Many writers are introverts. And introverts make up 47 to 55 percent of the population. However, since most modern societies appreciate extroverts' traits more, namely aiming for the limelight and being outspoken, introverts must learn to navigate the world in order to succeed.
In this article, we'll discuss what being an introvert means and how an introverted writer can effectively promote freelance services without having to "pretend" to be an extrovert.
According to C.G. Jung, there are two significant types of personality: extroverts and introverts. The primary difference between the two is the source of their mental energy. Extroverts tend to be energized by social interaction, while introverts recharge their energy through solitude, tranquillity, and reflection.
This being said, their communication styles also differ. Extroverts are likely to be outspoken and decisive, while introverts are more reserved and tend to think before they speak.
Introverts are often misunderstood as being shy, which is actually a myth. Shyness is about fear and social anxiety, not about the source of inner energy. This explains why many public figures, including those whose jobs involve communicating with crowds, are introverts.
In other words, not all introverts are shy and not all shy people are introverts.
Now, if you're an introverted freelance writer, how can you grow your writing business? Because, most likely, you aren't that keen on going to business functions to introduce yourself while smiling from ear to ear and handing out your business card.
First Things First: Understand the Strengths of Introverts
Introverts often express themselves best through writing. That's because writing gives them the opportunity to analyze, edit, revise, and rewrite their thoughts before sharing them.
Of course, the level of "appropriateness" is relative from one introvert to another. According to MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), there are at least 8 types of introverts: ISTJ, ISFJ, INFJ, INTJ, ISTP, ISFP, INFP, and INTP. Each type comes with its strengths, weaknesses, and characteristics that determine how they think, feel, make decisions, communicate, and build relationships with others.
Writing also allows introverts to communicate clearly without the pressure of face-to-face interaction. How an introvert's brain works is itself an advantage, as it enables the writer to be comprehensive in observation and expression.
Second, Recognize Your Strengths as a Writer
What are your strengths as a writer? They can be related to the genre, the subject, the topic, the angle, the viewpoint, or anything else. Perhaps you have impeccable grammar and an advanced vocabulary. Or, you can turn complex ideas into simple step-by-step explanations.
Whatever they are, show them off in your work. Always project the real you and your strengths in writing. After all, when you're comfortable with yourself, it shows in your writing and communication.
Third, Set Up an Online Portfolio
Create a simple website that showcases your writing portfolio. Remember to include live links to articles, e-books, or white papers, so they can be easily found, clicked, and read. Include a photo of yourself and a few paragraphs of your biography so your readers can learn more about you.
The key is to make your portfolio professional and up-to-date while reflecting your own individuality as a creative person. A good online portfolio can act as your 24/7/365 salesperson. Thus, it's crucial to design it well with clear navigation and simplicity.
Fourth, Revise Your LinkedIn Profile
Treat your LinkedIn profile as a second online portfolio. It's as essential as your writer's site. Storify the summary, expand each job description in a way that quantifies the workload, milestones, and achievements, while at the same time project your kindness as a human being. (This is actually an introvert's strength, as we tend to reflect, analyze, and present information in a well-structured format.)
You can earn an "All Star" profile if you include and update information on each sub-header, such as experience, education, volunteer experience, skills and endorsements, recommendations, accomplishments, and interests.
"All Star" profiles are likely to show up in search results, which can open up plenty of new and exciting opportunities. Also, make sure that you turn on the career interest option, so recruiters can easily find your digital resume for any writing-related position.
Fifth, Develop Several Query Templates
An introverted writer should take precautions against anything that drains his or her mental energy. One of the most effective ways is using templates for communication, particularly when sending queries. Create several different templates for each type of writing query.
For instance, if you write corporate blogs, journalism articles, and technical white papers, consider creating separate templates for each project type. For corporate blogs, you can create multiple templates based on the industry verticals targeted.
For journalism articles, you can develop several query templates based on the target readers, such as women's fashion magazines, parenting magazines, and vending machine trade magazines. For technical white papers, you can target each template for a specific industry type, such as fintech, IT, and blockchain technology.
Sixth, Automate Your Business
In this digital age, automation is an important part of doing freelance business. Use simple Typeform contact forms for preliminary client surveys so they can choose what services they need from you.
Next, you can connect it with Zapier, so you'll have a notification on your smartphone as soon as you receive a new contact. You can also nurture prospects with Drip or Mailchimp for automated e-mail responses, so you can spend more time reading and writing instead.
But don't go overboard with automation. It can feel less personal and "robotic." Make sure every e-mail is written as if you were talking to an intelligent friend. Just use a simple template, so it reads like it's sent by an individual, not a part of an automated drip e-mail marketing campaign.
Being an introverted freelance writer in this digital age is unprecedented. You don't need to attend tons of face-to-face events just to spread the word about your services. Instead, you can focus on completing assignments and brushing up your craft. Your website, LinkedIn profile, copied-and-pasted query templates, and business automation tools will continue to work on your behalf.
As long as you keep up with the latest technologies and humanize them with your writer's wit and charm, you can leverage a great deal. Today, despite being an introvert, promoting freelance writing services efficiently shouldn't be an issue.