As an introvert, I often find myself cringing a little bit when I see others loudly and aggressively promoting themselves. Yelling from the rooftops about my successes does not suit my personality type, at all. 

Yet, I know that building my personal brand is important for my career. Having a personal brand allows me to control the narrative around my best work and what I want to be known for. Let’s be real, all this information is only a Google search away, developing your personal brand will help craft the results someone will find when they Google your name. 

If you’re an introvert and the thought of building a personal brand is giving you anxiety, these are the tips that have helped me overcome my own fears. 

Define your why

One of the first questions when a company ‘brands’ themselves is what is their WHY. Defining your why will help you filter the pieces that should make up your personal brand and those that shouldn’t. 

Ask yourself, why are you trying to build your personal brand? One main reason could be for you to be in control of your own narrative. If a potential employer or client googles your name what would they find? And what would you want them to find? 

Most likely you want them to find the work you are most proud of and what you would like to be known for. As you list out the things you want to be known for, this will help narrow down the pieces that you will want to include in your personal brand. Make sure these are on your LinkedIn page, any public social media, on your resume, etc. 

Develop your brand’s personality. 

When branding a company marketers will often develop the brand’s personality. This looks like defining the words the brand uses and never uses, things the brand wants to be known for, what it doesn’t want to be known for, how the brand interacts with customers, etc. 

For your personal brand think of it as a separate entity from yourself, like an alter ego. Just like Beyonce uses Sasha Fierce, develop your own personal brand alter ego. This will make it seem less personal and easier for you to promote. 

Getting specific here is what is going to help create the distinction. For example:

Professional Carolyn always:

  • Asks for a review or testimonial
  • Invites people she meets to connections on LinkedIn
  • Writes a personal note to a new connection made
  • Shares her wins on social media and LinkedIn

Bring value to your connections

Introverts are known for being good listeners and understanding and thinking through problems before we speak on them. You can and should use this to your advantage and bring value to those already in your network.

What could this look like? Make the connection between people in your network who you think might be a good fit or could be mutually beneficial. Write recommendations for others in your network and share what they are working on. 

As an introvert, you might be thinking that your network isn’t large enough. As the saying goes, quality is better than quantity. If you have a smaller network, who are engaged, know you well and can see your skill sets this could yield more results than those who have large networks, yet hardly really know the actual people that well. 

Ask others to do the promotion for you

Finally, since as introverts we are not as naturally inclined to promote ourselves you might find it easier to let others do the promotion for you. This can look like testimonials from past employers and coworkers. A great way to do this is by asking for a recommendation on LinkedIn. 

When you share work you are proud of, watch as the comments and likes come rolling in. You will more than likely see several positive comments on the quality of your work and your overall skillset. These comments are social proof and a way for others to see your skills without you having to shout them from the rooftop.

Keep a folder with positive feedback, recommendations and kudos. You can use this as valuable information on what you would like to be known for. Or use it as a reminder when you are feeling imposter syndrome. 

Effective personal branding is not all about you. It is a combination of your best work, what you want to be known for and delivering value to your network and extended network. These are all things that introverts can excel at. At the end of the day, your generosity and thoughtfulness will speak volumes about you.