I’ve tried any number of ways to market my business: attending networking functions, joining professional associations, exhibiting at trade shows, just to name a few of my tactics. However, despite my best intentions, I’ve gotten little or no business as a result of my efforts. I know that part of the reason for a lack of return on my investment in these items is my poor follow-up with contacts I’ve made, but I think it goes a bit deeper than than.
I just simply don’t enjoy those activities. There now, I’ve said it, and it’s out in the open.
I’m a card carrying introvert (INFP) on the Myers-Briggs scale, and while I can be extroverted when at a meeting or a networking event or a trade show, it takes a great deal of energy and effort for me to do so. I feel as though I’m playing a role (and I am, to some degree — the role of an extrovert) and am not as authentic as I am when I’m speaking with someone that I know well.
In any business marketing book or course, you’ll hear that if you don’t toot your own horn about your business, no one else will. So, what’s a good introverted girl to do to get the word out about her business?
Instead of continuing to beat my head against the wall and continue virtual roundtables to do those things that I dislike in the hopes that something will change, I’ve made a 180 degree turn in my marketing efforts. It’s much more comfortable for me, and I’m much more authentic, since I’ve decided that I want to get 95% of my clients from online means. So, instead of spending a great deal of time and money out of my office trying to drum up business, I’m refocusing all marketing efforts to building relationships online.
What’s even more surprising is that I’m pretty good at it. I’ve developed close business and personal friendships will people all over the US and Canada, most of whom I’ve never met face-to-face. However, I know that if I were to show up in their city, I’d be welcomed into their home or at least be invited out to dinner, as we know each other quite well, without having ever met.
What’s my secret? I’m a great writer, and have gotten much praise and acclaim throughout the years for my writing efforts. Many introverts love to write, and that skill alone can help you begin to forge great relationships online. Here are my 5 secret strategies to building business relationships as an introvert:
- Email Newsletter: I’ve been writing my email newsletter, Work Smarter, Make More Online, for almost 5 years now. For the first 3 years, it was a real hit-or-miss proposition, as I published the newsletter only sporadically. However, about 2 years ago, I decided that I needed to publish on a weekly basis, and in that I needed to write articles that truly reflected me in each issue. I’m now starting to see the results of the writing I do each week. The results include readers calling or emailing me for coaching, to sign up for a program, to sit in on a teleclass, or to form a strategic alliance with them. Just exactly what I’d would happen. You can read more about how I publish my email newsletter at:
- Writing and Submitting Articles: Once I have written my email newsletter for the week, I now have a usable article to place on my website as well as to submit to article banks, directories, and announcement lists. As a matter of fact, as I was sitting here composing this article, I received this week’s email newsletter from Entrepreneurnewz, and the email had an very familiar subject heading — the title of an article I had submitted to article banks about 3 weeks ago! The service that I use to submit my articles is called SubmitYourArticle.com, found at. I can keep track of the articles that I submit and go in and pull out a plain-text version of the article to send to new sources.