Have you ever been told by an expert that you “should” market 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 that marketing is also alien to them.
My approach is different. I give you permission to ignore any marketing method that feels uncomfortable or contrary to the way you normally operate in the world. I encourage you to replace those “must haves” with marketing vehicles that better fit who you are. That way, you can engage in marketing with gusto and effectively.
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 himself and feels drained when he’s too close to other people. (Extroverts, by contrast, feel drained and restless when they’re alone and recharged with other people.)
In the Myers-Briggs personality system, an ISFP (Sensing/Feel/Perceive Introvert) is calm, friendly, sensitive, and kind. They have an artistic sensibility, tend to live in the moment, and usually keep their feelings to themselves. In order for something to hold their attention and commitment, an ISFP must be emotionally engaged. Their talents usually involve the senses or movement.
According to personality observers, prominent 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 Saint Francis of Assisi.
If the Myers-Briggs test reveals that you are an ISFP, you enjoy spontaneity, handle practical matters well, need a 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 uncomfortable with it. Instead, allow yourself to gravitate towards marketing tactics that fit your love of freedom and a vibrant life, such as:
Publish a video, photography or audio blog that highlights sensations and points of view about them.
Being interviewed on TV, radio, teleseminars or in person where you can explain things in a colorful way or even demonstrate for the audience.
Cultivate referral sources who value your talents
Meet with potential and actual customers in person instead of over the phone or email
Attract followers on Facebook and Twitter
Create events where people can experience what you have to offer.
Hosting business-related parties that are known for unusual food, decorations, ambiance, or entertainment
Send short, breaking updates to subscribers whenever you want (not on a set schedule)
As an ISFP, avoid marketing projects that include a heavy emphasis on data, detail, or analysis, as well as complicated projects that require precise coordination with others. You don’t multitask, so be content with doing things one at a time. You also do not get along with the fast “Type A” gifted, as you prefer to work at a measured or even leisurely pace. Since you are sensitive to criticism, avoid situations where you open yourself up to feedback from those who don’t care about you.
You may find greater or easier success with the help of an empathic coach who helps you recognize, value, and express your talents.