Sharing your personal brand with the world depends on connections. Often, this requires in-person conversations and group events.

But putting yourself in the mix of networking can be draining, especially for introverts. Psychology Today defines introversion as losing energy in social encounters but being energized during alone time. Between one-third to one-half of the population is introverted, which makes the traditional way of promoting your personal brand challenging for many.

But even as an introvert, there are some simple strategies you can use to strengthen your personal brand.

Here are seven tips.

1. Use Online Networking

Forming relationships online happens constantly. LinkedIn has more than 610 million users, a Tweet can start a friendship, and we can get to know each other by watching YouTube videos before meeting in person.

Every interaction, including those online, is an opportunity to promote your personal brand by making a meaningful impression. Some tips for online networking:

  • Interact with posts you admire. Retweet interesting news, give a “Like” to great content and add a comment when you want to contribute. Showing your support can get you noticed and lead to new conversations.
  • Add a note when adding people on LinkedIn. It’s OK to use LinkedIn to add new connections you think are relevant, but it’s not OK to spam people and add everyone the network suggest you do, just because. If you’re adding a relative stranger, add a note with context to why you’re adding them. Maybe they’re in your industry and live in your area, or you have a mutual connection. Give context so your request doesn’t get marked as spam.
  • Always be genuine. Have you ever received a stock direct message on Twitter promoting a website or opportunity that has zero relevance? Don’t be that person. If, after interacting online, you want to develop a deeper relationship, make sure you’re doing so for the right reasons. Reach out personally when you have a genuine reason to, not because you’re trying to snag one yes-person to jump on whatever you’re trying to sell.

Treat people online as you would in person: with respect for their time and for who they are and what they’ve accomplished. Your reputation for how you interact online can lead to new introductions that can widen your circle.

2. Seek Out One-on-One Opportunities

Introverts tend to prefer one-on-one conversations over group chats. Because group settings can overwhelm an introvert, large networking events can be daunting.

If you’re introverted, channel your preference for deep conversations into how you connect with others. An hour-long coffee meeting where you really get to know someone on a meaningful level is more valuable than hiding in a corner at an event where there are more than 100 people.

Networking is important for your personal brand, so make it a goal to meet face to face at least once a month with a connection you want to get to know better. Think about former or current colleagues you could ask to lunch, or comb through your LinkedIn network to identify people in your area whom you might want to meet in person. You’ll be able to focus on the person you’re meeting and can come prepared with questions and what you want to discuss.

3. Ask for Introductions and Referrals

An easy way to bring awareness to your personal brand is to tell those you already trust and who you enjoy being around that you’re open to introductions and referrals from them. The people you know probably know great people, too. They can help facilitate one-on-one meetings that help you broaden your network.

You could also ask your contacts to come to the meetings, so you have someone you’re comfortable with there already who can help break the ice and generate talking points. Adding a new person to a get-together with someone you already like and feel confident with is a way to get more comfortable talking in smaller groups, too.

4. Find a Mentor

A mentor is an indispensable tool for building a personal brand. If you don’t have one already, seek out someone who has more experience and more knowledge in an area where you want to grow. Your mentor can help you by:

  • Providing personal branding advice
  • Giving you honest insights about how you can improve how you present yourself to others
  • Introducing you to new connections
  • Connecting you with opportunities you will enjoy, since they know you on a deeper level

Be honest with your mentor about challenges you face, including those that may relate to being introverted. Your mentor has likely worked with diverse people over many years and can share experiences that you can learn from and apply to your own approach.

Your mentor will also be able to tell you where you can improve, since they have a wise perspective and don’t need to sugarcoat feedback you might need to grow.

5. Develop Your Digital Presence

Online networking is important, and so is your overall web presence. If you can get good leads through your website, then you’ve already overcome the challenge of making that initial connection because you have people coming to you.

Make sure to:

  • Buy a website domain for your full name. Invest in your website by using it to promote your personal brand. Include a contact page so people can get in touch with you easily.
  • Feature high-quality content. If you’re going to be on sites like YouTube or Twitter, make sure anything you upload or share is something you’re proud of. Your content reflects your personal brand.
  • Get better search results. If you want good content to show up when people search your name, in addition to a branded website, use your name to create vanity URLs for social networks you’re on. Offer to guest blog for websites you respect, so you can build your authorship.

Marketing yourself online helps build trust and authority. Online marketing is good for introverts, since you can work on it yourself and really focus on building your brand on digital channels.

According to Demand Gen Report, 47 percent of buyers viewed 3 to 5 pieces of content before they engaged with a sales rep. People want to see proof online that you know what you’re talking about, too, before they really trust in your personal brand. Online marketing methods like content marketing and a great website can help.

6. Seek Out Get-Togethers with Agendas

Introverts tend to prefer plans to surprises. They don’t like going into situations unprepared, and they don’t like feeling pressure to perform out of the blue.

That can make spontaneous conversations and free-for-all networking events negative experiences for introverts. Bigger events in group settings become easier when there is an agenda to look forward to.

Look for events where there will be a speaker or panel you can listen to and then discuss afterwards with people you meet. Or, see if the event has a line-up of guests you can research before you attend. Events with agendas give introverts time to prepare so they can go to the event with a mental game plan in place.

If there’s an event you’re invited to with no agenda, do some research to see what to expect. Ask the RSVP address what the event entails if the invitation is vague.

You could also ease yourself into socializing in group settings by taking a role as an event host. You and your colleagues could sponsor an event yourselves and come up with the exact guest list you want. You’ll have a role and duties to carry out at the event, which can ease the pressure of socializing. Afterward, you can follow up online with attendees and set up one-on-ones for people you want to get to know better.

7. Contribute Meaningfully

Introverts rarely enjoy being the center of attention in groups, but they’re meaningful contributors who have a lot to offer. When you contribute meaningfully, you boost your personal brand without having to seek out the spotlight. Your work speaks for itself, and others will want to share it.

Some ways to contribute meaningfully that can expand your personal brand include:

  • Be a mentor to someone else. It’s important for you to have a mentor, but you can also pay it forward and help an up-and-comer in your field. Mentoring someone helps you develop communication skills and can also widen your network.
  • Share your work. If you have something meaningful to share, post it online. You can share a slideshow on SlideShare, post a video on YouTube or create a blog where you post your thoughts. People who learn from your content will share it with others. Your personal brand then spreads organically.
  • Get out in the community. You don’t have to be extroverted to make a difference in person. Volunteer somewhere in your community. Offer to be interviewed for a panel. Promote yourself as an expert resource to journalists. You can contribute in controlled settings where you know what’s expected of you, which makes it easier to share what makes you valuable.

Everyone has a way to provide value. Get out of the mindset that the only way to do so is by embracing being the center of attention. When you give to others and share your expertise, others can help promote your personal brand on your behalf.

Connect in a Way That’s Comfortable for You

Your time and energy are valuable. That’s especially true if you’re an introvert, since energy can be quickly drained in certain situations.

You can still build your personal brand if you’re introverted. It’s easier to do when you’re realistic about what works for you, and you focus on your networking strengths, whether that’s online or by seeking out one-on-one relationships or all of the above.

Are you introverted? What has worked for you for building your personal brand? Share with us on Twitter or Facebook.


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