How To: Self-Promote (The Introverts' Edition)
Fight your nature and get noticed.
By Matthew Hutson published November 1, 2009 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016
It's an extrovert's world. A study found that those who pipe up in meetings are seen as more competent and gain more influence than others even if they're not actually adding anything. That's hard news for introverts—who like to let their work speak for itself. Nancy Ancowitz, the author of Self-Promotion for Introverts, offers tips on how the quiet guy can get ahead.
"Bragging is repulsive to introverts," Ancowitz says. But effective self-promoting is different; it's finding the overlap between what you have and what your audience wants.
Introverts are more inclined to rely on writing and often excel at it. Position yourself as an expert by writing something for an industry publication. Craft thoughtful cover letters and thank-you notes. Twitter and blog.
Organize an event. "When we host we get to be seen as a go-to person, and we don't have to reach out as much," Ancowitz says.
Although it's scary, "Public speaking is an amazing tool for an introvert. We get to prepare, and then we get up there once and reach lots of people rather than having many conversations, which tires us."
At networking events, prepare some opening lines, maybe based on the news—"easy conversation starters, open-ended and positive and simple." Approach people who smile at you or are alone. Consider teaming up with an extrovert.
"Remain visible to your boss and colleagues by regularly exchanging niceties and showing interest in them," Ancowitz says. "It's a good way to get the buzz about what's going on behind the scenes and can also land you in the right place at the right time when an opportunity is just unfolding."