As an introvert, social media was against everything I stood for. The sheer effort in posting about your life, interacting with people you barely know, and scrolling through all the ‘wanderlust’ pictures felt draining. Enter the pandemic, and suddenly the whole world was whipping dalgona coffee and making art, and people from school, college and that 2-month internship I did years ago wanted to ‘catch up.’ Oh, the horror!
So, what did that end in? Me deactivating my account and becoming a hermit. While I found the peace I was looking for, it also hurt me in the long run. I didn’t know what was trending. TikTok came and went, Instagram reels were added, and so much happened that I was oblivious to. So, when I finally decided on a job change, things became much harder. After all, as a writer, I needed to know what was happening- was mental health awareness still avidly pursued? Were carousels still a thing? Eventually, I came back to the platform a changed person.
Whether you’re a freelancer, entrepreneur, or a nine-to-fiver, personal branding on social media platforms is necessary now more than ever. It can help you network, get more clients to freelance, or mint money by promoting your side hustle. But what do you do when the ‘social’ in social media gives you the chills? Can introverts successfully promote themselves online? The answer is yes!
If you’re intimidated by social media and would rather curl up on your couch, not thinking about liking, posting, and commenting, join the club. Here are some tried and tested steps to building an impressive social media presence as an introvert.
1. Understand Your Personal Brand
Unless you know why you’d like to start self-promotion on social media, the introvert within will always convince you that it’s unnecessary. Hence, the first step is to define your purpose so you’re more likely to act on it. Understand what qualities make people stand out in your career path- is it creativity, relatability, critical thinking abilities, experimentation, or something else? Now, zero in on the relevant abilities that you have- these should be what your personal brand is synonymous with.
Another step that helps in staying consistent is to list down why you’re promoting yourself. For example, if you’re a finance writer, is your goal to network, find a better job, or simplify finance for the masses? Lastly, don’t masquerade as an extrovert. It’s okay if the world knows that social media interactions don’t come naturally to you. What matters is they know you’re making the effort.
Combing through all these points will help you find your voice.
2. Choose A Platform That Fits
Most people would have you believe that you need to be active on all the social media platforms out there. This can be exhausting for extroverts, let alone introverts. Instead, choose the platform best suited to your profession and put all your efforts into it. Take the previous example. As a finance writer, if your goal is to promote your FinTech brand and promote healthy financial habits in people, Instagram will help you post engaging content and interact with your target audience. But if you’d rather network with peers or look for better job offers, LinkedIn is your best bet. Picking one platform ensures that you don’t spread yourself too thin and can take time to progress at your own pace.
3. Plan And Schedule Away
I often spent hours scrolling on social media without liking, commenting or sharing a single thing. Lurking around without making your presence aware is an introvert’s quality, and one that won’t help self-promotion. Plan your posts at least weeks, if not a month, in advance. This will ensure that you HAVE to post that picture or your article on the planned day. Get into the habit of replying to comments and sharing useful information. The key to self-promotion is consistency, whether it’s in your interactions, posts, or brand voice.
Create an excel sheet every week and slot in your posts per day, making sure any creatives and copy are all done at least two days in advance. You can even set reminders before each post (don’t worry, you can choose a time and repeat it on the days you want to post) or schedule your posts every 2-3 days using an app like Planoly. Doing this will put a lid on the introvert within you saying, ‘arey it’s okay, you can post this later!’
Remember, everything you do on social media, whether it’s engaging with others or showcasing your work, is a way to build connections and practice your craft. For example, if you’re a content writer, use this opportunity to enhance your creativity. By not looking at it as a chore, you’ll feel less anxious about staying relevant, and can freely use your voice.
(Continue Reading Below)
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- 10 Writing Tools That Will Take Your Content From ‘Good’ To ‘Great’
4. Focus On Meaningful Interactions
As an introvert, you have limited mind space, especially when it comes to socialising, so it’s absolutely essential to utilise it well. Self-promotion, over time, will show you that not all interactions you have are meaningful. You might get messages and comments from a variety of people, but it’s not necessary to respond to everyone. Plus, the task of having to reply to everyone will probably give you vertigo, especially when you’d rather do anything else. Think back to the second point- what is your personal brand all about?
Make sure the comments you reply to and messages you send others fit with your voice and what you’re trying to accomplish. What value does this person add to your persona and how can you, in return, provide value to them? Understanding when and when not to respond takes patience and practice, but it’ll come naturally soon enough.
5. Schedule Time For Interactions
Being on social media, whether you’re just scrolling or posting, can be exhausting. The pressure of having to post consistently and interact with others gets to many introverts, and they’d rather just not do it at all (Example, me!). But when it comes to brand building, staying active is key. Your audience needs to know that you’re present. Schedule an hour once or twice a day to catch up on messages and comments. This will help avoid the procrastination involved in online interactions and promotions, so you engage with your audience and work towards your set goals. In return, set a day every week when you don’t open the app at all. This will help you recharge your ‘social energy’ for the days ahead.
Be present, be aware, and let the motivation for social interactions soar!
6. Don’t Aim At Perfection
Introverts will agree that they live life mostly in their heads. Spending so much time immersed in their thoughts means their inner critics are bound to rise. With questions like ‘Is this post good enough?’, ‘What if people hate me?’ or ‘Is this even relevant?’ floating in your head all the time, no post will ever be 100% complete since you’ll constantly want to make the smallest of changes. Allot two changes per post, and nothing more. After that, make sure you publish it. The same goes for messages. This will slowly help you be more spontaneous, and you’ll find yourself making fewer changes over time.
7. Play To Your Strengths
There’s a certain amount of precision involved in getting your content noticed and creating that sense of relatability among your target audience. And that’s where introverts shine! I’ve always found introverts to be silently hilarious and interestingly creative- plus they know what’s relevant, thanks to all the lurking around on social media. Use everything you’ve observed on the platform while making your posts, and you’re more likely to receive a warm reception from the audience. Once you start playing to your strengths and love what you do, it’s a lot harder to procrastinate online interactions.
Self-promotion, when leveraged well, is incredibly rewarding for introverts who would rather avoid face-to-face interactions. Use these tips to surface from your shell and take the first step towards creating your personal brand!
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