How to Build a Personal Brand
When You’re an Introvert
There are so many perks to being an introvert, but in the business world, it can make things a bit trickier.
If you're introverted, you've probably:
Pushed yourself out of your shell to follow through on a speaking engagement.
Overanalyzed yourself 19390 times whether you made the right decision today, or yesterday...or the day before that, and the day before that.
Felt uncomfortable posting about your business online, because the fear of being judged just cripples you.
Cancelled your plans to head to a networking event because you feel like you need some more “alone-time”
If you're introverted I see you (even though deep down you probably don't want me to!).
I see you pushing yourself to break out of that shell. I see you trying your best to let more people into your circle, I see you working hard to be seen, even though it's the most uncomfortable thing you've probably ever done.
If someone told me a few years ago that I would start my own business, I probably wouldn’t have believed them. I was so shy, so paralyzed with the fear of being judged, and so uncomfortable with getting any attention, or being in the spotlight.
To be completely honest with you, It’s been a real struggle, and one that I work on every single day.
Throughout the years, I’ve worked really hard on not letting my introverted personality get in the way of my success. Through a heck of a lot of trial and error, I’ve found the following tips to be useful in gaining success as an entrepreneur.
Try separating your personal identity, from your brand’s identity.
There are SO many feelings and perceptions we have about ourselves before we even start our own business. Here are some major false perceptions I had about my own identity before starting out:
I’m not good enough.
I don’t know if I’m going to be able to follow through with all of these new responsibilities.
I’m too shy to even think about creating an instagram account.
I’m too “nice” and people are probably going to walk all over me.
I’m too quiet.
People won’t listen to what I have to say.
I got pretty heavily wrapped up in this false identity of myself that I had carried around with me my entire life, until I read The Alter Ego Effect by Todd Herman. Your alter ego can be a powerful technique to activate all of the qualities, characteristics and superpowers you want and need when you’re in various “fields of play” in your business (ex. speaking engagements, sales calls, webinars, etc).
Within the book, Todd outlines exactly how you can build an alter ego for yourself, that you’ll activate when you’re in a “fields of play”. There are so many different ways you’re going to be asked to “perform” when you’re building a personal brand: Speaking engagements, posting online, hosting a webinar, showing up for a sales call. It’s important to identify how you’re going to show up when you’re asked to perform.
As an introvert, the thought of showing up and being seen can be really paralyzing sometimes…especially when you have so many pre-conceived ideas of yourself and you’re used to your “introverted” self that impulsively feels the need to hide.
It’s important to be self-aware enough to recognize that you have an introverted personality, but also to never accept that it is ALL of your personality.
So, the next time you’re asked to flex your extrovert skills as an introvert, why not remind yourself that there are OTHER amazing personality traits that you hold as well. You’re confident, you’re excited about your life and your business, you’re smart AF, you do amazing work for your clients. Show up as THAT person, because they exist inside of you too, you’re probably just not used to seeing them just yet.
It’s a technique that’s used by SO many successful people, but one that isn’t talked about often (think of Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce, David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, Katheryn Hudson’s Katy Perry, Joanne Rowling’s J.K. Rowling, Amanda Rogers’ Portia De Rossi, etc).
Musicians, actors, writers and other celebrities do it all the time, so why can’t you do it for your business?
Learn how to say “no”.
When I first decided I was going to start my business, I had zero boundaries. Heck, I didn’t even know what a “boundary” was.
I would say “yes” to everything. Every social event, every client request, and every text and email for someone reaching out for yet another “let-me-pick-your-brain” coffee date (sigh).
I’m not here to tell you that there is a problem with saying yes. I’m here to tell you that if “yes” is your default answer for everything, then you’ve got a couple things you need to figure out.
Figure out what your capacity is. Figure out how many hours you’re able to work in a day. Figure out what you need to get enough rest so you’re able to show up for yourself and your clients. Then say “no” to everything that gets in the way of you that. Need a little extra help? Read more about how I analyze my task list, and make time for the things that add value to my life here.
Find your platform.
When you start your personal brand, you’re going to start to hear a lot of people telling you about 3583582 platforms that you have to show up on. The thought of that probably makes you feel a bit overwhelmed, right? Like, you’re never going to be able to compete with all those extroverts out there who are jumping on their Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter every single day.
Let me make this easier for you. Choose ONE. Just one.
Choose one platform that you’re going to show up on and make it your goal to be authentic as possible on there. Introverts naturally stay pretty true to themselves and their authenticity so it’s going to be easy for you to build a following. Why? Because you’re thoughtful, and you care about creating deeper relationships with your audience.
Once you master showing up on that one platform and you get more comfortable with people seeing you, hearing you, and reading what you have to say, it’s going to be a lot easier for you to move onto the next one.
Find the platform that works best for you and take small steps to move onto the next ones when it makes sense for you and your audience.
Start recognizing the amazing superpowers you hold as an introvert
Although I’ve had my own personal struggles with being an introvert, I’m one powerful entrepreneur and my introverted personality is partially to thank for that.
I used to work myself up so much getting frustrated about being introverted. I wish I naturally wanted to spend more time out and about at social events, that it was effortless for me to jump on social media, or open myself up to strangers.
But then I started replacing all of those icky feelings of frustration with gratitude. Because introverts are hella powerful.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of all the incredible superpowers you hold as an introvert:
Introverts are naturally deeeeeeep thinkers.
Yep, I see you nodding your head! You love getting deep in your thoughts without feeling the need to switch gears constantly.
Introverts are big-picture thinkers.
You get pretty obsessed with digging deep to finding meaning and purpose in whatever you do. As a brand designer, this is one of my key superpowers. I can take a small, simple idea and turn it into a big-picture plan through one, single-working session with a client.
Introverts are analytical.
You observe our surroundings with detail, care and can take feedback and and responses well. You’re wired to find thoughftul, creative solutions to any problem presented to you.
Introverts strive for deeper connections. They’re basically pro’s at it.
Consumers are now searching for more value and deeper connections on social media these days. Since you’re an introvert, it’s really easy for you to write from the heart. You’ll probably get a little scared to dump your feelings and thoughts into a published post at first, but once you get it out into the world you’ll immediately reap the massive benefits of a deep connection made with your audience.
Once you replace your frustrations with gratitude, the rest will start falling into place.
Thanks so much for reading! I can’t wait for you to finally start believing in the true power you hold as an introvert.
You’ve got this.
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