In my experience I have seen many levels of introvert and extrovert. Let me share some of my own.
* Invite me to a party — I’d rather have a root canal
* Have me speak about something I’m passionate about in front of a group of people — I shine.
* Put me in a “casual” networking group — root canal please.
* Put me in a “structured” networking group where I can ask for what I need and help others at the same time — I’m in heaven.
We all have our levels of how we interact, the environments where we thrive and the environments where we are extremely uncomfortable. I have seen many people go into business for themselves, myself included, that would rather give up their dream than to market their business and themselves. I was almost one of those statistics. I almost QUIT my dream until I discovered the secret.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrases for successful marketing, Find Your Passion; Market from your Passion; Marketing from Within, etc. This is actually correct, but there are a few more steps. Too many times we focus on things we can’t do (weakness) versus the things we can do (strength). The most common phrase I’ve heard is “I don’t want to feel like I’m selling.” Then we have this belief we’re supposed to market from the standard marketing box; cold calls, networking groups, speaking, knocking on doors, etc. NO! You don’t need to jump directly into the marketing box first. Get out of the should(s) and the can’t(s). Step into what you do well and what you enjoy first, then, open the marketing door.
1. Give yourself permission to redefine marketing to fit your style.
A program participant was very good at her profession as a lawyer but was very uncomfortable with marketing. I have clients brainstorm and write down their strengths and passions. She expressed she had very few on her list. It doesn’t matter how many are on your list as long as you pay attention to what’s there. Some people have 30-40, others have 5-10. She chose her top 3.
Out of her 3 the main passion and strength on her list was one-on-one conversations. We then began thinking of who might be good strategic partnerships for her business. She was thrilled she could not only market from her favorite and most comfortable approach, but also choose her favorite environment, which happened to be in a cozy coffee shop. However, that wasn’t all that was holding her back. She had never given herself permission to call one-on-one conversations marketing. Once she redefined marketing to One-On-One Conversations, she left saying, “I feel like I’ve had a black cloud lifted off my head.”
2. Give yourself permission to market from your comfort zone.
When she gave herself permission to market from her comfort zone she began taking more steps naturally. Two weeks later I turned around at my networking group and there she was. She was enjoying herself because she gave herself permission to redefine marketing to fit her passions and strengths AND she allowed herself to market from her comfort zone. I have seen this so many times. Once you give yourself permission to stand in your comfort zone, it’s amazing how you will naturally evolve towards expanding your marketing. It becomes FUN and Exciting!
Look at what you already have. All you need to market may be right in front of you with your most comfortable group of prospective clients.
A Life Coach I met had a horrible fear of marketing but really believed in his chosen profession and didn’t want to give it up. Through the process described above most of his fears disappeared. But he still found himself hesitating. He had identified his best client but that first step of where to begin seemed too big. In asking Bob about his past profession and contacts he realized not only would they be a perfect client but he knew a large number of people he could comfortably approach. Bob did several things.
1) Gave himself permission to redefine marketing to fit his style.
2) Gave himself permission to market from his comfort zone.
3) Identified a market he had come from and was comfortable.
4) He became so energized with his approach he is making cold calls speaking from the passion of his business.
Sometimes we are so close to things we can’t see them. Look right in front of you — your perfect client and ease of approach might be within reach.
However you approach your marketing, you get to choose how you do it. If need be, ditch the word marketing and insert ____________ (the words that fit YOU).
About the author:
Beth Woodward, CPCC, is the creator of the popular Marketing On The Playground Program, and the “My Way” Marketing Plan. Find out more about how to market “your way” and sign up for monthly Marketing Tidbits at http://www.marketingontheplayground.com