For those of you that don't know me, I am what is considered an Introvert. I think it would be best for me to clarify exactly what an introvert is and isn't. If we follow stereo-types we would think of an introvert as shy, a loaner, or maybe even an awkward weirdo. However, I am here to say that is not true; introvert are just misunderstood. As Beth L. Buelow says in her book The Introvert Entrepreneur “The reality is that introversion inherently has nothing to do with social skills and everything to do with how a person gains or drains energy, processes information, and relates to the world”
This of course begs the question; Can and Introvert be successful at building a Personal Brand?
Your personal brand is more important than ever, especially if you’re in sales, marketing, blogging, or another of the many brand-driven industries. And you can’t opt out of it – an undeveloped personal brand is still a personal brand, it just doesn’t leave a good impression. You could be a digital marketing genius, but how many people will want to hire you if you’ve made barely any connections online? They’ll be wondering how you can know what you’re doing if you haven’t even marketed yourself.
If you’re introverted, the idea of building a personal brand may seem foreign to you. It seems like branding is something that comes far more naturally to extroverts. That’s far from the truth. As an introvert, you have your own advantages, and if you use them correctly, you can have plenty of success with your personal brand.
The Benefits of Being an Introvert
While extroverts and introverts have very different traits, they all come down to one key difference – extroverts get energy from being around other people, while introverts get energy from being alone or with a couple people they’re close with.
So yes, an extrovert is likely going to be more comfortable meeting new people at a networking event. But the best way to build your personal brand is online, and you don’t need other people around to do that. Your advantage as an introvert is that you’re more comfortable spending time by yourself and thinking about ideas. You can focus more on creating great content, including blog posts and videos.
While introverts tend to make fewer connections than extroverts, they are good at making deeper, more authentic connections. And that’s an important part of personal branding. It’s better to have a network of 100 people who love your brand than 1,000 people who are ambivalent about it.
Getting Started with Personal Branding
Let’s say you’re starting from square one. You don’t have much of an online presence. Your social media profiles are bare bones and you have few connections outside of friends, family, and some professional acquaintances.
As an introvert, promoting yourself probably doesn’t come second nature to you like it would with an extrovert. Extroverts are great at talking about who they are and what they’re doing. You don’t need to brag about yourself online, but you do need to show people who you are. Again, it’s all about making authentic connections, and to do that you need to put yourself out there.
Social media is a useful tool for making connections, but it can also be overwhelming. Choose one or two social media networks as your focus to start. Since every network is different, you can choose one that fits your own style. For example, Instagram is obviously all about pictures. If you have a knack for photography, start there. If you never take pictures, try a network that focuses more on the written word, like Twitter or LinkedIn.
Fill out your profile with some information about yourself. Then, start posting content and connecting with other users. Remember that it’s always about quality, not quantity. One good post that people enjoy is better than 50 mediocre posts that no one cares about. It’s the same with your connections. Take the time to find other users who match your target audience for your brand. When you connect with someone, send them a quick, personalized message thanking them for adding you.
Creating Your Content
Let’s talk more about content, as it’s a crucial part of your success. When people like your content, they come back for more. If they don’t, your personal brand will never grow.
The type of content that you create will depend on your business. Two of the most common types of content that can work with most businesses are articles and videos.
This is an area where you can experiment and figure out what you do best. You don’t need to do everything to build a strong personal brand. Like many introverts, you may feel most comfortable writing. You’re able to gather your thoughts and formulate them clearly before you send them out. Don’t be afraid to give videos a try, though. With the high-quality video cameras that come in many smartphones, you can easily make videos by yourself. You may find that you actually enjoy getting in front of the camera.
Keeping Your Brand Separate
Maybe the idea of putting yourself out there as you build a personal brand makes you nervous. There’s an easy trick that can help you with your branding – keep your personal brand separate from yourself. What this means is that you consider your personal brand a persona or an image that you use. This way, you’re not putting yourself in front of the masses, you’re putting an image in front of them.
Your brand is still you, but it’s a version of you that you’re presenting to other people. People in the public eye do this all the time. How many times have you heard someone talk about a celebrity and say “he’s nothing like I thought he would be,” or something to that effect? That’s because when the celebrity is doing an interview or giving a speech, he’s playing a specific role. It’s a version of him, but he’s not the same as he would be in his daily life with friends and family.
Being an introvert isn’t a disadvantage, especially considering how much brand building and connecting is done online. By connecting with people and expressing yourself online, you have plenty of time to gather your thoughts, which can make it easier for you than if you were making connections in person. You can absolutely build your personal brand as an introvert, and you won’t be the first, as many big names online are introverts. All you need to do is commit to it and use your unique strengths, and you’ll have a strong brand in no time.
Please leave your comments below, I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic as I believe it is a topic on the minds of many people who are hesitant to get out there and take the steps to building a brand around themselves. I had a really hard time getting started for this reason but now here I am putting myself out there.