How to boost your brand without compromising your comfort zone

The Ultimate PR Guide for Shy and Introverted Business Owners

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Hannah Elizabeth Leach, PR Consultant & Founder of Hawthorn House PR & Copywriting
Hannah Elizabeth Leach, PR Consultant & Founder of Hawthorn House PR & Copywriting

“The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight, for others, a lamplit desk.”

Susan Cain

We’ve all seen those people who glide through media interviews like a gazelle. Exuding confidence, charisma and owning that centre stage. But what if you’re a business owner who is shy or introverted?

You want your business to succeed and know that PR can propel your brand’s profile. But you know that being interviewed on prime time BBC news is a recipe for a sleepless night and heap of worry on your shoulders. 

As an introvert myself, I can relate those who make not feel entirely comfortable in the spotlight – even though I do this as my day job! But the good news is, there are tons of ways to gain some great publicity for your business in a way that’s fun and comfortable for you… 

1. Start small and simple

Emma Watson. Barak Obama. Christina Aguilera. Meryl Streep.

All have made their mark on the world, but did you know that they all identify as being introverts? 

My point here is, that if you are introverted or a little shy, or new to PR, you don’t need to go all guns blazing for PR to be effective. You just need to start somewhere- as these people would have at some point in their journey.  

A great tip I would recommend is to follow #journorequest on Twitter. This is the hashtag journalists use to ask for input from the public and comments with their articles. Monitor what journalists are asking for and if you can help them, do it. This hashtag has helped me scoop a host of coverage for clients from the Metro to the BBC, and can be easily done yourself just by monitoring the hashtag. 

2. Play to your strengths and do what you enjoy   

If public speaking is something you’d rather avoid, don’t let this stop you from getting out there and shouting about how great your brand is. 

As introverts, we’re often known for being empathic, great listeners and writers. So if your strengths lie in writing, do your research and reach out to media outlets who might be looking for guest articles, blogs, and thought leadership pieces. Pitching ‘How to guides’ is also a great way to reach your target audience and share your expertise – building the ‘know, like, trust factor’. 

Remember to think about what the journalists want to cover, rather than just what you want to gain from it. It isn’t about you – it’s about what their audience will find useful. 

3. Pitch to podcasts

It’s fair to say that the podcast phenomena has exploded exponentially in the pandemic. According to Statista, there’s was an estimated 15.6 million listeners to podcasts in 2020 in the UK alone – with the amount rising each year.

Podcasts are great of testing the water with audio interviews as they sound and feel like real conversations – without the distraction of a camera. They can also be edited so if you fluff your lines it’s not the end of the world. As long as you do your research into podcasts that your ideal audience are listening to, you can be sat at home in your PJ’s reaching thousands of new potential ideal clients.

4. Remember who you are helping 

If you do identify as an introvert, shouting out about your achievements or what you offer may not sit comfortably with you. But there is a way to sell yourself without it feeling a bit cringe… 

When pitching yourself to journalists and editors, remind yourself of who you are helping and how you are making people’s lives better. 

By getting out there and being featured in the press, it will help you spread your message further-reaching more people and enriching more lives…which can only be a good thing, right? 

So to all those business owners who are putting off gaining a bit of publicity for their business, I hope this has given you a few ideas to work with.

Yes: TV may be the pinnacle of publicity amongst marketers. It’s also on lots of business owners bucket lists. But it’s not for everyone and there are so many ways you can gain great publicity for your business, without a camera in sight. 

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