I am more than delighted to feature this guest post by my friend and colleague, Becky Robinson, author of the terrific new book Reach, Create the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book or Cause, launching on Tuesday, April 19th. Becky and her team have launched over 150 books and in this insightful post she helps introverts and extroverts cut through the noise.
Self-Promotion: How to Create Reach–Whether You Identify As an Introvert or Extrovert
By Becky Robinson, Founder and CEO of Weaving Influence
“I’m not comfortable promoting myself,” is the most common phrase I hear from authors, thought leaders, and other content creators who are resistant to market their work. Although I haven’t kept any data, I suspect I hear this more often from introverts, who may be drained by being in front of large groups, who may feel more comfortable in behind-the-scenes roles, or who may prefer time to think before expressing themselves.
Of course we associate self-promotion as being a strength of extroverts. Self-promotion is loud, out-spoken, the life of the party, the center of attention, the ring leader, and/or the perceived star.
Both introverts and extroverts feel more comfortable with marketing themselves and their work when I offer a simple reframe. Here are 3 ways to do that.
1. Marketing, whether it is for your book, for your ideas, for your product or service, is not self-promotion at all.
Instead, it’s message promotion. It’s value promotion. If we can begin to see marketing as a way of offering value to others, we will realize that no personality trait excludes us from marketing.
How can you allow your unique personality to shine through when sharing your ideas with the world? What are some ways introverts and extroverts choose to market their messages?
2. If you want to create the biggest possible audience for your work, showing up online is a requirement.
Building an online presence offers anyone the opportunity to reach people anywhere, at any time. The most important asset anyone can create is a website that they own and control, one that clearly communicates their unique value and content to the world. You can express your personality through your website using color, font, images, and language.
Here’s a fun experiment to try: visit a few websites to see if you can identify whether the person is an introvert or an extrovert or whether it might appeal to introverts or extroverts. Shelley Paxton’s website, Soulbattical.com practically shouts her extrovert personality. Susan Cain’s website is slightly more understated and quiet, while still warm and welcoming. Though I’ve identified two sites where you may be able to tell whether the owner is an introvert or extrovert, it may be impossible to tell. What we can learn from this is that the internet is a place that can be safe or comfortable, regardless of whether you gain energy from being with people or are depleted by it.
Once you’ve looked at others’ websites, take a look at your own. How well does your website help others get to know you and your personality? Would I be able to determine your psychological preference for introversion or extroversion from your site? Take a look at my site. Can you tell that I am an extrovert?
3. Every personality type offers value to the world, and each of us can choose how to share that value with others.
Content can be a communication vehicle for the value we offer, and it comes in a variety of forms. It’s possible that your personality type will influence what type of content you choose to create.
Perhaps you’re an introvert who would far rather write articles than host a podcast. You might want to write a book instead of creating video. Ann Van Eron, an author I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know, brings the concepts of her books to life through hand-drawn illustrations.
For me personally, although I create content in lots of forms, I get the most energy when I develop interactive content: podcast interviews, webinars, live streams, and in-person or virtual speaking and workshops. I also love writing.
Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you may need to experiment with content creation and try various methods of content distribution before you discover what’s best for you and your audience. There are no rules or right or wrong ways to share value with others. What’s important is to identify an approach to creating and a method for sharing content that you enjoy, since consistently providing content will help you grow an engaged audience.
The bottom line? You don’t have to be comfortable with self-promotion to be an effective marketer. Message promotion does not require a particular personality trait or type. Anyone can share value with others through their online presence in ways that feel comfortable, natural, and align with their personality.
Becky Robinson is the Founder and CEO of Weaving Influence, a full-service marketing agency that specializes in digital and integrated marketing services and public relations for book authors, including business leaders, coaches, trainers, speakers, and thought leaders. Her first book with Berrett-Koehler Publishers titled, Reach: Create the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, launches this week.