AN INTROVERT BLOGGER?
I used to think that being an introvert in an industry that required so much of oneself to be outgoing and constantly sharing meant I was setting myself up for failure. As a blogger in any niche, you are expected to share a significant part of your personal life to seem relatable to your audience. Whether through social platforms, or blog posts, to Twitter or Youtube, the constant need to be out there in order to maintain/engage/grow an audience you’ve worked so hard for can be a little overwhelming and exhausting for anyone, more so an introvert.
Truthfully, I never fully understood what it meant to be my own brand and somewhat “public figure”. Really. I’m learning on the job here, as I’m sure most people are. And as cliche, as it sounds, I never thought I’ll one day be getting invitations to speak on panels, getting recognized at functions/on the street or even getting nominated for any awards (P.S Vote for me to win “Blogger of the year” here!).
My one goal in 2018 was to take up more space, no matter how much it scared me. This can vary from raising my hand to ask for help in a room filled with smarter people or hopping on a plane to introduce myself to a top PR agency/brand in another country. I have realized that at the end of the day, I have 2 choices: wait for the world to give me what I think I deserve, or actively demand what I need from the world. Following the mantra of “good girls don’t get the corner office”, I have opted for the latter.
In a bid to conquer both the corporate world and my creative vice, blogging, I have been forced to step out of my comfort zone on countless occasions and to cultivate habits that help in putting my best foot forward at all times.
One afternoon, I had a meeting with a PR agency that had reached out to discuss possible management of TAC. I remember making a joke that I was slowly becoming a “public figure” that needed management and at that moment, I paused and took a break just to assimilate the weight of this newfound realization. Honestly, I needed more than a minute to deal with the sudden rush of anxiety that engulfed my insides.
This is ironic because I spend a good amount of time perfecting my craft in different ways, doing continuous rounds of self-promotion to anyone that would care to listen and dream of the days TAC will be in the spotlight – so I wonder, why is there an underlying fear at the thought of actualizing those dreams? Imposter syndrome maybe? I find that with a lot of introverts, dealing with imposter syndrome has become a norm.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help:
Contrary to belief, a lot of people in the industry are willing to help, if you ask politely. Do not shy away from sending an email or a social DM if you need help with figuring a certain thing out or getting access to connections. However, it is imperative that you do the work on your end before reaching out. Check their websites, social feed, research, etc to see if you can find an answer to your question beforehand. That way, you can reach out with more informative questions rather than wasting time on the basics that could be figured out with a simple google search.
As an introvert, it is almost a nightmare to be in situations where we have to be the centre of attention. While we are okay with doing great work behind our devices, it is also important to go out there to introduce yourself and the amazing work you’re doing to others. Like I’ve always said, if you don’t blow your trumpet, how do you expect it to be heard? Sometimes, the difference between yourself and the person getting the brand deals and sponsorships are the people in their corner aka email contacts. I find that sending an email and getting face time with PR agencies or reps goes a long way! It’s a great way of developing a good working relationship and making sure that when a business that’s the right fit for you lands on their table, you are not forgotten.
Quality Networking & Support System:
Does networking essentially mean physical meetings all the time? No. Quality > Quantity all the time! I’ve connected with some amazing fellow content creators online that have grown to become amazing supporters and confidants but I have never met IRL. There is always more value in people and building relationships than instant cash flow.
Surround Yourself with Extroverts:
A good number of my friends are outgoing chit-chat boxes and I love them for it. Reason being, without them I’m pretty sure I’d be holed up in my house forever, binge-watching my favourite shows on Netflix without a care in the world. Extroverted friends or colleagues shove you out of your comfort zone every once in a while and aid development of people’s skills, which is currently one of the most valuable skills on the market.
Don’t feel guilty for downtime:
I’ve had to decline a handful of blogger events because, at that point, my solitude was more important. At first, it might feel like the only way to succeed is to be present at every function/event that requires a part of you – but it’s not. It’s necessary to pick what feeds your energy and not just for Insta-worthy photos. For someone that juggles two full-time responsibilities, (re post here), those down times are essential to me to recharge so I can be on top of my game.
I hope this post has been useful to someone, I’d love to hear your POV on tackling the business world as an introvert. Leave a comment below!
Till next time,