Ever been told by an expert that you “must” market in a certain way and cringed, because that marketing technique felt alien to your personality? For some business owners and entrepreneurs, such an incident is so vivid in their memory that they decided marketing is alien to them as well.
My approach is different. I give you permission to ignore any marketing method that feels uncomfortable or contrary to the way you habitually operate in the world. I encourage you to replace those “musts” with marketing vehicles that better fit who you are. That way, you can throw yourself into marketing with gusto – and with effectiveness.
To discover your comfortable marketing style, take the Myers-Briggs personality test. If you feel a significant disconnect between your personality and marketing, chances are you’re an introvert – someone who recharges alone and feels drained when around other people too much. (Extroverts, by contrast, feel drained and unsettled when alone and recharge around other people.)
In the Myers-Briggs personality system, an ISFP (Sensing/Feeling/Perceiving Introvert) is quiet, friendly, sensitive and kind. They have an artistic sensibility, tend to live in the moment and usually keep their feelings to themselves. For something to sustain their attention and commitment, an ISFP must be emotionally engaged. Their talents generally involve either the senses or movement.
According to personality watchers, noted ISFPs include Marilyn Monroe, Brooke Shields, Donald Trump, Fred Astaire, Michael Jackson, Yogi Berra, Harry Potter, Richard Branson, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Steven Spielberg, Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand, Cher, the cartoon character Charlie Brown and St. Francis of Assisi.
If Myers-Briggs testing reveals that you are an ISFP, you enjoy spontaneity, handle practical issues well, need a certain degree of solitude and make decisions using your feelings as a guide. To the extent that marketing involves routines and rules, you will feel caged and ill at ease with it. Allow yourself to gravitate instead to marketing tactics that fit your love of freedom and vibrant living, such as:
· Publishing a video, photographic or audio blog that highlights sensations and insights about them
· Being interviewed on TV, radio, teleseminars or in person, where you can explain things colorfully or even demonstrate for the audience
· Cultivating referral sources who value your talents
· Meeting potential and actual clients in person rather than on the phone or via email
· Attracting followers on Facebook and Twitter
· Creating events where people can experience what you have to offer
· Hosting business-related parties that get known for unusual food, decorations, ambiance or entertainment
· Sending short, newsy updates to subscribers when you feel like it (not on a set schedule)
As an ISFP, avoid marketing projects that include a heavy emphasis on data, details or analysis as well as complicated projects requiring precise coordination with others. You don’t multitask well, so content yourself with doing things one at a time. You also don’t jibe well with speedy “Type A” overachievers, as you prefer working at a measured or even leisurely pace. Since you are sensitive to criticism, avoid situations where you open yourself up to commentary from those who don’t have your best interests at heart.
You may find greater or easier success with the aid of an empathetic coach who helps you acknowledge, value and express your talents.