog, in press releases, in video, on other people's sites, in print and online magazines, in my social networking status updates, and in teleclasses, just to name a few. In this way, I've taken my strength of sharing what I know through writing and multiplied that tenfold just through the creation of an automated marketing system that helps me get the word out about what I do and increases my visibility online without having to bang on doors to get customers.
Don't let you introverted nature hold you back in successfully marketing your business. Turn your introvert advantage into a strong online marketing vehicle for your business that helps you get found online.