Let’s face it, being an introverted entrepreneur in an extrovert’s world is no mean feat. In order to succeed online, we’re told to create courses, show our faces on video, start podcasts, put ourselves out there and generally shout louder in the sea of neverending competition.
For many introverts, that sounds like a nightmare. One of the most obvious differences between introverts and extroverts is that extroverts gain their energy from others, whereas introverts create their energy when alone and have their energy drained from others.
So ‘showing up’ on a daily basis – even if it’s online – can be a real drain for us introverts.
How to succeed as an introverted entrepreneur
That doesn’t mean to say that to succeed as an introverted entrepreneur you have to be an extrovert. Far from it. The real secret to succeeding as an introverted entrepreneur is to embrace your introverted-ness and use it to propel you forward.
So with that in mind, here are 5 things every introverted entrepreneur needs to succeed.
1. Decide what success means to you
Success is in the title of this post, but success is a relative term. What it means for you and what it means for somebody else in your industry could be completely different.
Your success in business doesn’t have to be defined by other people’s expectations, industry standards, or even where you see other people in your niche.
Here’s what success means for me:
Success is creating a community of like-minded introverted businesswomen who are thriving and empowered. My success is in correlation to theirs. If I have helped even just one of these people then I have succeeded.
Define what success means to you. Write it down and keep it somewhere visible. That way when you’re feeling down or struggling to stay motivated, your success statement will help propel you forward.
2. Become an expert in your niche
In a busy online world, it’s almost impossible to be vague about what makes you worth listening to, watching or reading, and succeed. The people at the top of your industry may appeal to a huge variety of people, but that’s because they have the numbers. Their audience is so large that they simply don’t need to be specific.
For the other 95% in your industry, in order to succeed, they have been ultra-specific on who they’re serving, what makes them different and as a bonus, they repeat this over and over again.
This is not only so they can find and target their ideal customer easily, but so their ideal customer can find them too.
If you haven’t targeted your business or found your niche/expertise, now’s the time. Start with yourself, what specific skills and interests do you have that sets you apart from others in your industry?
- The problems you’ve overcome
- What type of person are you?
- The interests do you have
- What kind of background do you have?
- What makes you different?
Use these differences to boost your expertise.
An example of expertise in action
Let’s create an example. Chelsea is a web designer, but she knows that she needs to be really specific with the type of web design she does in order to stand out. So her website explains that she builds websites and landing pages for apps developers.
She has some background in coding and a friend who has launched an app, so she uses those connections and her examples, to target app developers. She delves deep into the world of app creation and uses her web design talents to talk about how their sites can get them more downloads and sales.
Effectively, Chelsea becomes an expert in web design for app developers and as a result, has no problem in getting referrals.
Take some time to figure out how you can be as specific as possible with what you do. How can you become an expert in your niche?
Note: While creating your niche is a fantastic strategy, you’ll need to make sure the people you’re targeting have money to spend on your services.
3. Repeat repeat repeat
Have you ever noticed that big brands and politicians repeat the same phrases over and over again?
They don’t do it to be annoying. They do it because of something called ‘effective frequency’.
Effective frequency is used to describe the number of times someone must be exposed to a message before you get the desired response, whether that be buying a product, signing up to an email list or simply ‘getting’ a message.
It’s still up in the air for how many times you need to repeat a message, but marketing expert opinions range from 6-20 times.
So with that in mind, and with your speciality at the forefront of your marketing, repeating what you do is key.
I’m not saying you should create a catchphrase (although go for it if you want to), but by revolving everything you do around your niche, there will be no question when someone visits your site or social media, what you do.
Let’s use Chelsea the web designer again as an example. Her speciality, if you remember, is web design for app developers. Here are some things she could do:
- Set up a video or podcast interview with her app developer friend and post it on her website and social media
- Create information-based blog posts on different aspects of your site for app developers
- Talk about the importance of capturing email addresses
- Give bonus tips for app developers on website content
In each of these examples, Chelsea is showcasing her knowledge and expertise in her speciality over and over again.
So now it’s your turn, how can you show off your expertise and repeat it?
4. Find them and market your way
Now that you’ve defined your speciality, it’s time to find your ideal clients/customers.
Having your niche and target customer outlined will save you an immeasurable amount of time. Knowing who they are, what problems they’re having and how you can solve them will make it so much easier to put together a plan of action.
So now’s the time to find them. Ask yourself these questions and then use the answers to get specific with how you’re going to spend your time marketing to them.
- Which social media platforms do they spend the most time on?
- What sort of things to they search for on Google? What questions do they have?
- Where do they go to find help?
When you’re deciding on your marketing activities, it’s easy to think that if you put yourself everywhere then you’ll reach more people. But by doing that you’ll stretch yourself thin, and burn yourself out. Pick 1-2 platforms initially to put all your effort into mastering, you can always add more later.
Create your own marketing roadmap
Online marketing can and should be different for everyone. There are thousands of online courses out there that can teach you specific techniques to grow your audience, make more sales and create the business of your dreams.
But to grow and thrive in your own business, you need to make sure the marketing you pursue for your business, is enjoyable.
If you hate the idea of speaking in front of a camera, don’t do it. If you’d rather not deliver talks or workshops, then don’t. Finding what works for you and being consistent is the only important factor. If you need reassurance, there are thousands of influencers on Instagram who don’t even show their face and have gained thousands of fans.
Here are a few of my favourite ‘introvert approved’ marketing techniques:
- Write guest posts and leverage the power of other people’s audiences
- Write posts on your site and share on social
- Get to grips with Pinterest and automate it so it does the work for you
- Create an email opt-in and send engaging emails to your readers
It’s when you’re truly yourself online that you’ll start to thrive and build a business you love. Plan and find your own marketing roadmap and make this a possibility.
5. Don’t do it alone
It’s easy to think that introverted entrepreneurs love working alone, and although that’s somewhat true, we also tend to overwork ourselves, don’t share our struggles and burnout easily.
So while you’re creating business success, make sure to connect with like-minded people who are in a similar position to you. There are already communities set up and running in Facebook Groups, forums and even some local introvert-specific networking groups (if you’re lucky).