The Persistent and Damaging Myth About Introverts and Marketing

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Cartoon from Toothpaste for Dinner

I'm getting frustrated with people who say they're bad at marketing & promotion because they're introverts.

Maybe this argument was more valid before new technologies came along—when marketing and promotion involved more "getting out there," networking at events and stores, or making phone calls. (God knows I hate phone calls and would be a terrible marketer if that's what marketing was all about.)

But looking at how things work TODAY, introverts should be over the moon at how lucky we are to live in an age when we can effectively market and promote by:

  • staying at home
  • using whatever tools suit our communication style best (e-mail, IM, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  • crafting and controlling messages to our own satisfaction
  • limiting interaction when needed

I've self-identified as an introvert since I was a child, and test as an introvert on the Myers-Briggs. I love this time-honored article about caring for the introverts in your life, and I know the horror of being told to "think faster." Some people just don't understand—it takes time to fully process what's being said, sort through knee-jerk reactions, thoughts, and feelings, then carefully and thoughtfully formulate a response.

But these tendencies of introverts …

  • bad at small talk (but not necessarily shy)
  • preference for small group conversation
  • avoidance of huge social gatherings—or being drained by them

… these tendencies don't significantly impact our ability to be effective at online marketing and promotion. In fact, when you consider that "the only thing a true introvert dislikes more than talking about himself is repeating himself," you have the makings of a superlative online marketer! These days, there's far too much BAD marketing and self-promotion (that amounts to talking, in a very uninteresting way, about oneself), and not enough GOOD marketing and self-promotion, which is about serving an audience.

Knowing your audience, reaching your audience, and engaging effectively with your audience is more about listening, understanding, curiosity, and good communication skills—not "extroversion" or "introversion."

So, my fellow introverts, you'll need to find a better excuse to explain why you're bad at marketing and promotion!


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