Can an Introvert Succeed Building a Personal Brand?

For those of you that don’t know me, I am what is considered an Introvert. I think it would be best for me to clarify exactly what an introvert is and isn’t.  If we follow stereo-types we would think of an introvert as shy, a loaner, or maybe even an awkward weirdo.  However, I am here to say that is not true; introvert are just misunderstood.  As Beth L. Buelow says in her book The Introvert Entrepreneur “The reality is that introversion inherently has nothing to do with social skills and everything to do with how a person gains or drains energy, processes information, and relates to the world”   

This of course begs the question; Can and Introvert be successful at building a Personal Brand?

Your personal brand is more important than ever, especially if you’re in sales, marketing, blogging, or another of the many brand-driven industries. And you can’t opt out of it – an undeveloped personal brand is still a personal brand, it just doesn’t leave a good impression. You could be a digital marketing genius, but how many people will want to hire you if you’ve made barely any connections online? They’ll be wondering how you can know what you’re doing if you haven’t even marketed yourself.

If you’re introverted, the idea of building a personal brand may seem foreign to you. It seems like branding is something that comes far more naturally to extroverts. That’s far from the truth. As an introvert, you have your own advantages, and if you use them correctly, you can have plenty of success with your personal brand.

The Benefits of Being an Introvert

While extroverts and introverts have very different traits, they all come down to one key difference – extroverts get energy from being around other people, while introverts get energy from being alone or with a couple people they’re close with.

So yes, an extrovert is likely going to be more comfortable meeting new people at a networking event. But the best way to build your personal brand is online, and you don’t need other people around to do that. Your advantage as an introvert is that you’re more comfortable spending time by yourself and thinking about ideas. You can focus more on creating great content, including blog posts and videos.

While introverts tend to make fewer connections than extroverts, they are good at making deeper, more authentic connections. And that’s an important part of personal branding. It’s better to have a network of 100 people who love your brand than 1,000 people who are ambivalent about it.

Getting Started with Personal Branding

Let’s say you’re starting from square one. You don’t have much of an online presence. Your social media profiles are bare bones and you have few connections outside of friends, family, and some professional acquaintances.

As an introvert, promoting yourself probably doesn’t come second nature to you like it would with an extrovert. Extroverts are great at talking about who they are and what they’re doing. You don’t need to brag about yourself online, but you do need to show people who you are. Again, it’s all about making authentic connections, and to do that you need to put yourself out there.

Social media is a useful tool for making connections, but it can also be overwhelming. Choose one or two social media networks as your focus to start. Since every network is different, you can choose one that fits your own style. For example, Instagram is obviously all about pictures. If you have a knack for photography, start there. If you never take pictures, try a network that focuses more on the written word, like Twitter or LinkedIn.

Fill out your profile with some information about yourself. Then, start posting content and connecting with other users. Remember that it’s always about quality, not quantity. One good post that people enjoy is better than 50 mediocre posts that no one cares about. It’s the same with your connections. Take the time to find other users who match your target audience for your brand. When you connect with someone, send them a quick, personalized message thanking them for adding you.

Creating Your Content

Let’s talk more about content, as it’s a crucial part of your success. When people like your content, they come back for more. If they don’t, your personal brand will never grow.

The type of content that you create will depend on your business. Two of the most common types of content that can work with most businesses are articles and videos.

This is an area where you can experiment and figure out what you do best. You don’t need to do everything to build a strong personal brand. Like many introverts, you may feel most comfortable writing. You’re able to gather your thoughts and formulate them clearly before you send them out. Don’t be afraid to give videos a try, though. With the high-quality video cameras that come in many smartphones, you can easily make videos by yourself. You may find that you actually enjoy getting in front of the camera.

Keeping Your Brand Separate

Maybe the idea of putting yourself out there as you build a personal brand makes you nervous. There’s an easy trick that can help you with your branding – keep your personal brand separate from yourself. What this means is that you consider your personal brand a persona or an image that you use. This way, you’re not putting yourself in front of the masses, you’re putting an image in front of them.

Your brand is still you, but it’s a version of you that you’re presenting to other people. People in the public eye do this all the time. How many times have you heard someone talk about a celebrity and say “he’s nothing like I thought he would be,” or something to that effect? That’s because when the celebrity is doing an interview or giving a speech, he’s playing a specific role. It’s a version of him, but he’s not the same as he would be in his daily life with friends and family.

Being an introvert isn’t a disadvantage, especially considering how much brand building and connecting is done online. By connecting with people and expressing yourself online, you have plenty of time to gather your thoughts, which can make it easier for you than if you were making connections in person. You can absolutely build your personal brand as an introvert, and you won’t be the first, as many big names online are introverts. All you need to do is commit to it and use your unique strengths, and you’ll have a strong brand in no time.

Please leave your comments below, I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic as I believe it is a topic on the minds of many people who are hesitant to get out there and take the steps to building a brand around themselves. I had a really hard time getting started for this reason but now here I am putting myself out there.

16 Comments

  • Mark

    Reply Reply April 4, 2017

    You’ve definitely shared several excellent points Dan!

    And up until now, it had not dawned on me,
    how being an introvert cold actually have all the potential
    advantages you shared!LOL!

    Thanks for opening my mind up to the possibilities.

    And I love your insight, of not being able to opt out
    of not having a brand!LOL! That’s a truly great insight! Nice job.

    And thanks for helping us see the light.

    • Dan Guillermo

      Reply Reply April 5, 2017

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. This topic is one I feel strongly about because I feel it held me back for a while. I realized I just had to play to my strengths and embrace it.

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Reply Reply April 5, 2017

    Hi Dan,

    Excellent points all around. You are doing a fine job brand building.

    My wife Kelli runs a rocking blog. She’s an introvert. Social, pleasant and engaging, but as noted, being in a social setting drains her energy. Former introvert here. Not these days LOL. It is a clarity thing though because introverts become successful quite often, as do extroverts. All about your energy and clarity around being inward or outward with your energy source.

    As for personal branding ya gotta be 100% authentic to do it right. Some celebs act, or create a persona, and this disconnect between fake and authentic or lying and truth feels uncomfortable for both celebs and those who meet famous folks in private. I am just like I am offline how I am online. Same guy you read on Blogging From Paradise. Zac Johnson, Rob Cubbon, Elizabeth Bradley and other rocking blogging buddies I met in person attest to this. It’s uncomfortable to be authentic at first because I had to open up and be….ME….but in the end, this is how I have fun, how I let go the fear of criticism and it’s also how I do things with love, blogging-wise. I am who I am. Online and offline. So my brand is me, with no effort on my part….whether this is good or bad I know not 😉

    Thanks for sharing Dan 🙂

    Ryan

    • Dan Guillermo

      Reply Reply April 5, 2017

      Thanks for the excellent comment. You can definitely be successful as an introvert, you just have to know yourself and what works for you.

      Being 100% authentic is the way to go. I think its actually harder to fake it, which is why as I blog or create videos I am speaking/writing based on my own experiences, thoughts or opinions. I wrote this article because I am an introvert who is building a personal brand. It is a challenge for me to get myself out there but it is worth it. I am now getting comfortable being uncomfortable.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  • Susan Velez

    Reply Reply April 5, 2017

    Hey Dan,

    You’ve definitely hit the nail on the head about branding. This is something that I struggled with when I started my blog.

    So many people were talking about building a brand, but no one really told me what it meant. However, after reading your blog post, I now have a better understanding of it.

    I would consider myself an introvert. One of the most difficult things was getting started with social media. I refused to do it with my last blog and it never took off.

    This time around, I am actually using it. While I have a lot to learn and have learned a lot through trial and error. I seem to be doing okay.

    I totally agree with you about choosing one and focusing on those. There’s so many social media sites, it would be impossible to spend time on all of them.

    Like Ryan said, I think it’s important to be 100% authentic. No one wants to connect with people who are trying to be something their not. I don’t try to be anything that I am not on my blog or social media. I am still learning how to open up and share more about myself on my blog so people can get to know me better.

    Still struggling with that, I guess that’s part of my introvertism. (not sure if that’s a real word?)

    Thanks for sharing and making it known that introverts can have success online as well.

    Have a great day!

    Susan

    • Dan Guillermo

      Reply Reply April 5, 2017

      Hi Susan,
      Thank you for stopping by and leaving such an insightful comment.

      I had the same problem, I would try to build a blog and a brand but was never willing to put myself out there. I was trying to stay behind the scenes and the results were poor. This time around I committed to it.

      I wrote this article as a way of facing my introversion, I learned a lot about myself from the research I did on the topic.

  • Keith Everett

    Reply Reply April 5, 2017

    I totally get this. Extroverts look like they have all the fun and success but I don’t think that is necessarily true. Many introverts have succeeded and created huge empires. Neil Patel and Eric Worre spring to mind. It’s all in our own perception, each and every one of us can create great brands without being extroverted.. Thanks for sharing.
    Keith Everett recently posted…How To Program Yourself So You Cannot FailMy Profile

    • Dan Guillermo

      Reply Reply April 5, 2017

      I agree with you 100% and that is actually the premise of this post. Introverts can build hugely successful brands, We just need to play to our strengths. Although I guess that can be said about anyone.

      Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate the comment.

  • Donna Merrill

    Reply Reply April 5, 2017

    Hi Dan,

    I am an extrovert, but when I work with people that are introverts, I find that they can get so much mileage with their personality. They get more work done when they are alone. The advice you have given about social media for introverts is spot on. Just take about 2 platforms and use them well. Once they do that they become unstoppable.

    Great article and I will spread it around.

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…Awesome List Building With Your Perfect Blog PostMy Profile

    • Dan Guillermo

      Reply Reply April 5, 2017

      Hi Donna,

      Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate your insight.

  • Sherman Smith

    Reply Reply April 7, 2017

    Hey Dan,

    I’m with you on this topic. This is my first time on your blog and I found you through Donna Merrill.

    I too am an introvert and yes it’s a challenge for us to go out and meet new people. We feel awkward and I also feel a bit fake when I push myself to do so. But it the end, you can only be you right?

    One thing people don’t realize is that we all have both qualities. The difference is some people’s dominant one is extroversion while other’s are introversion. Despite the fact that we are introverted, it doesn’t mean that we can’t do well in business. We have many more options nowadays compared to some 25 or 30 years ago.

    In this case it’s all about what fits your personality and how you can make it work for you. Social Media and blogging are definitely great options for introverts.

    Thanks for sharing Dan! Have a great weekend!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…How To Build Trust And A Loyal Following With Your BlogMy Profile

    • Dan Guillermo

      Reply Reply April 7, 2017

      Hi Sherman,
      As I look into it more and more I find that there quite a few of us in this space. It really does help to see so many successes among us.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your insightful comment.

  • Aman Tripathi

    Reply Reply April 7, 2017

    Thanks for very thorough and informative information….
    It’s really helpful for us….
    Thanks For Sharing This Post
    Aman Tripathi recently posted…April 2, On world Autism day. Lets We TALK!!..My Profile

  • Sandeep Sitoke

    Reply Reply April 21, 2017

    Hey Dan,

    I am an introvert person and I always think I will not do any kind of business because of my nature but after reading this blog I can say that no one stops you If you take a step towards your goal.

    Thanks for sharing this amazing blog.

    Keep posting new blog your posts motivates me a lot.

    Sandeep Sitoke

    • Dan Guillermo

      Reply Reply April 21, 2017

      That is a great comment and I appreciate you stopping by and reading my post.

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