What do Charles Schwab, George Stephanopoulos, JK Rowling, and Warren Buffett all have in common? They, along with Larry Page, CEO of Google, and Bill Gates, past CEO of Microsoft, are all hugely successful. And they’re all introverts.
Commonly misinterpreted and undervalued professionally, introverts are essential to any company or organization. And like any other professional, they need to maintain their brand. Here are some specialized personal branding tips for introverts.
Introversion in the Workplace
Introverts carry a stigma of being shy or antisocial. However, shyness and introversion are two very different characteristics. Introverts are defined by their need to recharge alone. They can socialize just like any other extrovert, though engaging with people for long periods of time can wear them out. They tend to process better through reflecting or writing more so than speaking. They are better listeners and tend to contemplate before speaking. Despite their quiet strengths, an introvert’s reserved nature can sometimes be seen as an impediment in the workplace.
Like any professional, introverts wants to establish a personal brand. Identify your introverted strengths and use these to your advantage. Then scrutinize yourself to see what areas need work. In a recent post, career expert Heather R. Huhman identified three specific areas in which introverts can can improve to better their profession wellbeing.
The first area of improvement for the introvert is public speaking. Because an audience typically remembers mostly their impression from the presentation rather than the actual content, improving on your public speaking skills is essential. In a Washington Post article, editor Lillian Cunningham suggests desensitization to combat nerves and strengthen public speaking abilities. Reach out to your connections to find more speaking opportunities. With practice you’ll face your fears head on and target your weaknesses, strengthening your brand.
Another area of improvement Huhman suggests for introverts is through networking. Essential to anyone’s brand, this traditional method of meeting in real life most often yields the best results, though mingling with hoards of professionals at networking events can at times be overwhelming. However, Huhman advises you skip these networking events and go straight for the contacts you wish to meet. Find an event they’ll be speaking at or one they’ll be attending and seek them out. This removes much of the stress of a networking event and will get you the contacts you really want.
The third area of improvement for introverts according to Huhman is through their “digital presence.” A lot of prestige can be gained through a strong presence online. Whether it be your own blog, a LinkedIn profile, a Twitter account, or personal website, create a unity in your image to brand yourself across the board. A recent post on Career Realism stressed the importance of having a personal website. With a reported 56% of HR professionals citing it as the most impressive self promotion an applicant can have, creating your own website is an essential to your brand. Websites allow your own space to tell your story and your ambitions. They allow you to elaborate on your achievements, interests, and set you apart from the masses. Squarespace, an award-winning company, makes publishing online easy and affordable. Check out the templates and start your trial. See where it takes your brand!
Do you have any more personal branding tips for introverts? Post them below and start the conversation!