I’m a classic introvert.
That means I like to think before I respond, I can drive without any music or sound for hours on end and I rarely think, “the more the merrier.”
And I hate answering the phone (you won’t see a phone number anywhere on my website).
I also don’t mind admitting I can be a little socially awkward, although that doesn’t mean all introverts are.
Feeling misunderstood and disconnected after working for employers that only rewarded extroverts (and my fair share of working for many narcissistic ones), is a large reason why I decided to start my own online business.
I embrace being an introvert and play life to my strengths. I now want to help other introverted entrepreneurs do the same and more importantly I want to help ALL entrepreneurs STAND out and spread their message online.
(As a side note, I also have an introverted blog called Shut Up And Speak, although I must admit, it only has one post so far.)
Which brings me to the topic of today’s blog post. If the thought of face to face networking puts your stomach in knots or you can’t quite bring yourself to shamelessly promote yourself on social media, then Search Engine Optimization is a tool to add to you arsenal (if it isn’t already).
You’ve probably been told to “put yourself out there” more times than you can count. I certainly have.
But “putting yourself out there” doesn’t mean you need to reveal anything you don’t want. And SEO provides a discreet way to promote yourself online…every day.
SEO is a powerful way to attract lots of new visitors and readers to your website, all without lifting your head from the comfort of your computer screen.
Let’s look at 3 reasons why SEO is perfect for introverts.
1. You rather listen than talk (and this is a HUGE asset)
If you don’t want to talk to anyone, you don’t have to. There are days I can go without talking to anyone.
Small talk is not my forte and I’m really bad at it.
Introverts are more in tune with themselves and we don’t rely on external stimulation for motivation. And its this motivation that can propel us to take the time and effort to create epic, quality content – content that Google and your readers love.
Introverts are quiet and introspective in nature and that means we tend to be great listeners and observers. When we speak, it’s usually when we have something worthwhile to say. This is a good thing in today’s noisy, over-saturated online world.
Your introverted nature can allow you to empathise with your audience and create a deeper connection with your readers. Too often, people just want to talk about themselves and this happens online too. We need writers that focus on the needs of their readers, puts them first, and provides solutions.
I’ve said it many times before but if you don’t have a deep understanding of who your ideal client is then you can’t create any meaningful content that will tap into the issues, answer their questions and solve their problems.
One genuine new relationship is worth a fistful of business cards. – Manifesto by Susan Cain
For example, the reason I’m writing this post, besides the fact I’m an introvert, is because I know there are a lot of introverted entrepreneurs that are not comfortable promoting themselves and networking offline. They could be missing out on a huge opportunity to drive traffic to their websites using organic search. I also know that many introverts often feel misunderstood and disconnected and I want to provide a safe space for introverted entrepreneurs to gather and hang out.
This means you need to know where your audience is hanging out online – whether that’s Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook. Observe your site comments, the comments on your favourite websites, participate in forums and join online communities – and you can do that all without leaving the house.
Don’t underestimate the power of listening. Create content that serves a purpose. The Internet doesn’t need another article on how to make French toast and you’re not going to get in Google’s good graces (and your reader’s) if you write a new article on something that has already been covered many times before.
2. Think, think, think, write, write, write – and Google will reward you
Introverts think first, act later.
When we think, we get tons of ideas. And it’s ideas - unique, authentic, creative and original ideas – your readers want to consume.
Then we turn these ideas into compelling content. Ever since day one, it’s always been about producing quality content.
Google has tended to reward websites that attract high quality links. Unfortunately, this process doesn’t always reward the people that created the blog posts, PDFs, ebooks, white papers and infographics.
But this is now starting to change and this where you – the content creator – can have the upper hand. In other words, who creates the content has now become an important part of Google’s algorithm.
Instead of having to rely on getting a ton of links pointing back to your website (and let’s be honest, they’re hard to earn), Google is now starting to reward the individual writer. Let me make this clear. This is good news for the introverted entrepreneur – if you’re prepared to be proactive. This is why you MUST set up your Google Authorship because Google wants to make it easier for people to find the work of specific writers. Google has said, “the name of the writer can be used to influence the ranking of web search results by indicating the writer responsible for a particular content piece.”
This provides an enormous opportunity for introverts that prefer to write and work alone to become expert content publishers and get well rewarded for it. And according to Copyblogger, more than 76% of writers are not even using Authorship yet. This gives you a firm advantage to establish and cement your online reputation and credibility before the majority catch on.
To become a trusted authority in your niche, you need to build your expertise. How do you do that? By reading LOTS, doing research, finding out your ideal clients pain points, issues, desires, and aspirations and then create the compelling content that meets the needs of your audience. All the things that generally most introverts enjoy doing.
As Copyblogger explains, “the more you know, the more you can blog with authority and credibility.”
There has never been a better time in the history of the Internet for the introverted entrepreneur to STAND out, get noticed and spread their message far and wide.
3. Let the search engines help prospects & clients find you
Not comfortable chasing leads? No problem, let the search engines find them for you.
Don’t like face to face networking and having to repeat the dreaded elevator pitch? You don’t have to. Let the search engines do the heavy lifting for you.
Prefer to work alone and online is where you hide out? No problem. SEO is your ally.
If you want to market and build a sustainable online business, then you need to have good online marketing skills. You need to know how to attract new visitors to your website and leverage your time to grow your business when you’re not there.
In the last 30 days, I’ve converted 15 new email subscribers just from Google organic search alone.
I’m real happy with that considering I work in one of the most over-saturated and competitive industries in the world. Those stats will only increase as I create more content and my profile and brand become bigger.
The point is if I can achieve that, then it can work for almost any other niche too. And the more niche the better (and why you should pick a good niche at the start).
The other great benefit of SEO is that once you publish a post, it’s up there forever. You can still attract new visitors and leads to that page years after you published it. This is in contrast to social media where if you publish a Facebook post or send a tweet, people will only get to see it for a short amount of time, possibly as little as an hour. I’m certainly not suggesting that SEO is better than social media. There are plenty of benefits of using social media and Facebook is one my biggest sources of traffic. It really depends on the nature of your business.
However, one advantage that SEO has over paid advertising is that there’s no on/off switch, which means you can continue to drive traffic and leads on an ongoing basis. It doesn’t dry up as soon as you stop paying. Free traffic trumps paid traffic any day of the week.
If you’re an introvert that prefers to work alone, enjoys writing and blogging, doesn’t want a lot of face to face interaction with people and still grow a sustainable online business then SEO is perfect for you. You can hide out all day long and still build a world-class brand from your laptop.
So don’t let being an introvert hold you back in achieving success in any area of your life. We may not use it much but our voice still deserves to be heard. Sharing your content and thought leadership that resonates with your audience will draw in the right type of people to your website, build your email list and your authority and credibility in your niche without forcing you out of your comfort zone.
I’ve got a question for you….
Are you an introvert with an online presence that has trouble putting yourself out there?
Have you embraced your introverted mind?
What strategies do you use to promote yourself online?
Let me know about your experiences in the comments below.