Personal branding is for everyone, not just for extroverts. Personal branding is for introverts too. I recently watched some of my eMBA clients graduate from their business school and the convocation address was delivered by a leader of a major Canadian corporation. The bulk of his speech to the graduates from a variety of programs was focused around personal branding. He shared how important it is today for every person to be able to define and express their personal brand.
As a personal brand coach and career management professional who embraces challenges, I am excited to partner with clients who are introverts and need my coaching, guidance and support as they embark on their career journey. Career management is about selling — selling oneself. Selling is not at the top of an introvert’s agenda. It can be tough. It can be frustrating. It can be ignored.
Here are five tips to help introverts define and express their personal brand:
Tip #1 – Build your brand slowly and firmly.
With the advent of social media, the opportunities for an introvert to express their brand are much easier. In fact, it is made for introverts. You don’t need to be at meetings, networking; you can articulate your personal brand from home. It allows you to take control over the brand and time when and how often to communicate. There are different audiences – some massive, some small, some individual, where you can build deep and enduring relationships.
Tip #2 – Have others talk for you.
It may be uncomfortable for introverts to overtly emphasize their accomplishments and sell themselves. Tooting their own horn can be painful. Why not let others toot that horn? You can solicit recommendations, produce blogs and share articles to solicit comments and open dialogue online without meeting someone.
Tip #3 – Partner with an extrovert advisor.
Extroverts generally gain energy from engaging in social interactions. They are stimulated by talking and discussing ideas with other people. Why not have an extrovert talk about you? Let them share your messaging and let them nudge you when the time comes to get out of your comfort zone so you can engage in important brand building activities. Support can be invaluable to boost your confidence. Let an extrovert be your champion.
Tip #4 – Be selective.
Personal branding is not a numbers game; it is about quality connections. It is also not a popularity contest. It is about building a reputation and expressing that reputation. Having a smaller number of people in your tribe allows you to build deeper relationships with people who count and can help you expand your messaging.
Tip #5 – Avoid public speaking
Public speaking can cause an introvert to freeze and cause all sorts of unnecessary anguish and frustration. You don’t have to experience this. You can attend public speaking engagements with your extrovert partner or tribe and soak up the energy and knowledge being shared. This may be conducive to getting an introduction to someone who can generate a lead for you. Never force yourself to speak at events. How about using podcasts and videos as a platform to articulate who you are and the value you bring?