When I first launched my business, I was worried about whether I would succeed because I’ve always preferred to be behind the scenes rather than being the centre of attention.
Unlike many others I spoke to, I didn’t have lots of connections who would be interested in my services. That in itself was daunting enough, not to mention the idea of selling ‘me’, well, the services I was offering. I had experience of selling and I knew what worked for me but that was different. I was selling the products and services on behalf of the company I worked for, whereas the idea of selling myself… that was terrifying!!
I’m an introvert and proud of it
All too often, I hear from fellow introverts that they often feel overwhelmed and/or imposter syndrome kicks in because they feel the advice they see comes from extroverts. It’s usually because the person giving the advice comes across as confident, bold and loud but they might also be an introvert and have learnt how to hide it.
I’m a real introvert and I’m very shy but when I tell people this, they’re often surprised and they often say they would never have guessed because I come across so confidently. Well, they’re right, I am confident at what I do but it’s because I know to play to my strengths.
Personally, the idea of walking into a room full of strangers terrifies me! I’ve previously been asked if I would give a presentation and I declined because I know how uncomfortable I would feel. It’s not because I don’t how to do it, I used to do drama in my teens but I know I would be a shaky wreck!
The same goes for in-person networking events, I really don’t like them and I am hopeless at small talk, I don’t see the point in it, and I would much prefer a proper natter, so I rarely attend them.
It doesn’t mean to say I won’t push myself out of my comfort zone, I’ve just told you I hate networking events but the year after I launched my business, I launched an in-person networking event. The difference was that I was in control of it, so it gave me confidence and the group was a maximum of ten people, I knew my limits.
5 top tips for growing your business with ease as an introvert
Don’t be someone you’re not
It might sound obvious, but as an introvert, you will know where your boundaries lie and what makes you feel uncomfortable. When you see others doing well, it’s easy to think you need to follow the approach someone else takes but rather than comparing yourself, stay true to who you are, and remember your values and what you stand for. Remember, it is possible to grow your business with ease as an introvert, it’s about understanding the strategies and tactics to take!
Push yourself out of your comfort zone
I know how hard this can be but find the balance between where you are happy and what might feel scary but exciting for you. I grew my business because I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and when opportunities arose, I took some of them (not all of them). For example, I have been asked to be a guest speaker in Facebook Groups and on podcasts. You can listen to some of them here. The first few I did, I was a nervous wreck but the more I have done, the more confidence I have gained and the easier they get… I promise!!
Become friends with technology
Technology has played a huge role in how I have grown my business. At the very start, I went to a couple of networking events but I really didn’t like them, I’m not a fan of small talk and I also didn’t like it when people came up to me and immediately tried to sell to me.
If you’ve ever been to a networking event, I am the one desperately attempting to want to feel comfortable being there, trying to be brave and push myself out of my comfort zone, struggling massively, failing at making small talk and ending up looking like I have an urgent email to reply to!
Therefore tech has been so brilliant for me. It’s on my terms. I use social media when I want to and weirdly, I feel completely comfortable being ME. I worked out the channels that would have the biggest impact on me and I built relationships. It’s how I grew my business, all as inbound leads, making conversations with people, and supporting others and that’s how it developed.
Chat with other introverts
There is something strangely comforting about talking to another introvert but it is because they understand the emotions you are going through, the overwhelm you can experience and they will often share their own words of wisdom about what has and hasn’t worked for them.
Don’t be afraid to admit that you’re an introvert because it can attract people to work with you because you can relate to them.
Remember your goals, ideas, plans
I can’t stress this enough. Don’t get caught up in what others are doing, the direction they’re heading in or the services they’re offering. You never know what is going on behind the scenes.
Take small steps to map out what you want to achieve and by when, this will help you focus on getting the results you want.
Growing my business
The key for me was developing a powerful brand using social media. At the very start of my business, I created business profiles for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, I was already an active LinkedIn user having created my account in 2007.
Early on I knew I wanted to soft launch my business because I wanted to invest the time in building up my profiles, trying different approaches and figuring out what would work for me. After all, I wanted a business on my terms, of course supporting clients but it was about what would make me happy.
I quickly realised social media would play an integral role and I got involved with a couple of Facebook groups and Twitter Hours, these worked really well for me because I built strong relationships with people and quite quickly, people remembered me. My approach and content were authentic.
I really was growing my business with ease as an introvert and it felt exciting because it grew and it attracted new and different opportunities that came my way, all as inbound leads.
Are you ready to grow your business?
Business growth means different things to different people but if you are at a point in your business where you either feel overwhelmed or stuck in a rut or perhaps you don’t know what you don’t know, get in touch to find out how I can help you.
Similarly, if you have clear goals but you need help to get there, get in touch.
I offer a free 20-minute call so that we can have a chat about what you are looking to do and the direction you want to go. From there we can discuss the different ways I can help you, whether it be looking at the practicalities or focusing on mindset, or perhaps a little of both.