Introverted Marketing

As an aspiring writer, photographer and voice over artist, I’m going to have to do a LOT of marketing for my various careers.  This is something that scares the bejesus out of me for various reasons.

The first being that I’m a self-proclaimed introvert.  I can stand up in front of a group of people if I have to, but to try to convince a bunch of people why they have to buy my book/photos/voice . . . that’s a hundred times worse somehow.

marketing_for_introverts1But I have been looking into marketing, because I know that’s the best way to get the word out about me and my products.  One of the newsletters I subscribe to offers marketing strategies for introverts.  I find it very helpful because she (the author) offers insights into introverts and gives examples of things we can do to get our brand(s) out there into the world.

She also recently did a study about how introverts react to advertising in general.  Her results were very interesting to me because it pointed out that a large majority of us don’t respond to overt ad pitches.  Knowledge that 85% of the population (or some other hyperbolic comment) buys Product A isn’t going to sway most of us.  We’d prefer to find our own path to Product A (or Product B, if we think we’d like it better), so to have some major advertising campaign shoved in our faces doesn’t do anything for us.  In many cases, it even makes us want to choose Product B MORE.

Which brings me to another reason I have a hard time accepting that I’ll have to do marketing for my brands: I hate most advertising.  I mute the TV whenever commercials come on.  I change the channel on the radio when they’re taking a break between songs.  And I definitely can’t stand it when some sales clerk starts breathing down my neck the second I walk in a store.  Give me time to walk around, would ya?!  If I need something, I can find you!

So the thought of strongly advertising my photos or whatnot–when I myself hate that sort of thing–makes me cringe inside.  Why would I do to someone the very thing that will actually make me refuse to give that company money?  In-your-face advertising is one of the main reasons I flat-out refuse to own anything by Apple.  Ever.

I also can’t stand ads or commercials that are so ridiculous that things like that would NEVER happen in real life.  Which means most beer/alcohol commercials.  But also things like toilet paper . . . I absolute refuse to purchase Charmin toilet paper on the basis of their commercials alone.  Yes, I get that they’re trying to be cute with their take on the “Does a bear shit in the woods?” saying, but come on!  Yes, bears shit in the woods.  But they’re BEARS!  They don’t give a rat’s ass about whether or not they’ve wiped properly, or whether there are tiny TP particles sticking to their butt fur!  They’re BEARS!  If they feel they’re not clean enough, they’re gonna plunk right down in the forest somewhere and lick themselves clean.  Just like your cat or dog.

I recently had a colleague tell me that those kinds of advertising techniques are used as often as they are because they’re effective.  People buy what they’re told to buy.  He’s quite probably right, but I still can’t commit myself to advertising myself in the same way.

That thought brought me back to the research Marcia Yudkin had recently done and the results she found.  If you look closely at her questions and where the majority of responses fell, you’ll see that most introverts don’t respond favorably to being told that “everyone else” is doing something and Hey! Come join the bandwagon!  We’re more in favor of finding our own way, which makes me think that most introverts aren’t sheep or lemmings.  We’re independent people who want to make decisions for ourselves.

So that’s why I need to stay away from the traditional forms of marketing.  Yes, Craig and I have a Facebook page for our art business, and we’re writing blogs as well.  We’ve recently submitted some art to silent auctions on the island as well as showing our stuff in local exhibits.  So we’ve got things in place, but we probably won’t buy space on Google to advertise our website anytime soon.  And Craig’s an introvert like I am, so I know he wouldn’t be very comfortable being more in-your-face than that, either.

It might take us longer to sell our stuff, but slow and steady is fine by us.

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