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The message that “the online world is a noisy place” is pervasive. It’s also problematic. It can lead to the belief that you have to compete for attention.
The idea that you must fight to be heard can lead to spammy practices, chasing trends, and acting out of integrity. It feels bad and it’s not effective over the long term.
Quiet marketing is the opposite. It’s also something that, as an introvert, you are probably naturally good at. Here’s the definition…
… quiet marketing is creating consistent, quality content over a long period of time.
When you keep sharing valuable content with your audience, you do several things:
- You refine your voice and message
- You build trust with your audience
- You create a body of work that moves people towards working with you
On the podcast this week I explore why I think quiet marketing is the most effective way to grow your business over the long term. And how you can start doing it in your online business.
What you’ll learn on today’s episode:
- Why noisy online marketing tactics don’t work.
- How being an introvert is an advantage when marketing your business online.
- The three most common mistakes to avoid when creating content.
- How to be consistent even if you don’t want to post to a fixed schedule.
Featured on this episode:
Get more information about Business Growth Lab here: sallyannmiller.com/thelab/
Welcome to Introverts Thriving in Business, a podcast for introverts who enjoy the comfort of her, hate the idea of selling, and want to create a thriving business on their terms. If you are ready to go from overwhelmed and anxious, to feeling calm and accomplished in your business, then keep listening. I’m your host, Sally Miller.
Welcome back to the podcast, and I’m calling this week’s episode, “Quiet Marketing.” So, it’s my hope, my goal that by the end of listening to this episode, you’re going to understand what effective online marketing looks like, and what it doesn’t look like. And in fact, even more important than that, I want to show you how you can leverage your qualities, your personality, your traits, as an introvert to your advantage, because it can be an advantage, being an introvert online. So, let me show you how.
We’ll start by talking about what quiet marketing, online marketing is not, what I think does not work anymore. Now, these methods may well have worked in the past, and perhaps there are some audiences that enjoy these methods, but for you and me as introvert and for our perspective customers, it just isn’t effective.
So, online marketing, the non-quiet way is obviously not being the loudest person in the room, not competing for attention. This is so important, I need to repeat that, it’s not competing for attention. This is a mindset that I see is like, prevalent online, this idea that… I mean, I may have been guilty of talking this way in the past, that because the online marketing world is so crowded, you need to do something to stand out. And I’ve come to realize that that kind of talk, that kind of mindset leads to this idea that, okay, when I’m marketing, I have to compete for attention, I have to fight to get the eyes.
And the problem with having that kind of mindset around marketing your business, is it’s going to lead you down certain unnecessary rabbit holes, it’s going to have these chasing trends. It’s going to have you acting out of integrity with who you are, right? It can even have people lying, good people, just because you get so wrapped up in, “I need to get attention, I need people to see this, I need to do something to stand out,” okay?
Quiet marketing is the opposite of that. I really truly want you to drop this mindset that. Also quite marketing, it’s not about going viral, it’s not about having that one post that gets a million eyes on it and gets shared. It’s not saying, look at me, or doing things inadvertently to get people to look at you. It’s not about using click bait headlines that are spammy to encourage people to click through and then you do this bait and switch in your content. It has nothing to do with any of those things, okay?
Here’s what quiet marketing is; it’s so simple, it’s consistent, quality, content. That is it, and it works, okay? Now, this is really good news for us introverts, it means we don’t need to act out of character, we don’t need to pretend to be this extroverted person we’re not, we can lean into our strengths. Listen, as an introvert, you probably have some or all of these strengths. The ability to consume and process lots of information. In fact, you probably like doing that, right? You’re probably a deep thinker, you are good at coming up with and expressing ideas. You have a lot of empathy for people.
That last one is key when it comes to marketing, okay? Empathy for people. In fact, I’ll be more specific about that, is empathy for your people, your perspective customers. I want you to lean into all their strengths and then shed out the noise about loud marketing. Because to be honest, I don’t even think that works anymore, and it’s not going to work for you.
So, I’m going to break this definition down. So I said, quiet marketing is consistent, quality content. And I’m going to start with the quality content piece. And just talk about what that is. Because people tend to overcomplicate this. I see it all the time with my students, with my readers, with my fellow coaches, and online business, entrepreneurs. They tend kind to overthink this, is a really common mistake, overthink and try and be really clever and original all the time in their content.
Like occasionally, you might come up with a new idea, that is amazing, that you can’t wait to share. But you don’t have to do that every time, you don’t have to be constantly thinking up really original different ideas. Often, stating the obvious, but in a slightly different way so it clicks with people is much more powerful, or just as powerful. So first of all, don’t overthink, put out lots of content, even if you think this is obvious, surely, people already know that. Trust me, the obvious ideas are often the ones that are most powerful. It might be obvious to you, but it isn’t necessarily obvious to your paper.
Another common mistake, which is going to prevent you from creating quality content is talking to the wrong people. By the wrong people, I mean anyone other than your potential customers, your tribe, your people. So, examples of the wrong people—and I’ve done this, I get it—that you find yourself tempted to talk to, or just talking to without realizing it are your friends. You think they’re listening in, and maybe you don’t want them to think badly of you, or your mentors, or your peers. Again, you want to impress them, and you use these, this can often lead you to trying to be overly clever, when you really don’t need to be.
Or on the other side of the scale, it can be talking to your haters, or even not your haters, but the people who need convincing. That has you slipping into weird salesy, convincing energy. No, don’t talk to any of those people, just talk to your people. The people who get you, and the people who want whatever it is that you sell, whatever it is your business does, okay? That is quality content, is helping your people. I’ll say it again, quality content is nothing, more complex than creating content that’s helpful to your people, the right people.
Now, the pieces I really want to spend more time on, because you will think that you’ve got to take these fancy copywriting courses, or read all these books about how to create content. If you are just focusing on your people and what’s helpful to them, trust me, your content will be quality, it will be good enough, it will be helpful enough. The place where I see most people go wrong, and have the most problems is the other part of definition. So, remember, I said, quiet market is consistent quality content, and that word consistency, trips people up, okay?
So, I think this word consistency can be used many ways, and I understand different people struggle here. So, first of all, I just want to put to rest this idea that consistency means you have to post on a fixed schedule. Now, a fixed schedule works for a lot of people. If you’re the sort of person who likes rules, likes habits, likes ticking things off a to-do list, and I’m kind of that person, it varies, then a fixed schedule, by which I mean I’m going to post every Monday and Wednesday, could well work for you.
But if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t like a fixed schedule, actually rebels against it, or finds it shuts down your creativity, then consistency doesn’t have to be a fixed schedule. It just needs to be a volume of content over a long period of time. Again, a volume of content over a long period of time. So, there might be one week where you’re feeling super inspired and you post every day, like 5, 6, 7, 10 posts, they might be really short tweets for example, I don’t know where you’re posting.
Or it could be that you just keep showing up roughly once a week, some weeks twice, you might miss a week, and then suddenly you have a storm of inspiration. It doesn’t matter, you’re building up a volume of content. If someone looked back over and by a long period of time, let’s go with at least 6 months here, okay? It can take a year to gain traction, it’s definitely, a long period of time, it’s definitely not 30 days, 30 days does not cut it. You’re going to see some traction in 30 days, but it’s definitely not going to create, that’s not a volume of content over a long period of time.
But what I mean is, let’s say we take a 6-month period, you look back on the content you’ve put out there, and you are going to see a good volume built up, all right? Think about the story of the hare and the tortoise. I don’t want you to be the hare, okay? This is a famous story, the hare’s the one that races a head, but then gets distracted along the way. Whereas the tortoise is the one that keeps steadily moving forward. I want you to think more in terms of being the tortoise than the hair. Listen, when you have moments of inspiration, then by all means have a burst of content.
But when that inspiration wears off, which it will do, don’t go to zero, go back to being the tortoise. Go back to just consistently churning something out that’s helpful to your people. Such a common mistake I see, I see it with my students all the time, is posting once or twice, and then thinking nobody’s engaging, my business idea must be wrong, all right? My message must be wrong.
Once or twice does not cut it, it’s just not enough time, it’s not enough data. You can go back and listen to the podcast episode a couple of weeks ago, on running better experiments, and yes, putting a piece of content out there is just an experiment. But you want to run a lot of experiments in order to really understand what people engage with, to learn from your content.
But here’s the other thing, you also need that volume of content before the people who are listening to your message actually feel moved to take action. Think about it as a snowball, right? You know the snowball analogy. Creating your volume of content, creating your data, putting out your body of work is like that snowball. You’re rolling the snowball down the hill, and at first it might be slow going, maybe you’re not even going down the hill, you’re going along the flat, all right? And you’re pushing that snowball and it’s small, and it’s really hard to push.
But as it rolls, that ball picks up more and more snow, it’s getting bigger and bigger, that’s your content getting bigger. And eventually, it reaches this certain critical mass, I don’t know when that’s going to be, but trust me, it’s not one post, it’s not two posts, it’s not normally even 30 days when that snowball gains momentum, and it starts moving a lot faster. The message from that analogy is, yeah, it can be slow at first, but that’s okay. Keep running experiments, keep posting helpful content, and do it consistently, not on a fixed schedule, if you don’t like fixed schedules, but just keep churning it out there.
Another comment on that consistent content is, I get it, human nature wants a couple of things; First of all, we want fast results, all right? But also, human nature fears failure, fears, judgment, and this is one of the biggest obstacles to creating that consistent content. Because when you’re putting data out there, putting content out there, when you are sharing online, and you are not really getting much engagement, maybe a couple of likes from your friends, and a couple of comments on well done on your new business, but that’s it. The voice of self-doubt starts to talk up, it starts to explain and come up with all the reasons why you should just stop.
You need to train your brain to let all of that go, you want to train your brain to let go of this idea that I need instant results that this one post is going to be the one thing that’s going to really have my business take off, you’ve got to let all that attachment go, and also let go of that fear of judgment, fear of failure.
I actually have a resource for you that I want to point you to, to help you do that. It’s called the visibility challenge, I’ll link to it in the show notes, I did a podcast episode on that. And if you go to my website for the visibility challenge, there’s also a download. And the whole idea that visibility challenge, was to have you keep showing up to retrain your brain, that it doesn’t have to be scary showing up online, but also to create that volume of quality content, some of it can be bad content, just keep showing up by the way, keep experimenting, but to have you doing that.
My students inside business growth lab that have done the visibility challenge, have all seen incredible results. They’ve landed clients, they’ve grown in confidence, they’ve refined their message, they got a lot clearer about what kind of content really engages with people, and what doesn’t, okay? But I’m going to keep saying this, I know this isn’t exciting, I know this isn’t sexy, I know this isn’t the get rich quick fast message, but it’s so important. You’ve got to keep showing up over a long period of time. That is what quiet marketing is.
So, what are your next steps? Go ahead, and if you haven’t already done it, pick a marketing channel, and I’ll do another podcast episode on this. It doesn’t matter which marketing channel, okay? There’s better channels and worse channels, go with somewhere you’re comfortable. By marketing channel, by the way, I usually mean something on social media, it could be Twitter, it could be LinkedIn, it could be Instagram, Facebook. It can also be like YouTube or TikTok, it could be live streaming, it could be posting long form blog content on medium.
Pick a platform, a channel, a marketing, a place online where other people could be listening to you, and then start posting consistently. Go download and listen to the visibility challenge, if you haven’t already done so, and you need a little bit of extra help doing that. And when you do it, lean into your strengths as an introvert, you don’t have to be the loudest person on the internet, this should be good news for you. In fact, you only need a very small and committed following to build up a viable side business online. Or even a viable full time 6 figure business, okay? So, go ahead, do that, keep showing, and let go of this idea that I have to compete for attention. Just go out there and help your people. I’ll see you next time.
If you are ready to thrive in business, I want to invite you to join Business Growth Lab. This is my group program, where I teach you the exact process I and my students have used to grow profitable businesses we love. When you join the lab, you get lifetime access to everything you need, grow a 6-figure business. The training, expert coaching, accountability, and community. The approach we take is scientific, we don’t dabble at business, and we don’t waste time. You’ll create your business on a solid foundation, using proven methods. To join, go to www.sallyannmiller.com/thelab. We’ll see you inside.