Why introverts need to buy into personal branding
Who turned up the volume? Is it me, or has the working world just got really loud? The age-old belief that you can ‘work hard and keep your head down’ no longer holds true, and it feels like everyone’s just clocked on to this fact. Air space for opinions is now hotly contested. Everyone’s vying for credit, both on and offline. It’s each man for themselves, dog-eat-dog out there.
As an introvert or a highly sensitive person (HSP), it can be really hard to get yourself heard above the noise. As a result, many brilliant and deserving leaders get overlooked for promotion, give up on their dreams or miss out on a pay rise because someone else shouted louder or pushed harder. But I’m here to say that this need not be the case.
You don’t have to roar to be heard. There are other ways to make your mark on the world.
Professional sensory overload
We are living in a time of professional sensory overload, and nowhere more vividly does this play out than in the boardroom. Meetings can be a fascinating reflection of animal behaviour. The alpha male (or female) holding forth and taking up the most room. Everyone else striving for space and attention. The quieter, more introverted creatures in the group cast to the sidelines. They could have the most valuable contributions in the room, but no one would ever know.
With working from home back on the agenda, online meetings can be even more challenging. Without the encouragement of facial expressions and the spatial awareness of others in the room, it’s all too common for the presence and opinions of more reflective colleagues to go unnoticed.
On social media, we are faced daily with the white noise of other people's opinions. Anything that we put out there in the ether can feel like a giant leap of faith, and yet - a drop in the ocean. Can anybody hear me? Worse still: might I be judged harshly for what I write?
Whether you define yourself as an introvert, an HSP, or you just have your moments of self-doubt amid this constant noise, it can be exhausting to feel like you need to compete with the commotion in order to reach your goals.
So, what can you do?
What can you do to make yourself heard in a world where everyone’s shouting and no one’s listening?
To me, the answer lies in a term that might bring many introverts out in hives - but bear with me. It’s personal branding. Why? Personal branding gives us the power to choose how and where we show up and, as such, it’s actually a perfect tool for introverts and HSPs. Personal branding is how you ensure that your unique gifts truly shine.
What is personal branding?
Put simply, it's how you show up in the world. Or as I prefer to put it:
"Our best and most authentic self, reflected brightly in how we are perceived by others."
There are still many misconceptions surrounding the term: it’s just for CEO’s, celebrities or flashy Instagrammers; it means you have to pretend to be something you’re not; it’s fake; it’s complicated; it’s not for me.
Of course, none of this is true. Authenticity is the backbone of a good personal brand. Like it or not (aware of it or not), we all have a personal brand. And we all have the power to choose how we shape it. This is great news for introverts and HSPs because we can also choose the methods that work best for us.
We don’t all have to be presenting to a room full of people to show up powerfully and authentically to the people that count. Perhaps writing is your thing. Maybe building meaningful one to one connections with people is the space where you really thrive. Perhaps you like creating videos with valuable content. Perhaps your zone of genius is in creating collaborations.
The key is understanding that you don’t have to do it all.
A lot of what I do with clients is to work with them to uncover what they genuinely care about, and what motivates them. We explore what they’re really good at, what makes them truly unique. And, together, we work out how they can amplify themselves to the world in a way that feels right for them, and in a way that moves them towards their goals - without having to shout, and without compromise.
This self-awareness of their strengths and how they relate to their goals usually enables them to build confidence and take some brave steps. But the sheer revelation that they can be the best version of themselves is often the most empowering result of all.
Want to start shaping your personal brand? Start here:
- What are your goals? What’s your vision for your life and career?
- What do you care about, what are you great at and what makes you truly unique?
- Who needs to know this about you? How might these people help you to get where you need to go?
- How might you let them know you exist? What platforms and methods could you use to build your visibility?
- Take action. Consistent, measurable steps. Remember confidence is a muscle - the more you use it, the stronger it gets.
How are you showing up in the world? Do you think your personal brand needs a bit of attention to help you get seen and heard, promoted and paid what you deserve? If so, then perhaps I can help. I offer a free discovery call.