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Have you ever scrolled through your Instagram (or whatever) feed, marveling at everyone else’s apparent ability to share their perfectly curated thoughts and opinions on a daily basis?
It’s easy to believe that the world is full of cool, connected extroverts, for whom building a personal brand is as easy as falling of a log, right?
So, what’s an introvert who’s JUST as committed to building their brand, to do? Start by knowing that you’re in good company. Some of the most powerful, dynamic leaders in business and politics are introverts.
A great example of an introvert who’s built an amazing following and business is the founder of Humans of New York, Brandon Stanton. When you get a chance, check out his great Creative Live interview where he talks about building an audience of 17+ million without ever putting himself in the middle of it. It’s really inspiring!
And there’s no reason why you can’t do it too, so here are 5 ways to build a brand without being an extrovert:
Know what makes you unique
In Brandon’s case, he knew he wasn’t the best photographer, writer, or journalist in the world. But the more he practiced his art, he realized that he had a wonderful ability to connect with the strangers he stopped on the street, and have them tell him things that they may not have told even their best friend. He listened, learned, and told their stories in a way that no one else did or could.
Find your people
Who says you have to be an extrovert to build your tribe? No matter how obscure you may think your specialty is, there are TONS of people just like you, looking to connect.
There are thousands of meet ups happening in your city every day. Go to those that interest you and where you’ll find like-minded people, rather than events that you think you should go to. When you find people that you genuinely connect with, it’s much easier to create and share content that resonates with them.
Make your talent the catalyst for everything
In my opinion, a successful brand is born out of your desire to identify and share your unique talent with those who have a genuine desire or need for it. If you have a vision and the commitment to share it with your ideal clients, your business will grow. Push yourself to keep growing and evolving in your art or talent, and find ways to connect with others through your platform.
Become a master at what you do
With never-ending opportunities to follow "taste makers" and "influencers," you could be forgiven for thinking that there are shortcuts to building the business or career you want to have. But as Malcolm Gladwell says, it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert, so start clocking up the hours. In his interview, Brandon talks about working harder than anyone he knew — pushing to get 4 pieces of content live per day for his Humans of New York blog – come rain, shine or holiday. His blog grew and evolved as a result of his intention to put in the hours and make it better and better.
It may sound trite, but being your authentic self is the fastest, most joyful way I know to build a meaningful, successful business. Stay true to your vision, cultivate connection and take action on the leads and opportunities that come your way.
What action will you take today to start building your brand?
Justine Clay is a speaker and business coach for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers. Through a series of clear, actionable steps, Justine will teach you how to you identify what makes you stand out from the crowd, create a marketing message that resonates with your ideal clients, and build a successful and fulfilling creative business or career. Sign up for Justine’s free guide: How to Find High-Quality Clients and Get Paid What You’re Worth and start making monumental changes in your creative business or career today.