In your mind’s eye you may picture that raising your professional profile involves a single activity you find crass and repellent—like cold calling or inserting yourself in conversations among strangers at a noisy cocktail reception. It doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, create a marketing mix, or combination of more palatable activities to get yourself the exposure you’re seeking.
The menu of options is limitless. It can include writing for the company newsletter or an industry publication, blogging, becoming active on social media sites (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter), doing podcasts, hosting events, speaking about your area of expertise, spearheading task forces, and lining up informational interviews—or one-on-one meetings with people you want to get to know for networking purposes.
None of this has to feel forced and all of it can play to your strengths—introverted or just plain human ones. You can get the recognition you deserve by doing things you like to do. It might take some planning and you may need to create some new habits. Write down a few of the promotional activities you like the most (or mind the least).
Then map out a game plan including concrete steps involving these activities. So if one of your activities is to write e-mails to five people in your network asking for introductions, write down when you’ll complete that. If you’re looking to deepen your contacts within your industry, start by brainstorming a list of activities (e.g., joining nonprofit boards, hosting professional organization events) to help you get there.
If you’re an introvert, don’t wear yourself down running around from conference to conference, from networking event to networking event. Instead, pick only the most vital social activities (i.e., where you can be introduced to senior managers and/or prospective clients). And show up well rested. Balance those more outward activities with quieter activities like reading, writing, and one-on-one meetings.
For more information, including tips and exercises to help you create your own marketing mix and set goals to help you raise your visibility, see my book, Self-Promotion for Introverts®: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead.
Adapted from Nancy Ancowitz, “Self-Promotion for Introverts®: Get Heard More. Even If You Talk Less,” ChangeThis manifesto, October 2009.
Copyright © 2010 Nancy Ancowitz