Picture yourself walking into a business conference, seminar or social gathering. You look around and there are people around you laughing, talking and having a good time being in each other’s company.
But you feel uncomfortable. Like you don’t have the charisma, stamina or personality to sell yourself in front of a crowd. While others proudly boast of their achievements, the clients they’ve worked with and the places they’ve travelled – you’re struggling to introduce yourself and become part of the scene.
This is the typical scenario that comes to mind when people think of the word ‘introvert.’ The quiet and self-contained character who takes their time getting used to being in social situations.
The truth, however, is a very different story.
Firstly, the distinction between an introvert and extrovert comes with many misconceptions. The most common one being that extroverts are sociable, while introverts are not. However, the real distinction between the two comes from where they get their energy from: extroverts feel energised by the presence of other people, while introverts recharge themselves in more isolated environments.
Secondly, while people can carry traits labelled as being introvert or extrovert, many studies agree that no one person is ever 100 percent one or the other.
With this information in mind, let’s take a look at some of the common traits that define an introvert and how it influences their performance as a freelancer.
Can you be a freelancer and an introvert? The answer is a resounding yes.
Introverts Are More Productive When Alone
Being a freelancer can be quite solitary at times. Whether you’re working alone at a computer, in your workshop or studio – much of your time is spent by yourself working away on your craft.
With so much time spent in your own headspace, freelancing is a very suitable pathway for introverts to take. You don’t feel overwhelmed from dealing with customers, you get to manage your own time, and you can take breaks to recharge during the day.
Introverts are also less likely to be distracted from outside influences and able to concentrate on certain tasks for longer periods of time.
Introverts are Excellent Communicators
They may not be the most talkative people in the room, but introverts are excellent at listening and picking up on social cues.
This makes introverts particularly good at developing relationships with clients. When it comes to face-to-face meetings, introverts are very good at listening and analysing a situation before responding with their own input. Introverts are also great at asking the right questions.
By empathising with the client’s needs, wants and goals, they can fully grasp the scope of a project and complete tasks based on the clients exact requirements.
Social Media Gives Introverts a Powerful Voice
Whether you’re staring at a computer screen or mobile device, communicating online is easier for people who struggle with face-to-face interactions. Social media gives freelancers plenty of opportunities to connect with people. And in a way that suits their personality too!
Each social media platform lets you communicate in a way that suits you. Twitter is great for sharing short and succinct messages, while LinkedIn is ideal for connecting with professionals through online groups, commenting on posts and sending personal messages.
As an introvert, social media gives you the space to carefully plan what you want to say and how you want to say it. You choose where and when to present yourself and get to focus on the right marketing goals to achieve your business objectives.
Flexibility Makes Introverts Happier
Being a freelancer offers you a level of freedom that most corporate jobs don’t.
You choose where you want to work, schedule your own hours and promote yourself in a way that’s comfortable for you. With this freedom, introverts are generally happier and more productive working in an environment that suits their needs.
Just like those who work at their best around other people, introverts achieve just as many great things at their own space.
Introverts Can Choose How to Promote Themselves
As a freelancer, you have a wealth of online platforms and methods to reach your audience. From social media to email marketing, your website and attending public events – the opportunities can appear almost limitless.
Here are some helpful tips for some of the most common marketing approaches:
Face-to-Face Meetings: When meeting a client, instead of settling for a noisy bar or crowded street corner, opt for a quiet café or intimate restaurant to conduct your business. This way, you’ll be able to keep the conversation going forward without fighting over noise.
Online Marketing: We’ve already touched on the benefits of social media marketing, however, there are many other ways that introverts can sell themselves. You can write blog posts, start an email newsletter, send out written proposals, and establish your own business website.
Choose the Right Words: Choosing the right words to promote yourself can be tricky. If you don’t feel comfortable using salesy language, change your words to reflect how you’d speak in-person.
Introverts Are Good at Selling
With the rise of online customer service, digital marketing and the instant connectivity of social media, the need for a slick-talking salesperson to make cold-calls around the neighbourhood has dwindled.
In fact, the myth that extroverts are the best at pushing sales has been widely debunked.
While extroverts are capable of connecting with people on the surface level, studies have shown that introverts are actually better at sales than extraverts.
As previously mentioned, introverts are very good at listening and picking up on social cues. This allows them to react accordingly to different scenarios and adjust their sales pitch to target the right selling points.
With the ability to confidently promote themselves online listen to the needs of clients, introverts definitely have the upper hand in the sales department.