As a fellow introvert, I admit that although writing is my passion I never thought that I would be a professional speaker. It never creeped into my mind that I would have to talk about my book as a part of my marketing strategy. Maybe it was me being nieve or I was simply caught in the excitement of being called a published Author. Either way, my quiet, reserved butt that would rather be on a couch reading or writing made my way in front of thousands.
Well, I learned that although I may not the have an extrovert’s ability to draw energy from a crowd…….I knew how to work a corner. Wait……….that sounds so wrong. Okay, let me explain what I mean. In small groups, I had mastered the ability to be able to come out of my shell and be engaged in the conversation. This was usually with a small number of people but it worked. Then I had a brave moment at a summit in San Diego where I made the decision to be seen and heard. Nervous as heck I walked up front and I danced my little unicorn butt off on stage every chance I got. It was so much fun. By day two, people knew my name (They didn’t always pronounce it right) and it was a giant leap for this little introvert.
This is the thing that I learned. The more you are seen by people the more people connect with you. The more people connect with you the more people want to support you and your vision. There are 7 key areas where I focused on being seen in the last two years and it increased my sales and my ability to work a room. (Maybe I should have taken a nap before writing this post) Granted I still have my moments where I slink off to a hotel room during a conference or sit silently and people watch. Hey, I’m an introvert baby!
Here are 7 of the key things that I did!
1. Start with a plan
Once I learned about a profit plan my whole world changed. See as and author or speaker most don’t understand the importance of having a financial goal. When you realize that as an author or speaker you are also an entrepreneur, everything looks different. Having a financial plan with put a fire under your butt. (A huge one if your doing this full time)
This put me in a position when I had to decide if being nervous in front of 100 people was worse than being homeless. Was being nervous about going to network with people as scary as not being able to feed my family? It is a hard reality check but a lot of times we don’t put forth the full effort we should is because we aren’t hungry enough or the pain doesn’t hurt enough.
There is a story about two men talking and the one man’s dog kept howling in pain. The second man asked what was wrong with the dog to which the first man said that his paw was on a nail. Then the first man remarked that the dog wasn’t in enough pain yet to move his paw. (Yes, I botched up the story but you get the point right) Make your plan big enough that it scares you and stretches you or it will easily be another dream that drifted away.
2. Research your audience
So there are sooooo many reason why this is important. (I’ll try to make it brief tho) The #1 fear is public speaking and that is because of the numerous possible outcomes. A great way to combat that is to know who you are talking to. It makes it easier. It removes a lot of variables that would make you nervous. It also puts you in a position to be able to give your audience exactly what it is they need.
Researching your audience also stops you from being in front of audiences that don’t fit your target. How often do people say yes to an opportunity simply because it will give them “exposure” but it only really gave them a headache? Very often! You don’t have to take ever gig that comes your way. This is your way out. “I’ve found that your audience is not my target.” (Simple right?)
Realize that your success is not dependent on the size of the audience……..it’s the conversion that matters. You can be in front of a group of 20 and have all 20 sign up for your program or be in front of a room of 1,000 and get crickets.
You read that right. Even at an event, I will steal away to a hotel room to rest and relax. It’s soothing and re-energizes me for any evening events that may be going on. Make a plan of action when you feel like you need to regroup. Most ignore this urge for fear of missing out on something important. So they stay and attempt to push through only to find themselves extremely exhausted by Day 2. I’ve missed photo opportunities, networking opportunities and more because I didn’t listen to my body. When the body says sit down it is your best option to go sit down.
I get it! This could be your big break or what if Oprah stops by just to say hello. No one wants to be that person. So create your strategy early. Take a walk on the beach or take a moment to go to the pool with your headphones and audible. Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!”
4. Shine in my Genius zone
I LOVE music and dancing. It doesn’t really matter what genre as long as it has a great beat and I will dance for hours. That was my way in at the Summit I attended in 2017. While others watched from in the crowd I went right up front and danced my little heart out. When you shine in your genius zone you connect with others who are either admire you for it or are similar to you. You’ll talk, laugh and enjoy yourself more. Now dancing may not be your thing. (Its okay everybody isn’t as cool as me) You may be into video games, movies or sports. No matter what your genius zone may be if you will succeed at standing out like an extrovert.
Don’t believe me? My son, who is my oldest, is a movie and video game buff. I mean from critic reviews to graphics he can talk for hours about it. Ask him to dance and his face turns sour. lol (His sisters have tried for many years and have only succeeded on rare occasions) That is his zone and close family and friends understand that they will ALWAYS get an engaging conversation with him when it is about movies or video games. So, what’s your genius zone? That is your popularity ticket at any event.
5. Local Small Meetups
These are usually great opportunities for you to network and share out business cards or bookmarks. You don’t have to attend each one and they are usually low cost or free. Word of mouth is still a great way for people to find out about who you are. Local newspapers or new stations are always looking for stories as well.
Check to see if you are able to set a table in local shops, church events, hair salons, nail salons etc. Don’t bombard yourself with trying to be at everything your city or town may have going on. Map out one or two events or locations a month. This is a way to gain exposure without having to speak in front of a large crowd.
Schools are always having raffles, events where they sell ad space or opportunities to purchase a vendor table. Connect with your local schools & colleges to see what they have going on. I know this year I will be going to a local comic con event. I wasn’t able to get a vendor table but I still will be able to hand out bookmarks and enjoy some mom & son time.
6. Telesummits (Telesummit Webinar)
Telesummits are AMAZING! For introverts it allows you to be in front of people from the comfort of your own home. ☺️ Do I really need to say anything else? Well Telesummits allow you to network with people in many different industries. It also adds to your Media one sheet experience.
You can do Telesummits and build an audience virtually. This opens revenue opportunities, list building opportunities and the opportunity to make yourself the expert in your industry.
7. Podcast Interviews (Be a guest on my #SpeakEasy Podcast)
Another great way to build an audience from the comfort of your own home. Podcasts are always looking for industry experts to speak interview. Most you just simply go to their website and sign up or you can connect with them on social media. Podcasts are great for practicing the speech you are about to give or talking about a book you just published.
What I love about podcasts is that you have the potential to be heard by so many. Below are some of the podcast I had the opportunity to be on last year!
Are you an introvert struggling to gain exposure? Or maybe you have your own ways of gaining exposure……share it in the comments. You can also reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org