Some extroverts can walk into a bookstore, a party, or a conference and hand out their business cards, bookmarks, or postcards with pictures of their latest book on them and breeze through the whole building. If that’s a natural for you, do it. If not, figure out what does work.
If you’re an introvert, instead of feeling guilty for not being able to function like extroverts, here are a few promotion tips that can help you catch up—and maybe bypass those people-persons.
1. Be yourself. You get into trouble when you try to behave like an extrovert. It’s not a natural role; you’re awkward, and it shows. Don’t try to be who you think you ought to be.
For example, I used to teach a study group. On occasion when I couldn’t be present, I had two substitutes. One time Gene* taught. His material was fine, but he tried to imitate my style by doing things he had seen me do. I got a laugh out of self-deprecating humor; Gene received dull stares. The reason was obvious: He was trying to be someone else and not himself.
If you try to imitate, you may fall into self-defeating behavior or stir up feelings of inferiority.
Consider what you do well with only a small stretch outside your area of comfort. As one inward-focused writer told me, “I can talk to an anonymous group.” Once introverts get in front of a crowd, they often switch into a different side of their personality. One man said, “I can do that because it’s impersonal. There is a sea of faces out there and I don’t have to talk to a hundred individuals.”
He also said that he has learned to handle media interviews because of the one-on-one nature. However, he sends the host a set of questions (and hopes the interviewer will use them).
Once you know who you are,
Try to be the best you.