7 Secrets of Self-Marketing for Introverts

Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone or spending time with one or two close friends. They tend to stay in the background, although we can “kick it up” now and then and be the life of the party for a short time.

And Introverts typically have a hard time promoting themselves. They would rather other people discover them for our hard work, commitment and sincerity. Unfortunately, in REAL life, that rarely happens. Most of the time, the strong, silent types don’t usually get the credit they deserve.

So here’s a list of ways to help them market themself within the organization and have a more constructive influence on your boss and co-workers:

1. Ask your boss to keep their eyes open for projects that will give you greater exposure within the company. These could include “one-shot” projects or something that is ongoing. Your presence will not only reflect well on your team, but also on your manager and you as well. (Of course, that’s assuming you show up for the meetings, have something constructive to say and make a positive difference!)

2. Keep a weekly list of quantifiable accomplishments and add it to your “Master List” on a regular basis. This takes discipline, by the way – not so much to write it down, but to quantify the accomplishments. What’s a “Master List”? It’s a document in your computer or a notepad where you itemize your achievements.

3. Ask your boss for permission to send in a weekly report of your quantified accomplishments. You’d be surprised how few people ever do this. It will make it easier for your boss to justify your next raise or promotion. It will definitely make it easier for them to complete your performance review because they’ll have the “stuff” you’ve done already documented. They won’t have to take the time to go looking for it.

4. Volunteer to interview key company leaders or “unsung heros” and submit an article to your company intranet, newsletter, Communications or PR Dept. on this person. Before you know it, people will be following you down the hall like little puppy dogs, inviting you out to lunch, and basically sucking up in a big way to be the focus of your next article!

5. Learn how to use my CARLA Concept(TM) in team meetings, when you present in public or debrief your boss. It’ll help you stay structured, calm the nervous butterflies, organize your thoughts and sound informed and authoritative. What?!? You say you don’t know anything about my CARLA Concept(TM)? Well then, here it is:

  • C – the circumstances, challenge or change you face (or faced in the past)
  • A – the actions you took (or plan to take in the future)
  • R – the results you achieved (or hope to achieve); do your best to quantify these
  • L – the lessons you learned through this experience (or expect to learn)
  • A – another approach or alternative, now that you know what you know

6. Find someone to emulate. This doesn’t have to be a formal mentor, but just someone within the organization you admire. My guess is, this person has a great deal of personal power. They are influential. They are respected by others. They probably have worked hard to get to the position they’re in. Watch them from a distance for a while (no stalking, now!) then ask if they’d have time to join you for lunch or coffee. Here are some questions you can ask them:

  • How did you get started in your career?
  • What are some of the biggest surprises, disappointments and happy experiences you’ve had in your career? What have you learned from those experiences?
  • What are the biggest changes you see happening in our industry or facing this organization? How would you advise me to prepare for those changes?
  • If you were me, what insights/advice/recommendations would you offer?
  • If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?

7. Read. Devour your industry trade journals, read broadly about national and global issues, read about local happenings and influential people, follow the trends impacting finance, politics, conservation, technology and communication. Why should you do all this reading? It’s not just to dazzle your date at the next cocktail party – it’s to broaden your vistas. Because people who succeed make it their business to learn a lot. They go deep and they go broad with their knowledge. It will help you think more critically and more creatively. And goodness knows, we need all the critical thinkers we can get these days!

In the end, marketing yourself to others is always about interpersonal sales. You’ve probably heard the adage a million times that “perception is reality” and it really is. While it may not be fair that we get misjudged by co-workers or senior leaders, it is OUR responsibility to present a compelling image, to get out there, be seen and get involved with influential people – and to be able to PROVE we know what we’re doing.