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The complete introvert’s guide to internet marketing

For those that know me offline, they would tell you I was always the quiet one in the room with one hand on my car keys and my eyes on the door.

Until I got to know you, then I would never shut the fuck up.

For those that know me online, its pretty much the same. I boycotted social media for a couple years, I don’t talk to clients over the phone and I keep my personal life, personal.

No excessive selfies flooding an Instagram account, or YouTube videos ranting about everything thought that crosses my mind.

And I like it that way.

I have always been an introvert, more content sitting alone in silence than I was in crowds. I hated talking in front of the class in high school and even though I loved playing the drums, one gig at a local bar and I never tried my hand at being a musician again (at least, not publicly).

Transitioning that lifestyle into a freelance business that requires me to interact daily with people has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my entire life.

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I have a hard enough time building up the strength to hang out with friends I have known since high school, never mind the strength needed to put myself out there every day to try and convince people who have never met me that I am good enough at what I do to invest in my services.

Maybe you’re an introvert like me, happier with headphones on in a quiet space, working without interruption than you would be in an open office environment full of excess noise and disruption.

You may find yourself severely drained after a night of mingling with friends or family, ready to head home and dive into a book, while your significant other wants to discuss the evenings events in play-by-play format.

Trust me, I’ve been there and know exactly how you feel.

Over time I have found ways that introverts like myself can excel at internet marketing, engaging potential buyers of our products and services, all while maintaining our sanity.

Social interactions

I wrote recently about making connections and this is a just a friendly reminder that there’s no way around it in an internet based business.

You need to interact with buyers on more than just a “during the sale” level.

That doesn’t mean you need to be overwhelmed with the amount of conversations, but there are ways you can get social without wrecking your nerves in the process.

When you’re seeking out potential buyers for your product or service, look for ways you can interact by answering questions instead of engaging in full blown chats about politics or religion.

For instance, searching twitter for ‘#WordPress help‘ will bring up a lot of questions from people you can answer.

Quick answers will help grab the persons attention without extending too far from your comfort zone.

Once you answer their question, follow them and add their profile to a list named, you guessed it, ‘WordPress help’ so you can keep track of who you’ve helped before.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is to try and mix up the business, marketing and personal messages to keep things from growing too stale.

You don’t need to give a play by play of your dinner menu every day, but sporting events or new movies you’ve seen, or books you’ve read give a nice ‘human’ touch to your profile.

Tools to automate the process

Here’s some tools that I personally use to automate the process of social media marketing. They save me the hassle of always having to be on, when there’s inevitably days that I don’t feel like talking to anyone, but still need to promote my content.

With Buffer you can easily schedule your posts to go to your various social networks at specific times, all without needing to even be present for it to happen.

Just load up your queue with all of the content you want published, and they get pushed out at the times you’ve set for them to.

Social-Media-Automation-Tools

If your website runs on WordPress then you can get some great use out of the Evergreen Post Tweeter plugin.

I use it on my freelance blog and it helps keep content on my Twitter profile fresh, while also making sure older articles get some extra exposure.

With this plugin, you can filter out posts and pages by date, category and tag, while also setting specific times of day that the tweets will go out, similar to Buffer.

Another way to automate all of internet marketing tasks is using the website IFTTT (If This Then That). It gives you a huge list of websites you can plug into and set up tasks for, called recipes.

For these internet marketing recipes, you can set up recipes for a wide variety of tasks.

From keeping up with search industry to automating the process of promoting your blog posts to various social networks, the possibilities are near endless.

It takes some time to go through and set up all of the different recipes, but you can check this big list of IFTTT recipes for social media productivity from Buffer to get a jump start.

An alternative to IFTTT is Zapier, which a lot of internet marketers I interact with absolutely love. I personally subscribe to their blog since they publish a lot of great info on marketing.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is by far one of the greatest ways to market your blog or business without needing to actually interact with a lot of people. By putting focus on producing high value content, you’ll be able to build yourself as an authority in your niche, while keeping interactions with people at a distance.

When you think of content marketing, do you immediately think about blogging? Sure, that’s one of the best ways to utilize content marketing for your business, but there’s a lot of other ways to utilize content marketing to promote your business/blog/products.

Blogging

Your blog is your home base for all content marketing, and you need to treat it with extreme care.

It’s the easiest way to publish content that promotes your website, since it’s directly linked to the rest of your site and can get traffic from social media, search engines and word of mouth marketing.

When 81% of people online trust information they get from bloggers, you’d be hard pressed to find another content marketing avenue that gains that amount of trust.

The first thing I look at when viewing a website that I may purchase a product or service from, is their blog. And guess what, if the blog is non-existent, or hasn’t had a post published in months, I instantly lose faith in the company. HubSpot also shows that blogs top other forms of social media in terms of effectiveness, so you should really be blogging regularly.

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Make sure that your blog content is enhanced to achieve your goals. It doesn’t matter if you want more subscribers, client acquisitions or product sales, your blogs content can do what you need it to, if you do it right.

This means including images in your blog post, because as studies show, upwards of 80% of people remember things they see, compared to only 10% of what they read. Images will also help break up large blocks of content, letting people skim your content quicker and not feel overwhelmed with the amount of text on the screen.

Guest Blogging

Now you get to put all of your blogging skills to use and share your knowledge around the web. Guest blogging used to be used for link building, but the greatest ROI for guest blogging is still, in my opinion, the authority building you are doing by putting your best content forward in front of a new audience.

With this method of content marketing, you’ll need to interact a bit with the blogger you’re pitching your blog post idea to, but the amount of time it takes for these interactions is minimal so the introverts don’t need to worry too much here.

With the right preparation, your guest blogging efforts will have great results.

The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out what your goal is when guest blogging – do you want to get visitors from high traffic websites, build your name as an authority by being able to say “I blogged for ____”, or are you just wanting to get links back to your website?

After you’ve defined your goal, now it’s time to find blogs to submit guest articles to. You can do this easily by searching Google for “keyword guest post” and “keyword write for us”, which will bring up results with websites that accept guest posts.

Next, you need to craft a great guest post pitch. This is where you’re going to want to spend some time really thinking things through about the topic you’d like to write.

Read over the blog you’re wanting to submit to and see what content does the best as far as social sharing and comments go. This will give you an indication of what type of content works best for this specific blogs audience.

Now that you’ve figured out what type of content works well, you need to pitch the post to the blog owner. The first thing you need to do is craft an email that is short, to the point and addresses the blog owner by name.

If you don’t know their name, look for an about page, a contact page with email address or find their Twitter profile to find their name. You’re essentially sending a cold email, and you need to do it right.

The blog owners name is out there somewhere, and if you don’t take the time to address who you’re talking to, they will know your attention to detail is low, and will more than likely delete your guest post pitch before even reading it.

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The next piece of the pitching puzzle you need to focus on is the headline.

According to Carol Tice, a bad headline is the #1 killer of a guest post being accepted, and I absolutely agree. It’s the first thing the readers will see, and it’s the words that get tweeted with the article link, so it has to be attention grabbing.

Take the time to study classic headline copywriting, and figure out a way to make an attention grabbing headline that works well for your target audience.

There are some headline formulas that convert really well, while others that are absolutely horrible for conversions, so while a headline may be a small piece of your guest post, it’s absolutely the most important.

Once you get your guest post idea accepted, you need to take the time to write up a well researched article. Your goal should be to write an article that is 10X better than any other content on the blog you’re writing for, because you want every reader of that blog to become a reader of your own blog.

So spend a good amount of time writing quality, in depth content – and as an introvert, alone time researching is always fun ๐Ÿ™‚

Ebooks

Marketing is best when the potential buyer doesn’t even know they’re being marketed to. What better way to do this than writing and releasing free ebooks for people to download?

There’s a few ways you can utilize ebook marketing to build additional traffic for your website.

I have no doubt that you’ve seen at least 100 websites in your lifetime with a form somewhere on their page that wants you to sign up to their newsletter in exchange for an ebook of some sort. It’s because it works, and it also helps you get an email list started that you can promote your product or service to later on.

Another way to use ebooks for marketing is during the initial push for your business. Here you can utilize an ebook in order to spread your manifesto of ideas. This helps to solidify your branding and put your business right in the center of the target market you’re targeting.

Positioning yourself as an industry expert is another benefit of releasing ebooks. Writing an ebook and releasing it through your website will show off your knowledge of a topic your potential clients care about, which in turn makes your trust and authority skyrocket in the readers eyes.

In your ebook, you will not only show off your knowledge of the topic at hand, but throughout the ebook you can link to other content you’ve written on the web as well as make sure your name, website and social links are all prominent throughout the book.

One thing to remember is that with nearly one third of all Americans owning an iPad or e-reader, you need to ensure your ebook is optimized for mobile reading.

Newsletters

I know I touched on newsletters a bit in the ebook marketing section above, but it deserves it’s own break down, because of how powerful of a marketing tactic newsletters actually are.

For starters, 57% of email subscribers spend 10-60 minutes browsing marketing emails during the week. That’s more than enough time for you to grab their attention and put yourself at the forefront of their minds – and pockets.

Like previously mentioned, the headlines you use for your emails will be the most important part of your newsletter.

Follow the guidelines set up by Mailchimp laid out in their subject line data analysis and you’ll ensure that your newsletters are opened more often. According to the study, 28-39 words had the highest click rate in a study of 200 million emails, so keep it short and to the point.

Another area of newsletter marketing you need to focus on is readability. Because 41% of emails are opened on a mobile device, you need to ensure your newsletter is mobile friendly.

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That means there are some email templates out there that may look visually stunning, but will convert like absolute shit.

Keep your content inside of the email short and to the point. People’s attention spans are less than 8 seconds so you need to get your point across quickly. No long-winded paragraphs are needed here.

If you need to share a lot of info, write a sentence about it and link to it. Then, if the reader chooses to, they can open up the link and continue reading.

For business owners, or bloggers looking to sell an ebook or product/service, you need to be aware that according to McKinsey & Company, email is 40x more successful at acquiring new clients than both Facebook & Twitter.

This means, for all of the tweeting and Facebook status updates you post, your time could be spent much more effectively by setting up a newsletter and marketing to readers through it.

Always send a welcome email that acts as a reminder that they’re now on your newsletter, and use CTA’s throughout it to point them in the right direction to check out your products or services.

But where do you get the sign ups from? Well, for starters you can follow the ebook section of this guide and exchange an ebook for someones email address. It works wonders – I’ve personally used it on my freelance blog to get thousands of subscribers.

As far as newsletter sign up form placement goes, Derek from Social Triggers offers up 7 key places to add email signup forms.

  • The feature box
  • Top of sidebar
  • After single post
  • Website footer
  • About page
  • Sticky bar on top of site
  • Pop up box

One of my best converting sign up boxes on Guerrilla Freelancing is the after single post newsletter box.

People read your blog post, and then are instantly met with a CTA that gives them an added bonus – in my case, a free ebook – and nets you a new subscriber to market yourself to.

Need another example of the after single post newsletter box? Scroll down a bit to the end of this guide and you’ll see one in action ๐Ÿ™‚

When designing your newsletter boxes, make sure to choose a design that compliments, but still stands out from your website’s design. You want the newsletter box to ‘pop’, not blend in and go unnoticed.

Once you’ve got the user signed up, you’re able to put your introverted personality to work by setting up automation with your newsletter. Mailchimp has a great starter guide on email automation.

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The beauty of automation is that you can set up specific emails to send at certain time intervals – once a week, every week, for instance. By taking some time to craft a couple months worth of emails, you now have a steady stream of emails that send without you having to lift a finger.

Because you’re now utilizing email automation for your newsletter, you’re able to continue providing exceptional value as well as building up your reputation in the subscribers mind.

It’s also great for an added sales push down the road, but never send a sales pitch without providing value first – your conversion rates – and your bank account – will thank you.

Introverts are great at business building businesses

Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg are just some of the worlds most famous – and business savvy – introverts. If those three names don’t give you the added motivation to work hard and succeed in your internet based business, I don’t know what will.

Sure, as an introvert, you will likely find it hard to constantly be on. But, there are still ways introverts can succeed in business, and I hope that this guide sends you in the right direction.

Your success doesn’t come from over exertion, but quiet execution. Relish in that, and you’ll be OK ๐Ÿ™‚

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Comments

  1. Danny Margulies says:

    Great post, Mike. Some of the best people I’ve worked with — both clients and freelancers — have been “email only” types and it’s incredible how much we got done without all the BS of phone calls or meetings.

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