Social media marketing is inherently social. It goes without saying, but this is not restricted just to the social networks themselves. A marketer needs to be able to build trusted relationships with their online community, and they also need to form mutual, collaborative ones with their colleagues and other industry peers.
All this interaction is emotionally draining for those who lean towards introversion. We’re the selectively-social, the thinkers, the dreamers. Spending too much time with others can be mentally exhausting, especially when it is not on our own terms.
I have found the ways of working that allow me to overcome this on a day-to-day basis, and to perform to the best of my ability. I’d love to share them with you, with the hope that they may be useful.
First of all, I need to caveat something. I am privileged. I have been able to work with accommodating businesses over the years. Some more so than others, but not everyone is fortunate enough to have understanding bosses or flexibility in any shape or form. For those people, you have my empathy. I’d love to hear about how you cope instead. Feel free to drop me a tweet – @lisaboylesmedia.
How I perform at my best as an introvert:
- Own my space
If you have your own set desk, keep it clutter free and add some touches that soothe you. It could be a plant or a photo of your family. A soft toy or a recent award. Anything that helps you to own your space.
At the moment I work on hot desks. Clutter, however, stresses me out and is detrimental to the quality of my work. To prevent this, I claim the same desk every morning and keep it as clear of other people’s clutter build up as possible. On days where I come in later and only messy hot desks are available, I will choose to go and sit with other teams or in another part of the office – but begrudgingly. The familiarity of my space helps me to feel safe and at ease, so I am never overly thrilled when it doesn’t work out that way some days.
2. Let the room fill up around me
I will always be one of the first people to arrive at a party or social event. When I was younger, I thought this was because of my ingrained belief that being late was rude. As I learned to understand myself better, I realised it’s because I like to familiarise myself with my surroundings (and potential ‘escape’ areas) before it becomes busy and noisy.
3. Work during the hours I’m most productive
For me, it’s first thing in the morning. I am a morning person in this sense, but that doesn’t mean I am not grumpy for a good few hours. (Please do not try to ask me questions between 6am and 9am). I like to arrive at work just after 7am. This gives me a couple of hours of undisturbed time to work up to engaging with my colleagues, whilst also easing some of my workload which I’d otherwise be unable to due to meetings and chit chat. By starting early, I can also leave earlier (usually around 4pm). By this time I am all peopled out, my work pace is beginning to slow, and I am ready to enjoy the long evening.
4. Do my networking online
Mindless small talk (especially with strangers) is my nightmare. I hate it. It is impersonal, and I’m very aware that no one really cares about what I have to say in those settings. I build up my network of contacts via social media – for example on Twitter Chats, via LinkedIn, or in industry groups/forums. Trust and respect are built up over time, and I can also do it from the comfort of my bed in PJs.
5. Work from home as often as I can
Businesses that allow you to work from home are the future. Not only do I mentally recharge from human overload from the preceding days, but I am also significantly more productive. There are no meetings to fill my time, and less time spent (wasted, in my opinion) chatting about the weather or what we got up to that weekend. I can just crack straight on and power through. It’s amazing! Weeks, where I don’t have my one or two days at home, are a mental struggle for me, and this affects the quality of my weekends if I can’t spend some work time at home.
If you’d like to chat some more about social media marketing, or even smashing it as an introvert, feel free to drop me a tweet – @lisaboylesmedia.