As an Introverted Business Owner, Growing Your Brand Can Feel Overwhelming. Here's How to Master It. Is the thought of putting yourself out there sending cold shivers down your spine? Here's how to push through it and even enjoy it — as told by a fellow introvert.
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Maybe your introverted personality played a part in your decision to start your own business. Perhaps you enjoy hiding behind a laptop instead of having to give scary presentations in front of dozens of colleagues.
But, alas, everyone is talking about how vital it is to build a personal brand these days — and that doesn't sound like a very introverted thing to do.
Don't worry, though: It doesn't have to be painful (and I'm telling you this as a massive introvert).
Related: Networking 101 For Introverts: Tips and Tricks to Help You Confidently Connect With Others
1. Remind yourself why it's important to curate your personal brand in the first place
Without remembering why you need a strong brand, it'd be really hard to stay motivated and push yourself outside your comfort zone.
From your tone of voice to your values and the topics you talk about the most, a personal brand is what defines you and sets you apart from others.
It makes you memorable and allows you to:
- Be the first person popping into your audience's mind when they're ready to invest in the types of services or products you offer
- Attract higher-paying clients
- Be perceived as a thought leader in your industry
- Generate more leads, sales and opportunities
Keep all that in mind when you find yourself thinking, "Why am I even doing this?!"
2. Shift the focus: It's not really about you
Even though it's your "personal" brand, you aren't really at the center of attention. You're building it for your business. So the focus should really be your target audience, and you should ask yourself these questions:
- How can you provide them value with your content?
- What do you want them to remember you for?
- How can you solve their problems through your business?
But if the idea of talking to many people scares you, pretend you're speaking to a single ideal client whenever you work on your personal brand.
Related: How to Use Your Personal Brand to Attract Dream Clients (and Repel Nightmare Ones)
3. Create your content in batches
The hardest thing is always getting started and entering the right mindset. So if you're expecting to do that every single day as an introvert, you're basically sabotaging yourself.
Instead, play to your strengths and work smarter, not harder.
- This won't come naturally, so set aside a day a month to plan your content and one to create it. You can then schedule it or post it manually as frequently as it works for you.
4. Consider starting with text-based content
Becoming the face of your business is incredibly important. It builds trust, creates a human connection and makes it easier for people to remember you. While showing up with photos and videos should be the next step, you can ease yourself into curating your personal brand by creating text-based content first.
As an introvert, it'll be easier to start with blog posts, guest posts, LinkedIn posts and newsletters that align with your personal brand.
5. Take a deep breath and start posting photos
Once again, change your perspective: It's not about looking beautiful or handsome, nor is it about getting people to like you in that sense. It's simply about putting a face to the name and increasing brand recognition.
To make things even easier as an introvert:
- Choose a photographer whose personal brand makes you feel at ease.
- Remember you're your own worst critic. Just like you don't waste your time analyzing other business owners' photos, nobody will be judging yours the way you do.
Related: How to Prepare for a Personal Branding Photoshoot Like a Pro (and Why It Matters)
6. Try filming some videos
Research shows 93% of marketers say video content has helped them increase brand awareness. Shame it's also one of an introvert's worst nightmares! Here's how I cope with it:
- Pretend you're talking to a client 1:1 instead of filming a video for hundreds (or thousands) of people.
- Use a teleprompter app so that you can read a script or some bullet points while still looking into the camera.
- It doesn't have to be a live video. If you get something wrong, you can easily edit it out or start again. Nobody will know.
7. Do live and in-person events only when you've mastered the former
You don't necessarily need to attend live or in-person events to build your personal brand; however, it can undoubtedly help you reach new people. My advice is to start with recorded content and then try live options (like being a guest on someone's webinar) or in-person events.
Networking groups can often be draining for introverts, but you could go once and see what happens (spoiler alert: I ended up loving mine).
8. Connect with the right people
It'll be easier to become the face of your business if you know that most of those who follow you are a pretty cool bunch.
You might get the odd troll or grumpy comment (like corporate people insisting that personal content doesn't belong on LinkedIn), but honestly, they're such a small minority.
Instead, follow and connect with entrepreneurs who infuse their content with personality, showing up with photos and videos that reinforce their personal brand.
Plus, regardless of whether you personally like them, it might be helpful to remember that several famous entrepreneurs with huge personal brands are also introverts.
Related: 5 Mega-Successful Entrepreneurs Who Are Introverts
9. Stay authentic
Building a personal brand isn't about creating a fake persona, so don't pretend to be someone you're not. Not only can most people see straight through it, but what's the point?
Your personal brand is what helps you attract a community. If you're not authentic, you'll end up attracting the wrong one.
In fact, don't be afraid to be candid and admit that "this is my first video" or "I'm a hopeless introvert, but I want to show up more often to connect with more of you." This will actually make you more relatable.
Overall, growing a personal brand as an introvert is about stepping outside your comfort zone but at your own pace (and whilst being kind to yourself).