How does the thought of marketing your business on LinkedIn or at events make you feel?
Anxious? Intimidated? Overwhelmed?
These were some of the words that came up during a recent workshop I ran with some business owners who identified as having introvert tendencies. If your social battery feels drained after interacting online or in person, you probably have them too. But as marketing exec Patrick Moran, CCO at Quip says:
“Contrary to what a lot of people might think, marketing is actually a great spot for an introvert”.
When you look at the natural qualities of introverts, they’re not too dissimilar to the qualities of successful marketers; both are great listeners, able to build deep one-to-one relationships, reflective and good at problem solving, skilled at bringing people together and adept at bringing out the best in others – Ideal qualities for modern marketing which is much more about serving than selling.
The discomfort usually comes from the thought of talking about your business or yourself, but the reality is that only 5% of your target market are likely ready to hear that type of marketing; the other 95% won’t be in a position to buy yet.
In his book ‘Breakthrough Advertising’ Eugene Schwartz outlined 5 levels of customer awareness, a model I’ve found invaluable when creating marketing strategies largely because it removes the pressure to sell.
The fact is that many of your target clients (maybe 95%) won’t even be aware they have a problem, let alone that there is a solution or what that solution is. Therefore, your role should be to help them move through the levels of awareness and thus through the marketing funnel.
Start by asking what your target audience is thinking or feeling at each stage, then which key messages will appeal to them. Asking these questions and following the guidance for each stage of awareness will help you to determine which marketing tactics will be most efficient:
- Unaware: demonstrate your understanding of their challenge / educate them that things don’t have to be this way (they become aware)
- Problem aware: acknowledge their pain points/ introduce the benefits of a solution (they become interested)
- Solution aware: share the solution and work on proving your credibility (they start to consider)
- Product aware: reinforce the solution and expand on your offer (they evaluate their options)
- Most aware: offer incentives/ follow up on queries (they decide to purchase)
See the below example an online training provider might use:
By playing to your natural tendencies, you’ll build relationships with your audience, many of whom will naturally gravitate to you when they’re in a position to buy.
10 more tips for marketing as an introvert
Choose your marketing style: Remember there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. In the same way your business operates uniquely to every other business, so too do you.
- Use Cheek’s STAR model to consider which type/s of introverted you are (social, thinking, anxious, restrained)
- Focus on what you enjoy and feel comfortable doing, for example small group or one-to-one networking, thought leadership articles etc.
- Get support from an accountability buddy or other business owners
Focus on one thing at a time: Keep it simple and don’t try to do it all.
- Choose one marketing tactic and get that right before introducing another one.
- Match marketing tasks to your energy levels.
Don’t be afraid of social media: Use it to connect on your own terms.
- You can control the interaction your content generates by deciding on its scope – lengthy and in depth will attract more interaction.
- If you don’t want to appear on video, create a series of tips in a video or do a screen capture with audio overlay.
- Communicate as your brand to take the focus off you.
Set aside time to schedule: Manage your time and energy.
- Scheduling content in advance will help you maintain consistent activity.
- Do something before and after that recharges you.
- Plan quiet times into your working schedule.
- Work a comfort break into meetings that are more than 2 hours’ long.
Make use of automation: Reduce the pressure to respond immediately.
- Set up an autoresponder on social media / email.
- Be transparent about your availability.
- If you run a mailing list, add a welcome email or series of emails.
Prepare ahead of meetings: Remove intimidation by doing some research.
- Check Google for news/ alerts.
- Visit your prospective clients’ social channels and website.
- Look them up on Companies House.
Eliminate unnecessary interactions: Help clients move through the awareness journey on their own.
- Add some FAQs to your website – be transparent about prices if you are comfortable doing so and it will help.
- Send out a screening questionnaire to prospects to filter out those who aren’t a good fit.
- Ask your clients for feedback via LinkedIn/ Google My Business and share it on your website so that prospects can get a flavour or what you’re doing.
- Add a bookings calendar to your website e.g. Doodle so that prospects can arrange a meeting with you.
Keep things under review: Don’t be afraid to tweak what you’re doing.
- Keep track of social media and web analytics to give you guidance and confidence in what’s working.
- Ask for feedback, particularly ‘Where did you come across my service?’
Create a client-focused positioning statement: This can help take the focus off yourself when pitching.
- Write down:
- i. Your target audience
- ii. The name of your product/ service
- iii. The category of product/ service you offer
- iv. The problem you solve for your clients
- v. The benefit your product/ service brings to clients
- Then insert your answers into this sentence:‘For (insert i), (insert ii) is the (insert iii) that will (insert iv) so they can (insert v).’
Keep the focus on helping: be kind to others and yourself.
- Map out your client’s awareness journey and focus your marketing on moving them through it
- In the words of Joe Glover, Co-founder of The Marketing Meetup: “Find the balance point; people you can help, who in turn can help you. That’s a way to new customers, but also possibly more importantly – keeping them for a long time.”