When it comes to putting yourself out there as a creative introvert, create a system that works for you (even if it appeases the algorithms).
There’s nothing I love more than an evening alone to write whatever comes to mind, following a muse or after having indulged in a good novel (and then thinking about all the ways I’d rewrite it). After all, we introverts can be incredibly creative — and art is a great way for us to express ourselves. But what happens when you want to make your art your profession? While we might be great writers, painters, or crafters, marketing can be super cringeworthy for an introvert.
Like most introverts, I don’t like being in front of people, bragging about myself, or basically calling attention to myself in any way. But how am I supposed to sell my art and make money if no one knows about it? I need to share it first, right?
Putting yourself out there as a creative introvert can be really tricky and feel, well, kind of gross. So here are five tips to help you get yourself out there without making yourself sick. (And without going against your naturally introverted ways.)
5 Tips for Putting Yourself Out There as a Creative Introvert
1. Capitalize on your strengths, like making deep connections with others.
We introverts are really good at deep conversations and building relationships. Which, it turns out, is actually great for marketing! People buy from people they trust, and trust is built in relationships. Instead of constantly thinking about how you’re going to promote your work, think about how you’re going to make connections. No knocking on doors or shouting from a loudspeaker. Just show up, be yourself, and start cultivating relationships. When people know you and love your work, they’ll tell others about it and do all the promotion for you. Then you can go back to your studio alone to keep creating. Win-win.
This can be something really simple, so don’t overthink it. I once joined a free, week-long Instagram “challenge” that offered a marketing tip each day and connected me with a group of others doing the same challenge. I made a couple connections in that group that, even now, years later, have stayed in touch with. And guess what? We regularly promote each other’s work just out of a sheer appreciation for what the other is doing (some are even in different industries!). So it works!
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2. Find your fellow creative introverts — you can support each other and be part of a community.
I know we love our alone time as introverts, but going it totally alone as a creative is really tough. Start seeking out other creative introverts, either online or in real life. It can be helpful to see what other people’s processes look like. See what, and how, they do it, and talk about yours fears and all the uncomfortable things that come with being a creative introvert, too.
Knowing you’re not alone — and seeing someone else do it even though it’s hard — can be motivating and inspiring. Who knows? You might even find someone you can collaborate with, and both of you can share each other’s work.
Amie McNee is a great resource for connecting with other creatives. She has a strong online presence, journaling prompts, and an amazing podcast. She has provided endless inspiration, and encouragement, for my own creative journey. Plus, she’s created an amazing community of really supportive creatives. So trust me — you’re not alone in this! There is strength in numbers and you can get the emotional support you need to keep creating.
Do you ever struggle to know what to say?
As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.
3. Work to cultivate balance, whether it’s online or off.
Putting yourself out there can take a lot out of you. Don’t forget to take regular breaks to recharge. Social media is one of the best ways to expose your creative work on a large scale, but it’s called “social” for a reason. Even though it’s virtual, it still takes a great deal of energy to be present online. In addition, there’s a lot of exposure and vulnerability that comes with putting your art (or creative work) online.
So make sure you are intentionally taking care of yourself. If you are scheduling time to be online and promote your work, create a community, build relationships, and be mindful about scheduling however much time you need to scale back and refill that energy tank.
Remember, you do not have to be available 24/7 to anyone, even online. Silence notifications — or put your phone away altogether — at certain times to protect yourself. Technology and social media are incredible marketing tools, but can also become addicting and super draining if you don’t have the appropriate boundaries in place. (By the way, I know it’s hard for us introverts to set, and enact, boundaries, but we must!) Just pay attention — and be intentional about the time you spend there.
4. Create a system that works for you (even if it appeases the algorithms).
Consider the things you feel like you “should” do or are “supposed to” do in order to be successful — but that make you absolutely cringe (hello, sizzle reels, a video combo of some of your best work). How can you do that thing in your own way? A way that feels more authentic to you?
Maybe instead of putting your face on a video, you opt for starting a podcast. (This may be easier for us introverts since we don’t have to be on camera!) Or instead of showing up for in person networking events, you join an online network and make virtual connections.
I love this quote by Laurie Helgoe, “A good rule of thumb is that any environment that consistently leaves you feeling bad about who you are is the wrong environment.” It’s a great reminder that you don’t have to be in a space that doesn’t feel right for you.
And remember, it’s not always about reaching the masses as much as it is about building individual relationships. Some things might appease the algorithms, but that doesn’t mean you have to do them just because everyone else seems to be doing them. Don’t be afraid to buck the system and make it work for you. You’ll feel more comfortable showing up consistently in this way and you’re more likely to stick with it.
5. Be strategic with your energy — when do you have the most? The least?
When do you have the most energy in the day? Think about when you feel the most “up for socializing” — you can also try tracking your energy, too. Then, put yourself out there around that time of day.
Don’t wait until you’re tired or at a point in the day when you know you tend to be more inward-focused. Just like making systems and marketing tools work for you, you can make your energy work for you, too. If you know you wake up slowly in the mornings and like to do things like journal, read, or meditate, that’s probably not a great time to jump on Instagram to start promoting your latest blog post.
Be honest about what feels most natural for you and try it! You can always tweak things to work more in your favor. It’s all about trial and error, after all…
You’ll Never Know Until You Try
Being a creative introvert can be super challenging when it comes to marketing and putting yourself — and your art — out there. We tend to not love the spotlight and all the attention that comes with selling or making money on our work. But the world needs our creations, and our work does have a place out there.
Don’t let your disdain for marketing keep you from sharing yourself on a larger platform either. It’s okay to make it your own and use the available tools to work for you, in a way that actually feels good to you.
There are tons of creative introverts already out there doing it. It’s time to join them!
You might like:
- 5 Key Ways for Highly Sensitive Introverts to Enhance Their Creativity
- All the Things I Feel as an Introvert When I Share My Art With Others
- 9 Things That Are Hard for Me as an Introvert
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