Does building a personal brand as an extrovert make you nervous?
Psychologist Carl Jung was the first to introduce the concept of introversion versus extroversion in the 1920’s that has now become one of the most mainstream ways of categorizing personality types. The key distinction is that introverts are energized by their own inner workings, while extroverts are recharged by social interactions. Because extroverts tend to be more talkative and take up more space, they are often the first to be noticed and rewarded in our American culture that values assertiveness and taking charge. Building a successful personal brand is for introverts, too. Introverts have special skills that can contribute to a strong personal brand and can use thoughtful strategies to recharge while doing so.
Here are 10 ways introverts can build a personal brand:
1) Play to your strengths.
Extroverts have flashy brand-building skills because they naturally take up space, but introverts have essential brand-building skills that make for subtly powerful brand-building, too. Introverts tend to be good listeners and take more time to synthesize information, which makes for extraordinarily deep insights that take into account the big picture. Use these insights to see how your work fits into your industry and the future you are trying to build. Being able to make carefully thought-out decisions that fit into the larger puzzle is a brand-building superpower.
2) Lean into comfortable communication.
One of the best parts of brand-building in the digital age is that there are so many avenues of communication available. Introverts may find long-form writing more satisfying or may enjoy the wittiness of brief tweets. Use the methods of communication that feel more comfortable and less exhausting to you, and set boundaries around places on the internet or in person that drain you.
3) Schedule content in batches so you get breaks.
On the other hand, digital communication in its relentlessness can be particularly exhausting to introverts who need frequent breaks from social interaction. While extroverts may enjoy constant sharing on social media, introverts may find it easy to burn out that way. Use a content scheduler to create brand content in large batches so that you can set it and forget it for a while. The breaks from content creation will help you find the downtime to recharge.
4) Outsource tasks that exhaust you.
There may be some tasks that are unavoidably consistent like community management or that you find particularly draining as an introvert. Determine which tasks exhaust your energy the most and outsource them. Find someone trustworthy and reliable who understands your brand and pay them to take those tasks off of your plate. The investment will be more than worthwhile if it keeps you from long-term burnout.
5) Get feedback from your favorite extrovert.
Like it or not, somewhere around half the world is extroverted, and it will be to your brand’s advantage if you can appeal to those audience members, too. One way to leverage the power of extroversion is to ask for feedback from your extroverted friends. Find one or more extroverts you trust who can take a look at your personal brand and future plans for it to help you determine things like if you are being too shy with self-promotion. Your extroverted friends will probably welcome the chance to chat.
6) Network with purpose.
Networking can be a dreaded task for any entrepreneur, but is especially daunting for those who find social interactions draining. Networking does not have to be with a wide range of people and take all of your time, however. If you find networking exhausting, be very purposeful about how you build your network. Only take the time to build relationships with people who are the most important to your brand-building, and build those deeper relationships that introverts are known for nurturing. You do not have to know everyone to have a wildly successful business network.
7) Speak to your audience like you are one-on-one.
A giant virtual room full of people listening might sound like every introvert’s worst nightmare. One easy way to get over digital stage fright is to create content for your audience that imagines you are speaking to just a single person at a time. Not only will it help you to feel more comfortable sharing, but it will lend a sense of warmth and intimacy to your brand that audiences widely find appealing.
8) Let your uniqueness shine.
One thing extroverts often do easily is to share what it is that makes themselves or their brand special. Introverts may need more encouragement to let their own uniqueness shine, but every introvert has qualities that make them special, too. Figure those qualities out and let them shine like an extrovert would. This is one area where those extrovert friends can help push you if you ask them to do so.
9) Promote others or the message.
In moments when self-promotion feels especially difficult, it may be easier to find a different focus for your content creation. It is always an option to promote the work of other entrepreneurs or businesses aligned with your brand’s mission. It might also be easier to create content that promotes a message, rather than focusing on promoting yourself, at least until brand-building becomes more comfortable.
Practice makes perfect is a cliché for a reason. Building a personal brand may be uncomfortable and difficult at first, but it is such crucial work for everyone that it is worth powering through that discomfort. Like any muscle you exercise, your brand-building will become easier with time and practice. Introverts are excellent at persevering, and this is one area worth applying that skill.
Although building a personal brand may be an easier task for those with extroverted qualities, it is absolutely doable for introverts, as well. Introverts have special skills that make them excellent communicators and visionaries, and there are many strategies for mitigating the exhaustion of personal brand-building. There is no reason why introverts cannot have incredibly successful personal brands.