Marketing and Selling for Introverts?
I am a good developer, a good data scientist, a good problem solver, and a rotten entrepreneur. Created countless web apps for fun, for others, for work, for classes, etc. None earmarked as SaaS apps made a dime. My solo-preneur rocket is still grounded — not easy being an introvert…
Anybody Can Market and Sell, Even Introverts, Right?
I can jump, practically at will, into the state of ‘flow’, but can’t, to save my life, be seduced by anything networking, marketing or sales related — all critical ingredients to get side projects off the ground.
Us introverts are at a huge disadvantage in the startup world. People like us can hide behind hours of computer programming, gorge on social media, run practically all our errands without leaving our web browser — what were they thinking when they invented all this??? If you relate to this, keep reading and I’ll share the steps I am taking to get people like us to get some marketing work done, if you don’t relate, don’t bother reading the rest, it will be of little value to you.
The steps I outline below aren’t backed by peer-reviewed science. Actually, I can’t even say they work for me — it’s just the latest thing I’m trying in a long list of trials. And you should be cautious of alleged successful people telling you what to do as those stories are situational and subjective. Be even more suspicious when there’s an affiliate link at the end of the post or worse, one that pops up before you even finish the first sentence.
Marketing From Four Different Angles
Your Power Time
“Just as time is a limited resource, so is energy. You must spend both time and energy in a strategic way to 1) make the best use of both, and to 2) conserve and spend each of them as wisely as possible.” — Daniel Threlfall
Leveraging one’s power time is key. I tend to reserve mine for creative and critical-thinking tasks, but if you can spare a little, aiming it outwardly instead of inwardly, you’ll be surprised how more pleasant networking and sales work can feel. Peak energy also means clarity of thought, speed of action, and courage to step out of your comfort zone.
If you are spent, like after a long day of work, good luck reaching out to anybody let alone even remembering to do so.
Learn From the Best
“…Podcast listeners doubled between 2008 and 2015, and then increased by 23% between 2015 and 2019. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 57 million monthly listeners.” —Jordan Harbinger
Absolutely no excuse here. The pros out there can’t keep their mouths shut — God bless them — they lay out all their secrets for free in blogs, vlogs, and podcasts. But be careful, find the ones that really align with your personality and professional goals.
I really like podcasts as it is raw and often more revealing than a blog post. If the interviewer is good and knows how to probe a guest, you may even hear secrets that they didn’t plan on sharing. One of my favorites is Indie Hackers Podcast. It speaks to my level as he interviews small entrepreneurs that successfully grew side projects into money-making products. If that isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of others out there and you are bound to find one tailored to your goals and absorption preferences. Stick to modern techniques only, we only have limited energy and often the older stuff may not work anymore. Here are some of the ones I like:
- Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too — Gary Vaynerchuk
- The Ultimate Sales Letter — Dan Kennedy
- The Introvert’s Edge: How the Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone — Matthew Pollard
Podcasts (so much practical things to learn here)
- The Smart Passive Income Blog: SmartPassiveIncome.com
- The Indie Hackers Podcast: IndieHackers.com
- The McMethod Email Marketing Podcast: TheMcMethod.com
Sometimes the people we’re looking to meet are in our own backyards. Have you reached out to your neighbors lately? — Barrie Davenport
This is the hardest step. Start with those close to you, those that are easy to access and slowly work your way out. Those around you can be of help, they may offer advice (to be taken with a grain of salt) but, more importantly, they may help propagate your message or offer you introductions.
Never miss a conference or a meetup where you are a knowledge expert. If people can tell you know your stuff, they’ll come to you.
There are plenty of other ways of reaching out without having to physically go places. Niche site forums and social media groups are easy places to get the word out. If you have a website or digital product, you can show it off on Product Hunt, Show Hacker News, and Indie Hackers.
Build an email list! If you have a website, blog or vlog, make sure to collect email addresses! Do that right now! If you don’t have an automated mechanism to collect them (I use GetResponse.com), do it manually, ask them to email their info in exchange for your newsletter, guide, pdf, etc. Offer something, anything but start collecting emails now. Use that list to keep your fans informed on what you’re up to and to offer them your services and products.
But remember “AIDA” the classic sales mantra that stands for “Attention”, “Interest”, “Desire”, and “Action”. Don’t jump to the last step too quickly, take your time, tell a story or two… nobody likes a hurried salesman or saleswoman.
Automate the Crap out of Everything Else!
Not many people will advise you to do this. Most will recommend not to automate anything if you are just starting out. For most people, automating too early can risk locking you into inefficiencies, obscure your production pipeline, abstract you away from your customers, etc. But we’re not most people. We enjoy a lot of screen time and automating not only helps us understand our business better, but it also keeps the business going forward.
When you’re down from a bad encounter or just exhausted and want to pull the plug on the whole thing, your automated processes keep cranking along. It insulates your business from your mood swings. And there’s nothing more satisfying than sitting on the couch exhausted yet seeing the bots chugging along, doing their thing, making you money…
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