Marketing and introversion. These words don’t go together well, right? It is rather “Marketing vs Introversion”. Marketing is all about communicating, sharing, being open and inviting, being impulsive, maybe showing off a little bit. Introversion is more about being closed off, living inside your head, observing the world, being shy and timid and keeping your thoughts and feelings to yourself.
Most people who know me, would definitely put me under the “Introvert” category. Also, under the “Marketer” category. I tend to agree with those people. And this is why I am writing.
I hate selling myself
…said Nontas whose own website is called “I Am Nontas”.
OK, I get the irony. But listen… There are different kinds of selling. I’m talking about the guy who goes out and declares his awesomeness, his success, his experience, his invulnerability, his larger-than-life-ness.
I am not that kind of guy.
I am not saying this is bad. In fact I admire successful people who have such confidence and no problem to share it. But there is a catch. For every successful, invulnerable, larger-than-life person who sells themselves as such, there are 100 miserable, vulnerable, scared, unsuccessful people who are overcompensating for their incompetence by telling everyone how awesome they are.
What? You can relate, huh? We all know a person like that.
And the funny thing is that it works for them – in the short term at least. Many of these people pass under the radar, only to be exposed after they have accomplished their selfish goals. At the expense of other people of course…
And it gets even funnier than that.
In the marketing industry, knowing how to sell yourself well, or how to sell products well is what matters. So if you are a “faker” and manage to pass for a “maker”, you are still valuable as a marketer. Because if you can successfully “sell” your crappy product (yourself) to anyone, that means that you can successfully sell any crappy product and make it seem like a bargain. So, that crappiness cycle goes on forever… Everybody is selling crappy stuff to everyone.
The introvert approach
Now that you saw what an extrovert can be for a business, and why extroversion is so highly regarded as an asset in marketing, I will tell you my approach. An introvert’s approach.
I sell myself. Now that you are reading, I am actually selling myself. It’s happening live! I am not selling my awesomeness though, nor my invulnerability. We all know that I am vulnerable (but still awesome though). No. What I am selling is trust. Honesty. Authenticity. Reliability. I have the skills and knowledge required to “do the job” but I also have my issues: I can never say that “I am the best” in anything. Only one person can say this anyway: the actual best. I don’t want a client or employer that needs to hear that I am the best. I need a customer or employer who can trust me. Being the best is irrelevant.
Also, as HBR puts it “Introverts prefer less stimulation and quiet concentration. We listen more than we talk, think before we speak, and focus on relationships. Introverts focus on the meaning of events around us, while extroverts focus on the events themselves”. I couldn’t relate more.
And this brings me to the final issue. That marketing does not equal selling (an area where extroverts suposedly thrive in). A big part of marketing revolves around hard-selling but it is becoming such a diverse field that any type of person can thrive if they find a role that really suits them. In particular, introverts like me, like to think a lot and pay attention to detail. We like making logical connections between events. Find cause-and-effect relationships. We like analyzing and coming up with complex strategies that can solve a particular problem. Typically, these are not strong suits for an extrovert.
For many years I wasn’t comfortable with the introverted site of myself, but now I’ve come to terms with and even take pride in it. It’s what I’ve got and I’m trying to make the most out of it. 🙂
So, what about you? Do you agree with these views? Do you feel the same as me? What is your experience on this issue? I am pretty curious to know.