If you’re a coach who also happens to be an introvert, how do you feel about marketing yourself? When you’re in business, marketing is part of the deal. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy – especially if the product you’re marketing is you. And if you’re an introvert then it’s a double whammy. And worse again? Well, that’s if you’re camera-shy on top of everything else. That’s an oh-my-gosh-I’d-rather-eat-beans-on-toast-forever-than-do-this-stuff moment. But no matter how much you like beans on toast, you can’t shy away from marketing forever. That begs the question: how do you market yourself as a coach when you’re an introvert and the mere thought of self-promotion makes you feel queasy?
So much of the business world assumes that those who are most successful are extroverts. It’s a load of tosh. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer and Elon Musk all identify as introverts, as this explains. They’re in good company. Historical leaders who were introverts include Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi.
As a coach, you’ll know that introversion is about energy and how the individual manages it. As a paper by Dr Larry Dossey explains, introverts tend to be more quiet, reserved, and reflective. Unlike extroverts who gain energy from social interaction, introverts have to expend energy in social situations. After attending a party or spending time with many people, introverts often feel a need to “recharge” by spending time alone.
It’s not about shyness, then. Nevertheless, it can feel icky to market yourself even though clients-to-be need to find you. So, to return to the original question….
How do you market yourself as a coach when you’re an introvert
One of the first obstacles you’ll encounter is pretty much all the advice on what you should do to succeed as a small business owner. The majority assumes the reader is extrovert and totally comfortable with promoting themselves.
And, straight away, those two assumptions are significant roadblocks for introverted coaches.
Why? Perhaps it’s because when an introvert adopts the advice that’s ideal for extroverts, it’s exhausting and emotionally draining. It could be because doing that feels inauthentic and ‘wrong’. Maybe you feel there is little point in pretending to be something you’re not. After all, you’re trying to attract clients that are a good fit for you. And you’re right. As a coach, you need to be as true to yourself as you can be in your marketing to attract your ideal clients.
Why not make the most of our new virtual normal to see if you can find a way of marketing yourself that feels right for you? If you’re looking for some ways to market yourself as a coach when you’re an introvert and don’t like self-promotion then read on. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
1. Giving service as a marketing tool
Think about your ideal clients as rounded people. What are their other interests? Where are they likely to hang out? That’s where you go. For example, join three FB groups where they’ll be and, once there, add value.
Spend 10-15mins per day looking in those groups for questions you can answer and post your answer. Don’t signpost to your website. Just answer. It’s a marketing nugget of support that will pop up to all following that thread. What’s more, those who search for posts on that particular topic in the future will also see it. If you do this consistently, your name will start to be recognised.
Before this, make sure you have set up your personal profile to signpost strangers accordingly. Make sure your personal profile links to your business FB page. That means anyone who clicks on your profile can see at a glance what your business is and where they can find out more. The aim is to make it as easy as possible for people.
Likewise, Twitter lists can be a good way of adding value without spending a lot of time. Set up a list of those accounts that your ideal client might follow – this blog post explains how. And then, 10-15mins a day, scroll down your lists and interact – add comments, give answers and insights, reply and retweet with a comment.
2. Writing is a great way to market when you’re an introvert
The time is now for trying low-interaction methods that can work well for introverts. If you’re not already doing it, writing is a great place to start. Typically, introvert skills include researching, reflecting and writing. Perhaps start a blog. Already got one? Get more traction by putting it to work for you. For example, approach some other bloggers or businesses to see if you could guest blog for them.
Your blog can be very effective in communicating with your clients-to-be. Write a blog post as if you’re writing to one person. Talk to them about their challenges or their dreams. Depending on how much you enjoy writing and time, choose a schedule that works for you. It doesn’t matter whether it’s once a week or once a month but be consistent.
Likewise, longer-form posts on social media would work well for you. You could do that on LinkedIn articles or Facebook. A deep dive into an issue would help your followers, and it is a marketing technique that plays to your strengths. Problem-solving – another typical introvert trait – also fits well with this approach if you choose the right topic to cover.
If you have an email list, you might also opt to create a series of emails on a specific issue. No email list? A series of posts that cover a topic would also work well on social media.
3. Videos – a wonderful way to market yourself as a coach when you’re an introvert
For those who don’t like writing, you could do short videos. Again, try choosing a specific topic and run a short series of brief videos. Of course, for shy people and those who feel uncomfortable on video, this may feel like a step too far. But being an introvert doesn’t mean you have an excuse to stay in your comfort zone forever.
Some fears are worth trying to overcome. Video is such a great way for your clients-to-be to connect with who you are as a coach. One way to dip your toe in the water is to practise on stories – Facebook, Instagram, and now LinkedIn all have this option. It’s only there for 24 hours, so it’s a more accessible route into it.
And those who really REALLY don’t like it, create a Facebook group of one – you – and practise doing Lives there. As nobody will see it apart from you, t’s a good way of getting used to Lives without the angst of going public. You’re in control so do whatever works for you.
It may not seem like a natural fit at first glance – or the first vocalised syllable in this case. Is an introvert well-suited to the role of presenting a podcast? A job that involves leading a discussion, recording it and sharing it with the world? Well, yes. The reason is that a typical introvert trait is being reflective and embracing deep connections. That makes for an excellent podcast host.
Podcasting would give you a chance to deep-dive into a topic and discuss it at length with any guest you might feature. And then the focus is even less on you – bonus! You don’t need to put on makeup or business clothes or pull-on your public persona – you can do your podcasting from your living room in your jammies, if you so choose.
Yet it’s an effective marketing tool. As a medium, it’s intimate and comfortable and gives listeners an insight into what it would be like working with you. Podcasting might even help you develop your coaching skills.
If you fancy it, Social Media Today has this handy guide for a small business that wants to start a podcast, which is a good starting point. And for those introverts who still have their doubts, there’s this – an introvert’s guide to success in podcasting.
5. Virtual networking
If there’s a silver lining to the pandemic, it’s that you’re off the hook when it comes to in-person events. Exhibitions and real-life networking are a no-go for the time being, so make the most of it. Instead, you could try virtual networking.
Ok, so it’s not totally introvert-friendly, but sometimes it’s about budgeting your energy. In-person networking might be exhausting, but online may not feel the same. Virtual networking events can still feel tiring, but they are more structured than their real-life equivalent, which may help. You are ‘on’ for less time – you have a slot to speak, and then it moves to someone else. Worst case scenario, the whole event disappears at a click of a button when your internet crashes.
On the other hand, zoom gloom and screen fatigue might make it a definite no. It’s one of those things that requires you to decide whether or not it’s worth doing. Be proactive about managing your energy. It might be that you accept that it will be energy-intensive and go for it anyway. It’s about budgeting your energy in the same way you would money. The healthiest people don’t hoard it – they learn to spend it wisely.
Main photo by Aleutie on depositphotos.com
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