Self-marketing tips for introverts

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Self-marketing is an essential tool for most professionals, especially those in tech. Problem is, not all of us are so eager to put ourselves out there. And because so much of the advice on personal-branding is geared toward extroverts, it can be tough finding a method and a voice that really works for you. To get some better insight on the topic, we spoke with Sophia Dembling, author of The Introverts Corner blog for Psychology Today. Here are some top techniques for self-marketing as an introvert:

Fight mental fatigue

You know you've got to put yourself out there, especially when it comes to career, but the mere thought alone can be draining. Rule No. 1: In order to avoid mental exhaustion, recognize your threshold. When you know where your threshold lies, it'll be easier to step back before you hit a wall.

Here's Sophia:

Step back and take a day or a few hours off, you'll find that you can extend a lot longer. Step out and take a walk around the block or hide in the bathroom and regroup a little bit. Reenergize enough to push through to the end. Recognize where your online marketing strengths are and focus, because there is so much out there; there's no endpoint-it just goes on and on. Recognize what you're good at and stop feeling like you have to be good at everything.

Kill the pressure

While it feels like we need to respond to every little comment, tweet and email-the simple truth is that we don't. This isn't to suggest that you flat-out ignore people, but that sometimes it's simply impossible to respond to everyone.

Here's Sophia:

If it's not something you feel qualified to answer, you could toss the question over to somebody else and say, I can't do that but so-and-so can. It brings them into the conversation, which is a generous gesture of sharing the attention. I think that to an extent, for example on blogs and Facebook, I find people like to talk to each other there too, so I try not to feel like, well this is mine and I need to respond to it all. It's almost like having a party where I serve the drinks and everyone else can have a conversation. I respond to the ones that I think are genuinely interesting-that I can add to or learn from.

Translate your online presence to the real world

Technology certainly makes it easier for introverts to communicate without having to deal with the pressure of a face-to-face conversation, but these tools, especially LinkedIn, can often translate to real world job opportunities and networking events. When that happens, it pays to be prepared. Start by acknowledging the relationship you already have with that person.

Here's Sophia:

You can always refer back to something that you've discussed online; ‘I was very interested in what you said about ________ online.' It's great because you're sort of starting in the middle of the conversation, which hopefully will help ease some of the awkwardness of the first meeting. It's one of the things I've found people like about online dating-they've already gotten through some of the chit-chat part and they're starting in the middle of the conversation.

Create real conversation

Extroverts tend to be experts at small talk, while most introverts hate it. Either way, it's a safe bet that nobody really likes it. Still, there's no denying that it's a vital part of putting yourself out there. That said, there are ways to make small-talk less boring. And, when done right, it can serve as a gateway to truly meaningful conversation.

Here's Sophia:

Small-talk is putting your toe in the water, opening the door for something deeper. Make it more interesting; ask people what they're working on-ask questions. So, if you're at an event, or you're in a situation where you need to make small-talk, you can ask other questions without getting too deep. Genuinely being interested in answers can really help a conversation get there.

Embrace the written word

When it comes to stringing together a sentence, it's no secret that introverts tend to shine. If this is you, embrace it and use it to your advantage.

Here's Sophia:

Because we're good with the written word, do an email follow-up. Refer to something you talked about and then go into a little bit of, “I just wanted to mention that this is what I do…” It's a more mellow way to get yourself out there.

Stop overthinking every little detail

If there's one thing that many of us introverts struggle with, it's knowing when to chill out. We tend to get caught up in the details. One minute you're making the simple choice to share something on Twitter, and before you know it you've wasted 10 minutes of your life caught up in whether or not you've worded it the right way. Heck, you may have even deleted the whole thing before it had a chance to spark a conversation.

Here's Sophia:

You'd think introverts would be masters of mindfulness, but we're really masters of full-mindedness. Overthinking is a thin line between thinking a lot and ruminating-and there's a definite correlation between rumination and depression. That's why introverts absolutely need to work through the overthinking before it turns into ruminating. I definitely recommend guided meditation. Just do five, or even two minutes to start-try to get a regular thing going. Once you learn to do it and have it as a tool, you can do it at any time.

Armed and ready with these self-marketing tips, you'll be ready to put yourself out there and develop a stellar personal brand. Check out some of our career courses for more guidance and lock down the amazing opportunities you deserve.

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Stacy Warden

Stacy Warden is a contributing editor of the Pluralsight blog and has worked in publishing since the dawn of the iPhone. Currently, Stacy deals in tech and education--a combination that she finds absolutely fascinating. You can find her on Twitter @sterrsi.