Social media is a great outlet for introverts to interact with others and market themselves.
It’s much easier to be brave behind a computer screen, and that is a beautiful thing. On the flip side, it can also be really overwhelming. Sometimes it can feel like you are on a train platform and everyone is shouting at you in all directions and you don’t know what to do. We want to grow our businesses with social media and we know we can, but how do we do it in a way that feels 100% us? Because shouting our expertise from the rooftops and promoting ourselves constantly is just not right for all of us. Here are some tried and true strategies that I use to build my business and market myself as an introvert.
Let your content do some of the talking
Create content and let it promote you. Sitting down to write a blog post, create a course, or start a conversation on Instagram is a great for introverts to put themselves out there. It allows introverts that quiet time to create, but it also helps build up that courage that will allow you to share it. Processing through your thoughts in the creation process and really honing down on what you want to say and how you want to say it will give you that courage to share it. Spearhead those conversations you want to be having with content.
Avoid being everywhere at once
I hear it all of the time. Be on as many social media platforms as possible to get your work out there. Promote, promote, promote! This is the kiss of death for an introvert. It will leave you feeling scattered and overwhelmed. Social media is all about creating relationships and interacting with a lot of people, but that can drain introverts. So choose one to three social media platforms that energize you and build a community on those. Sit down and really think about which platforms are right for you and your creative endeavors. What skills do you have? And where will they shine best?
If something feels uncomfortable, don’t do it
You don’t need to emulate how other people market themselves. What your favorite blogger or social media expert tells you may not work for you. If something feels wrong and selling yourself constantly feels icky, don’t do it. I guarantee if it feels awkward for you, it will feel awkward for your audience. Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zone to build our businesses, but doing this on a daily basis because everyone else does it this way is not a good long term growth strategy. Step out of your comfort zone, but do it on your terms.
Building your social media community can happen one person at a time
We see it all of the time on social media. There are people with thousands and thousands of followers. On one hand we want that, but on the other it’s scary. Know that this is something that doesn’t need to happen all at once. It can happen one connection at a time.
I know that as an introvert I thrive on one-on-one interactions. If you are an introvert, this is probably true for you, too. Use that quality to your advantage. Create relationships one person at a time in an intimate way and you will set the foundation for connections that create advocates for your work. It may take a bit longer to build your business and following than someone who is good at gathering large groups of people, but it will happen. And it will happen in a way that keeps you energized and feeling like 100% you.
It’s okay to step away! There is so much pressure to be constantly engaged on social media that it’s easy to feel like we are missing out and opportunities are being lost if we miss an Instagram post or don’t blog for two weeks. It’s just not the case. Taking breaks and putting your best foot forward are essential ways to avoid burnout. Create room to hear your own voice and be inspired to log back in and have that fire lit to create the connections and business you want.
Interact with people when you have the energy
After interacting with people all day on social media for my clients, I feel exhausted and I have so much noise going on in my own head that it’s really hard for me to take the time to nurture relationships with my own followers. I know this about myself so I schedule out times during my day when I am feeling energized and sharp. Sometimes I have to wake up early and respond to people early in the morning over a cup of coffee. Some days I do this at 11:00 at night when I have processed my day and the house is quiet. Do your work whenever you feel energized and sharp. It’s OK if this means you have to wait four hours to respond to a comment. People will be happy that you are responding in an energized, genuine way rather than a quick, exhausted way.
Find your tribe
Interact with people that inspire you and leave you feeling energized. This can be hard, but I guarantee if you find these people it will make all the difference in your social media experience. Talk to other introverts and ask them how they deal with social media. Connect with people who are where you want to be and that share the same qualities as you. You can learn from each other, and that is worth it’s weight in gold.
Elizabeth Fein is the founder of Iterate Social. She works as a social media manager for creative entrepreneurs, teaches social media workshops, and coaches small business owners. Her latest project is her course Quietly Unstoppable :: Digital Marketing for Introverts. You can also download her free eBook The Boss Babe’s Guide to Social Media (27 pages of social media, branding, and photo styling tips).