For many years in my youth I told people I was shy. Much later I learned that I am, in fact, an introvert.
Perhaps you are also part of this creative collection of individuals who are quiet observers of the world. The thing is, being quiet often means being overlooked. So how can your personal brand stand out from the crowd without having to change who you are?
1. Speak up about your accomplishments
Quite often, introverts fail to get the recognition they deserve because they choose not to bring public attention to themselves. There is an art to bragging about your accomplishments without coming across as arrogant. Learning to speak up is key because relying exclusively on others to talk about your accomplishments is risky. Having your many achievements go unacknowledged may prevent you from getting promotions in the workplace.
Start today: Make a list of your accomplishments since your last managerial review and seek ways to make sure you receive credit for these. This will help you draw attention to future milestones.
2. Create personally beneficial relationships
While it is common for introverts to seek a mentor to help them find success (I currently have a business mentor and a life mentor), it is also known that introverts may not know who, when and how to ask for referrals. Creating strong relationships with professionals who are more likely to speak up on your behalf can be priceless when you need someone to vouch for your skills and abilities.
Start today: Export your Linkedin contacts into a spreadsheet and reach out to at least 10 connections you would like to receive a recommendation from.
3. Share your ideas
No, don't become a Chatty Cathy, instead see this as a cue to feel free to open your mouth and talk about a new idea or opinions you have. Social media is the quickest way to do this and receive near-instant feedback. If this is a struggle for you, mentally lay out what you plan to say prior to saying it.
Start today: Practice recording videos where you share your opinion on a matter close to your heart. Once your happy with at least one of the videos, upload it to your chosen social media channel or blog.
4. Don't be so hard on yourself
The self-conscious nature of introverts in the limelight can often become our undoing. Try not to beat yourself up over what you see as a “mistake.” Concentrate instead on your successes.
5. Rehearse before situations that make you nervous
If you have a presentation around the corner, practice for it. Buddy up with a mirror or employ the help of an honest friend to make yourself more comfortable. The more often you do something, the more natural it becomes.
Start today: Download the brain training app Elevate and complete their public speaking exercises.
6. Online is your friend
I often hear from other introverts that they feel more comfortable networking online instead of in-person. Personal branding is important, so introverts should be sure to take advantage of the various online networks for young professionals (the larger ones being as LinkedIn and Twitter), to create more connections in a low stress environment.
The professional world can seem daunting to us introverts, however the ability to learn strong networking skills is available to us all in order to boost our personal brand - introvert or otherwise.