Put the words INTROVERT and SOCIAL together and what do you get? A bunch of wallflowers breaking out in a cold sweat. But as much as we introverts like our comfy, quiet cocoons, social media is a necessary form of connection with the outside world, especially for business growth. Some find it easy to hide behind the safety of the glowing laptop screen, but if communicating via keyboard is still enough to give you anxiety, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief, fellow introvert. These five tips will have you on your way to marketing and socializing on your terms.
Be cool with being you
I’ve been very surprised to learn that most of my business mentors, including very well-known celebrity-level entrepreneurs, self-identify as introverts. But how can that be? They are often in the public eye. They present in front of large crowds. They have many people working for them, asking their advice, vying for their attention.
Being introverted doesn’t necessarily mean you are uncomfortable around other people. For our definition here, being introverted means getting your energy from quiet spaces and calm situations, and preferring time alone – or at least needing some quiet time to decompress after being with large or loud crowds.
You don’t need to become extroverted to be successful on social media. You need to be YOU. Be the you-est YOU you can be. The right people will be attracted to you. And the cool thing about building relationships online is… you can take time off-line whenever the interactions become too much.
Remember that *personal* does not mean *private*
Whenever I tell my shyer clients that they need to be more personal on social, I immediately see them stiffen. They say: “But I don’t want to share personal stuff,” but what they are really saying is, “I don’t want to share private stuff.”
You should NOT share private information. But you do want to share your personality. Share:
- your interests, hobbies, passions
- causes that you believe in
- your unique quirks
But don’t worry that you need to share private details. You shouldn’t! Doesn’t that make you feel safer?
Create a brand for yourself
Still feel concerned about revealing too much of yourself? To make social media work for your business, you do need to post personal updates as part of a comprehensive, multifaceted marketing campaign. So how can you make this work?
Solution: Instead of posting about yourself, post about your brand.
Your personal *brand* is the impression you want to evoke whenever someone sees your name or your posts. How do you want your viewers, readers, followers, and potential clients to feel when they read your updates?
Once you are clear on your brand, make sure that every update you make is in alignment with this brand image. When you focus on supporting your followers in this way instead of focusing on yourself, posting consistently becomes so much easier.
Show, don’t tell
Some introverts are excellent writers, and if that’s you, get as creative and poetic as you want. If not, don’t fear. Social media allows us to simply show our story. The masses are demanding visual stimulation like never before, so instead of writing it out, allow a simple picture to speak volumes. An introvert’s best friend is a photo that speaks a thousand words (without us having to actually write any of them).
Interact in real life
What? Real life interactions? I know… the thought of making small talk with a large group of people might make your stomach clench, so relax. All I’m suggesting is to take your online relationships (one at a time) to the next level.
Social media contacts can develop into meaningful and helpful relationships that have the power to push you ahead in your personal and professional life. Don’t underestimate the power of stepping outside of your comfort zone to meet a contact for coffee or simply chat on the phone for a few minutes.