5 Tips to Increase Your Visibility as an Introvert

Who says that self-promotion has to be an all or nothing proposition? What’s the one activity you haven’t gotten around to that would make a difference in your efforts at promoting yourself?

If you’re like many introverts I know, you’ll dance around that one activity because you’d really rather water the plants, polish your shoes, wax your floors, and skid down the hall to make a cup of tea. Anything to avoid the obligatory horn tooting activity! Even if you’d like to continue putting off your own equivalent of making that dreaded phone call to the super senior person who could catapult your career with the flick of a Blackberry, here are five tips that use your strengths as an introvert to help you boost your visibility in the meantime. Some of these tips may seem simple for you and others outrageously difficult. Start with one that is just a bit challenging so you’ll get to enjoy the stretch assignment and then the satisfaction of having tackled it.

    1. Host (or co-host) an event. That could mean quietly organizing a small gathering to honor a colleague who is retiring, co-hosting a gala with an extrovert, or even taking the stage to kick off an event. The advantage for you as an introvert is that people will come to you as the host so you can expend less energy reaching out to them. Remember to rest up beforehand to counterbalance the meet-and-greet aspect that could otherwise drain you.
    2. Write about your area of expertise. If you express yourself well in writing—as many introverts do, use that ability to help advance your personal brand. Write for a publication at work or a trade publication, blogging (or guest blogging), write an e-newsletter, and/or post frequent updates on your favorite social networking sites. Howard Greenstein, social media strategist and president of the Harbrooke Group, which helps companies communicate with their customers using the latest Web technologies, shared this in my book, Self-Promotion for Introverts®: “If you publish a ferret article a week for 52 weeks, before you know it, you’re going to come up a lot higher when someone types ‘ferret’ into a search engine than if you just have a site that says, ‘The Ferret Expert.’”
    3. Take one step forward on your marketing materials. That could mean ordering a new set of business cards. Creating a few versions of your résumé. Updating your bio on LinkedIn. Asking a few colleagues for recommendations or referrals. Or upgrading your Web site.
    4. Buddy up with someone for cross-promotions. One of the comments I hear most often in my Self-Promotion for Introverts® workshops is that introverts have no trouble promoting a friend or colleague whom they believe in but get tongue-tied promoting themselves. If you’re a copywriter and your buddy is a graphic designer, recommend one another’s services to your clients.

  1. Join a board of directors of an organization you care about. You’ll get to build relationships with a relatively small group of people whom you’ll meet with periodically—not a bad arrangement for an introvert. As you get to know your committee members, be a generous connector and let them know how they can help you.

Oh, back to that niggly activity that keeps falling to the bottom of your “to do” list. How important is it really? If it’s really a biggie, find someone to cheer you on, assist you, or even do it for you. Figure out when you’ll get it done. Why not knock it off your punch line and get that much closer to your career goal? Today.

 

© Copyright 2010 Nancy Ancowitz

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