An Introvert Does Marketing Part 4: My take on the experience and a rebellion

I rebelled recently. I rebelled against all things marketing. I stopped writing things that could be used for marketing, I didn’t post on social media for a few days, and I didn’t talk to anyone except to say things like: “Could I have a slice of that pizza there, please?” or “Debit, please”. I was over it. I was done. I had been doing these marketing things for days and even weeks, and nothing was happening.

At one point, I even questioned what I was doing all of this for, and “is this business the right business for me to be in? Should I switch? Should I just get a job?” I spent an entire day not doing any marketing as I contemplated these questions and spun myself into a thousand stress-filled knots.

It’s true that there are parts of marketing that aren’t so bad and that I can tolerate for short periods of time. There are things that I’ll never do that are, in my opinion, completely unnecessary for anyone to do (cold-calling anyone?).

And I can’t tell you how tired I am of the commercials that are everywhere! Do TV shows, radio, and any other type of show with ads exist for entertainment, or as something to play between sets of commercials? I guess it’s a symbiotic relationship like when the cleaning fish goes inside the mouth of an eel to clean it, and the eel agrees not to eat the cleaning fish.

Maybe I’m just in a bad mood this week, and so the marketing thing is the first thing to go. Let’s see if I can rationalise a bit further on my week of rebellion against marketing (and my marketing strategy) because I’ve got a bad case of the “I don’t wanna’s” when it comes to marketing and it’s time to make up some reasons as to why. It could be that it’s just not fun and I’m tired of not having fun. The season I’m in right now is summer, after all and summer is supposed to be about fun. I mean, that’s how summer products are marketed, aren’t they?

Let’s go back to my original rant about how it’s not working. The marketing book I’m reading says that I should be halfway to my goal by now. I’m still at zero for my goal. Nevermind what my goal is, but I’m starting to think that marketing just isn’t working for me, and that’s only partly because I never wanted to do it in the first place. When I took marketing courses in university as part of my business degree, I can tell you it was only slightly more fun than accounting and I only took the required courses. I didn’t have an aversion to marketing at the time, I just preferred other topics. Marketing is much harder to do – and therefore easier to procrastinate from doing – as an entrepreneur than it was to sit in a class and listen to somebody talk about why someone would ever market purple ketchup.

What are some other rationalisations I’m thinking of? We’ve got “it’s not working anyway, so I can stop now”. Here’s one: I don’t think I really need to do marketing for what I’m doing. There are many who would beg to differ simply because not many people know what I’m doing. Yes, I do change my mind now and again about what I’m doing and how, and it’s not out of a fear of missing out. I just like to try new things and see if I like that better than the other thing that I’m not doing anymore.

Marketing makes me feel anxious too, and I’ll do just about anything to stop feeling anxious. I once jumped out of a perfectly good airplane so I’d stop feeling anxious about it. I won’t be doing that again, but that’s beside the point. Is it self-care to avoid marketing in order to avoid anxiety? I can think of a few people who could poke holes in that rationalisation right away.

I think one reason for my rebellion that I would stand up for was that it could be that it was a lot, or maybe it’s not important to know why. I don’t like marketing. There, I said it. If I were to hire someone for my business, it would be to do marketing.  That way I can sit over here in my apartment behind my computer screen and do things in secret so that nobody has to know about them, and my marketing person can spin it for me in public. Every now and again I’ll come out from under the covers and talk marketing strategy “for the good of my business”. After that, it’s back under the bed I go, or maybe to talk to some of my clients who got hooked on my introverted-marketing.

Basically, I’ve got nothing in terms of good reasons not to do marketing in any way. It’s something that needs to be done. The best is when marketing is done by accident. Like when I’m talking to somebody I know or even someone I recently met, and the conversation goes into “have you done anything fun lately?” and somehow it links up to what we do for “work” and then someone says “I didn’t know you did that! That’s amazing! I could definitely use your services. I’ve been thinking of doing that for a long time. Let’s set up a meeting”. I would say that this accidental marketing is the favoured kind of marketing for an introvert who is doing marketing. Think of it like this: if I’m already talking to somebody, they’re technically not a stranger anymore, and they are probably interested at least a little bit, since they haven’t yet left to check out the empty buffet table or their fitness tracker stats. I guess marketing really does mean coming out from under the bed, out of the office, and being seen and heard sometimes. And then of course, going back to my quiet, comfortable space to recharge.

So, marketing aside, you might be wondering: how does an introvert get noticed in life in general? Typically what happens is we wait until somebody notices that we’re missing. It could take a while, especially if nobody noticed we were there in the first place (introverts don’t travel in packs, but odds are there’s more than one in the room). That’s why I wear brightly coloured clothing: If nobody notices me, at least they’ll notice my outfit.

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