You are an introvert, and you are fiercely passionate about your business and what you do. But the thought of promoting yourself and putting yourself out there sends your stomach flip-flopping and sometimes even downright sends you into such a loop that you feel like vomiting. You are not alone. Roughly 50% of adults report being an introvert, and for those who are also business owners, selling themselves is such a huge challenge.
But it is a misconception to think that only extroverts can make a good businessperson. Think of Mark Zuckerberg.
No matter your personality type or experience level, promoting or selling yourself doesn’t have to be complicated or nerve-wracking. Read on to find examples of how to promote or market yourself with out-of-the-box ideas for marketing.
Why is it so hard to sell yourself?
Some people hate selling or are not natural salespeople. We all have an image in our minds of that pushy salesperson constantly upselling one more item to us when all we wanted to buy was a sponge. Many of us have watched our fair share of annoying daytime TV full of cringy, pushy advertisements where the guy with the creepy smile continuously bleats, “wait, there’s more!”
It’s no wonder you, as an introvert, will be turned off by this image. This turns off even extroverts. So how can you sell yourself without coming across as an annoying salesperson?
I’ll let you in on a secret: It’s not about you.
It’s all about your customer
First things first. Let’s flip this around. It’s all about a change in mindset.
Marketing today is no longer about getting people to buy stuff. It’s about serving people. It’s about building relationships with your customers based on trust. According to a survey, 81% of consumers said they need to trust the brand before they buy from them.
So to establish trust with your customer, don’t think about yourself. Think about your customer. Think in terms of the benefits you are bringing to the customer. And why your product or service will help them.
It’s about empathy. The ability to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and understand what they’re feeling at every stage of the customer journey, from the moment they find you on Google to the moment they hand over their credit card details.
Think of it this way: if you are not giving your customer the benefit of your product or service, you rob them!
That’s a radical way to think, but you need to see the value you bring to the table. If that value will help someone solve a problem, and you’re not out there telling them about it, then you are essentially robbing them of the opportunity to solve their problem through your product or service!
From the smallest one-woman show to the biggest multi-employee company, every business owner needs to sit down and figure out who their customer is and what their needs, aspirations, desires, and problems are. Have a thorough understanding of your customer, and you can better understand how you can serve them.
Here are the steps for understanding your customer. I recommend writing these down or journaling them:
- Get clear on who your customer is
- Get clear on what their problem is
- Get clear on what you are offering – how does your product or service solve that problem?
- How does your product or service benefit your customer?
It would help to brainstorm and list every possible benefit that your product or service can do for your customer. Benefits are different from features. To help you differentiate between the two, here’s a tip:
A feature is the “what” of your product, and the benefit is the “so what.”
What – it fries your food without the need for oil
So what? It means that you eat fewer calories. No oil means it’s healthier for you. Great if you’re trying to lose weight.
Focus on the “so what?” of your product or service and not the “what.”
The key takeaway
You don’t have to “sell” yourself when you have clarity on all the above. It would be as natural as telling someone: “Hey, I know you’re trying to eat healthily. I’ve got this great air fryer that lets you fry your food without the use of oil.” It’s just like having a natural, helpful conversation with a friend. There is no selling. But your friend will see that you are practical and are more likely to buy your air fryer.
Approach any marketing as an exercise in helping others. Focus on others. Don’t focus on you or your product or service. Focus on the person and how they will benefit from your product or service. Focus on how your product or service can help them. And even if they don’t buy from you, they will remember how helpful you are, which builds trust in you and your brand. Customers prefer to buy from brands they trust.
If you would like help with writing your marketing message, contact me.