Personal Branding for Introverts and Extroverts

career development entrepreneurship personal branding women and work Dec 22, 2020

Personal branding is beneficial to both introverts and extroverts. I’ve supported both types of people to develop their personal branding and I’ve learned a thing or two about their differences. 

As an introvert myself personal branding pushed me out of my comfort zone more than it would an extrovert. On the other hand almost all of the women I work with, including extroverts, are concerned about the optics of sharing their successes and strengths. The disparaging comments about people, especially women, who are confident about their abilities, is holding us back. Bragging and self righteousness are not the same thing as confidence and the ability to prove our work. Unfortunately, the lines are blurred. 

Talking about your work with confidence might come more naturally to extroverts, but they can still benefit from the focus they get from personal branding. I was recently asked by an HR professional about the differences in supporting introverts and extroverts build their brands at work. Here’s what I told them:

Let's go back to what it means to have a personal brand. Personal branding is all about trust. Specifically, personal branding is building trust by communicating your value to your target audience (and target audience is another word for stakeholders). This means there are three aspects of personal branding:

  • target audience
  • Your value
  • communication

There may be one of these aspects that you’re stronger in and another that you struggle with. I’m generalizing here that introverts will struggle with the same thing and extroverts will struggle with the same thing. You may not find this to be true for you or your team. Many introverts, like myself, enjoy public speaking and many extroverts despise it. Keep reading! Even if you’re not the typical introvert or extrovert you’ll find this helpful.

Here’s how it often goes for introverts.

Introverts typically listen well but struggle to communicate. Their listening skills mean they’re attuned to their stakeholders and how they can best help them. However, they may not be taking advantage of opportunities or creating opportunities to get in front of their stakeholders and sharing that with them (what I mean by communicating). As you can see from my definition of personal branding, communicating is important. It’s not enough for you to know the great things about yourself and how you can solve problems, you need to communicate it with confidence.

Personal branding helps introverts overcome their communication struggles by getting them focused on and confident about the value of their work, and understanding the many ways they can share it with people. 

As for extroverts, personal branding helps them too! 

Extroverts may be great at communicating. They might enjoy taking the lead in meetings. They also love talking to people and sharing ideas. They are already great communicators, so the area they need to work on is understanding the value that they're bringing through the lens of other people.

Maybe they know they’re strong at developing innovative workplace educational programs. That’s fantastic but how does it translate to solving their stakeholders problems? It could be that their programs reduce on-site injuries, or that their financial acumen programs increase business growth. Understanding that problem and how their work helps solve it is their value through the lens of their target audience or stakeholder groups. 

So whether you’re in introvert or an extrovert, or somewhere in between, there’s probably an aspect of personal branding you’re naturally strong in and an aspect that you need to work on. If you’re a leader supporting a group of introverts and extroverts, consider the three aspects of personal branding and which area they struggle with and support them in that area. Make sure you celebrate their strengths too! 

As for me, I'm an introvert. Anyone who has known me for years can absolutely attest to this. They're probably shocked to see that I have dozens of videos online and that I speak regularly in front of large groups of people.

Although I have been an introvert my whole life and still consider myself to be one, focusing on communicating my brand shifted things for me. I’m sharing this because there’s this idea in our society that personal branding is something that's for extroverts, but introverts can absolutely do it too.  I’m your living proof!

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, my Be a Branded Boss online group course is for you! It’s an 8-week program where we meet for 90 minutes to develop your personal brand. At the end of the course you’ll know how to make more impact, know how to get the job of your dreams and negotiate for resources (like more money) more effectively. Not to mention the confidence you get from having a clearly defined brand.

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