Introverts are people who live on the quiet side of life, who would rather sit at home and draw or read than go to a party. They’re not the ones who readily schmooze a meeting, shaking hands and nudging shoulders with everyone or squeeze their way into a huddle of strangers at a business conference.
Instead, introverts thrive by making the most of their talents, such as creativity. Whether this is visual or verbal creativity, it means developing catchy concepts that attract the attention, interest and engagement of perfect clients. When used on the Web, in printed promotions and in publicity materials, these creative elements work their magnetism without requiring introverts to become an outgoing pretender. They create a delightful, memorable business image by packing a little pizazz around a kernel of truth.
Here are seven creative branding tools that can fit the bill for introverts. Of course, extroverts are free to use them as well!
Seven Creative Branding Tools
1. Moniker. Concoct an imaginative name for yourself, one that’s fun to encounter, easy to remember and dramatizes a talent you have or the value you deliver to customers. Examples: Patrick Snow, the Dean of Destiny; Diane Armstrong, Queen of Plan Be; Lynda Falkenstein, Dr. Niche; David Leonhardt, the Happy Guy; Carolyn Scarborough, the Book Whisperer.
2. Creative job title. Saying you’re an accountant or an interior designer can make people’s eyes glaze over, because they think they already know what such a professional does. On the other hand, if you introduce yourself as a sales-from-the-podium expert (Lisa Sasevich), a soul mate magician (Catherine Behan) or a belief change alchemist (Tad Hargrave), you’ll see people lean toward you and want to know more.
3. Promise or claim. What you do, phrased as a pledge or a vow, can capture people’s imagination. Two instances of this that have caught my eye are Suzanne Falter-Barns’ “Get Known Now” and Chris Guillebeau’s “I write, travel, and help people take over the world.”
4. Signature photo. An eye-catching photograph can not only attract interest but also convey a quality that belongs to your essence. Holistic psychologist Dr. Doris Jeanette, who teaches people how to be grounded and emotionally balanced, has an astonishing yet characteristic photo of herself carrying her groceries home from the supermarket on her head. Sean D’Souza introduces himself online in a full-body, off-kilter pose, which summarizes his irreverent attitude toward marketing and presentations.
5. Photo caption. Sometimes the arresting quality of a photo lies in a clever caption. For example, on its Contact page, the Hawaii Web Group shows someone surfing, accompanied by this: “”If we don’t get back to you right away, we’re probably in an important board meeting and will contact you when we get out.” (“Board meeting” is a pun… Surfboard, get it?)
6. Slogan or rallying cry. Arouse customers with an inspiring, exciting or stirring statement. Leslie Irish Evans does this with “Mommy Martyrs No More!” My favorite example is actually the phrase on New Hampshire license plates, “Live Free or Die.”
7. Proverb or quote. You can make someone else’s saying or a legendary adage your own, when it summarizes the philosophy underlying your enterprise. John Hutson, who helps present and defend insurance claims, prominently uses a quote by John F. Kennedy, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” Diana Schneidman named her business of helping freelancers launch themselves and thrive after a Japanese proverb, “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”
Naturally such branding techniques serve you well only when all the other aspects of your business take great care of customers. As history’s greatest showman, P.T. Barnum, put it, “Large stores, gilt signs, flaming advertisements will all prove unavailing if you or your employees treat your patrons abruptly.” Introverts also should heed his point.