What makes me an intelligent solo preneur?
7 marketing tips for the quiet & introverted self-employed
Do you hate customer acquisition? A public lecture your horror? Then this post is just right for you. I have put together 7 effective tips on how you can reach customers despite your introversion and be successful as an entrepreneur.
I have to make you a confession: Even though I've always worked in the marketing industry, I hate selling myself or having to give presentations and speeches.
I gave a reading once and days before I could hardly sleep from the excitement. And the fact that I didn't break down with gasping before the reading borders on a miracle. Not to mention the red spots that I always get on my neck when I'm excited ...
I admire people who give hundreds of lectures a year, are ramparts, hold their faces in every camera and turn customer acquisition into a sport. I used to have someone like that as a boss. He was also a motivational speaker (do I have to say more here?). And he tried his best to make me like him too.
„You have to do a show and be able to inspire and entertain people, otherwise you will never be successful". He sent me to one customer presentation after another. And I was pretty good too, the customers liked me - but never in the way my boss liked.
I wasn't loud enough, not imposing, not artificial enough. On the contrary, I didn't like his style: for me he was a blender with little substance behind it.
The power of the introvert
I quickly realized: I would never become that kind of person. And I didn't want to either. Authenticity is extremely important to me. And that means that I don't reveal my core. And he is now rather calm and thoughtful.
I didn't get very old there. After 5 months, I threw in the towel with the firm intention of teaching my ex-boss wrong. That you can be successful even if you are not an extrovert.
Despite can be a very useful and powerful driving force.
Today I know that he probably only meant well. He liked me. But he couldn't accept that there was another way. And I am grateful to him, because this way I can always remind myself how I do NOT want to be.
But get me right: I like extroverted people and being extroverted definitely has a lot of advantages! Unfortunately, my boss was an unfavorable combination of different traits and had a very extroverted part. Two worlds just collided.
But this post isn't for extroverts, it's for you. Because I think the quieter and quieter people find far too little hearing in the noisy world.
Incidentally, there is a wonderful TED talk by Susan Cain "The Power of Introverts":
Now I come to confession number 2: I don't believe that there are “typically introverted” people.
For me it is just a label for a certain type of person, for a tendency more in one direction or the other.
There are so many facets of people and characters - it's impossible that just two drawers are enough.
I'm maybe 60 to 70 percent of what you'd call an introvert. I think a lot and need a lot of time to reflect, think and brood. I hate shopping and prefer to sit in nature for hours. I don't like it when it's loud around me. I prefer to talk intensely with one person rather than in a group. I am enough of myself and need little outside recognition.
And then, depending on the situation, I show 30 to 40 percent extroverted behavior. When something really excites me, I get really energetic, loud, passionate and excited! If I am convinced of something, then I will assert myself.
And when I am surrounded by the right people who I really trust, then I get out of myself and enjoy it too.
How do you market yourself in an extroverted world?
One can quickly become convinced that there is a world full of extroverts out there.
The ideal solo preneur and entrepreneur is sociable, willing to take risks, likes to be around people and has a large network.
He gives tons of lectures, goes on customer acquisition and tweets that the bars are bending.
But appearances are deceptive!
Yes, the extroverts may have their say more than the quieter people like you and me. According to statistics, however, a good 1/3 of people describe themselves as introverted! And personally, over the years, I have also recognized that there are many people who tend towards the introverted direction or who appreciate it when their counterpart shows these characteristics.
Nevertheless, it is of course important that you do not retreat into your little room alone and that nobody takes any notice of you. As a solo preneur, you have to actively go outside so that you and your strengths can be seen!
7 marketing tips for the introverted solo preneur
1. Rich talk instead of small talk
Don't make the mistake at events and give your business card to as many people as possible. In order to become really good and to be in your element, you have to trust your counterpart. That doesn't work in 2 sentences. So choose a person who you like the most straight away and approach them (you have to give yourself the jolt, you can't avoid it). Maybe the person is like you, too, and grateful that someone speaks to them.
And then: ask questions! What she does. Why she chose the profession. What excites them about it. Hardly anyone asks such questions when networking because everyone is careful to present themselves.
What is really fantastic about it: You don't have to talk a lot! Most people love to talk about themselves. Listen carefully to your counterpart, ask questions and you will become the best conversation partner ever.
And you will be very different from the others who run around like little peacocks trying to get their attention. Talk to one person intensely rather than talking to several about the stupid weather.
2. Create your feel-good stage
It is particularly important for introverted people to feel good all around. From your choice of clothes, to your office furniture, to your website - everything should reflect your personality and you should be proud of it.
If your website is cobbled together, you are embarrassed to give out your business card or you wear clothes to events that you would never wear - then you become even more insecure and appear that way to others.
Your office should also be a place that you really like to be, that is bright, friendly and inspiring. Believe me, it makes a difference whether you call a customer from a chaos office or from your comfort zone! Help yourself and make sure that you create a stage on which you feel comfortable.
3. Focus on your customers
It's not a problem if you don't like being in the spotlight! Why don't you just leave your customers in there? As an introvert, you have an excellent sense of the needs of other people because you are extremely good at listening and engaging with someone.
Put your customers at the center of everything, focus entirely on them and they will love you. You can do this in blog posts, Facebook posts or in a personal conversation. Recognizing the real needs of your customers is your greatest strength and can take you incredibly far !!
4. Find a marketing channel that you are comfortable with
You quickly get the feeling that as a solo preneur you have to be present on all channels at the same time. Yes, videos are becoming more and more popular. Yes, podcasts are also a great marketing tool. But not for everyone.
If you can't open your mouth in the podcast and watch videos like a mouse in front of the queue, then better keep your hands off it. Your potential customers should experience you in top form!
So pick a marketing channel that you're most comfortable with.
The following channels are available:
- Writing (blog, guest posts for other sites, newsletter)
- Images (Pinterest, Instagram)
- Conversations (Facebook, Twitter)
- Life (lectures, webinars, networking)
- Videos (YouTube, Instagram stories, Facebook stories ...)
You don't have to chase every trend! Better do one thing and do your very best here! And maybe at some point you will take the next step and practice a new discipline. But everything takes time.
5. Win customers the "old-fashioned" way
Everyone tries to get customers online. But have you ever thought of trying the old-fashioned way of customer acquisition?
This tip is so incredibly simple though effective, which I hardly want to reveal, because then do more 🙂
But if you've made it this far, I'll be happy to tell you.
So: If I'm at an event and have had a nice chat with someone (see point 1), I do the following:
I always have a few cards and envelopes in my color at home. You can get these in stationery stores or online.
1 to 2 days later I write (by hand yes!) A card with my favorite pen and thank you for the nice meeting. 2-3 short sentences are enough and then off to the post office with them.
You can't believe how many calls (and orders!) I've already received because of this little gesture! Nobody writes letters or postcards anymore, at most holiday greetings. You will stand out from the crowd in style and show your personality.
6. Take a rest and time-outs
Customer acquisition, events, telephone calls and group meetings are more exhausting for us introverts than for others. We naturally need rest, this has been scientifically proven.
According to a Spiegel article "Differences between introverts and extroverts can already be seen in brain physiology. In the brain of many introverted test persons, a higher electrical activity was detected, regardless of whether they were working or resting. It was discovered that introverts are often neuronally stimulated even when they are not receiving any external stimuli. Because of this naturally higher brain activity, breastfeeding apparently has a greater need to shield themselves from overstimulation.“
This means that it is particularly important for you to keep withdrawing in order to be able to concentrate on your work and to recharge your batteries. So please take good care of yourself and take your need for rest seriously so that you can keep us healthy for a long time to come.
7. Use online marketing
For us introverts, the internet is an ingenious invention. Where else can you get your message across without having to dance at hundreds of weddings or call customers coldly? In the past we would have sat sweating in front of the phone and turned the dial with shaky fingers.
Today it looks different: if intelligently planned and used, the Internet is the perfect medium for customers to come to you by themselves (I raise my imaginary champagne glass at the inventor!). So there has never been such a good opportunity to be successful as an introvert.
Take advantage of the opportunities that the internet offers you today. Learn search engine optimization, copywriting and social media marketing.
Here you will find a detailed article with further tips on how you can become visible as an introvert.
8. (BONUS) Use the power of storytelling!
In all honesty: Please start to deal with the topic of storytelling! If there is one thing I believe in you that will become extremely important in the future, it is storytelling. People have had enough of hollow advertising phrases - they want to be excited, entertained and touched. This is exactly why storytelling is the most beautiful form of marketing ever, especially for us introverts - because you don't have to sell yourself at all!
If the topic interests you, I have a free storytelling video course for you: Here you will learn the most important things you should know about storytelling in order to get started right away and inspire your customers.
Conclusion: As an introverted solo preneur, you can put your unique strengths and talents to good use and that is precisely why you can be successful. Use your skills to become the best listener and customer understanding, to be different, and to attract customers who value your kind.
What is your experience as an introverted solo preneur or entrepreneur? Do you have any good tips that you would like to share with us?
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