I have a teenager who is just about to finish high school (…10 class contact days and counting).
These past two years have seen many deep discussions with her teachers, with her friends and with me about what she is interested in – what sorts of subjects and tasks that she likes and dislikes.
Her career guidance book is more well-thumbed than any fashion magazine, and she has mentally tried on hundreds of different career options for size.
She has undergone a barrage of psychometric testing and aptitude testing, all designed to give her some insights about careers that may match her personality and interests.
There is a saying by Confucius that is applicable to her journey over these past years of school, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
She knows that with her personality, while she can be bubbly and friendly on the surface, she needs regular time by herself to recharge her batteries. She is also someone who works best by herself and loves detail. She loves to plan, and meet targets and deadlines. She likes to do a little bit every day rather than stay up until 4am to finish projects. She hates surprises, group projects and last minute panic mode because plans have been derailed.
These preferences have influenced her career choice. She will be happiest in a career where she can set her own targets, work by herself to achieve them and where attention to detail is important.
A lot of work has been put into exploring discovering what she loves, but like anything in life, you often don’t know what you love until you test it out.
As a small child my daughter wanted to work in retail. When she became a teenager and started to work in a chain store, she realised how it was not a comfortable fit for her personality.
Personality & Marketing Choices
Most of us understand that our personalities influence our career choices, but what about our marketing choices?
Last week I was in a small business forum on Facebook, where a person had asked, “What is the most effective form of marketing to generate more leads?”
Hundreds of people chimed in with their answers.
“I get all my leads from large networking events.”
“I get all my leads from my e-book download and email auto-responders.”
“I get all my leads from actively forming connections with people in forums and supporting them while they support me.”
“I get all my leads from one or two close alliance partners.”
The more I read over the comments, the more intrigued I became. Because I knew many of these people, I knew a bit about their personalities and I could see their personalities reflected in their answers. (Disclosure time – I am MBTI accredited and have a majored in Psychology at Uni)
All the raging extroverts reported that they generated their best leads by face-to-face interaction and felt online marketing didn’t work.
All the introverts (who party on the inside) reported that they got their best leads by close alliances or through the distance of the web and felt networking didn’t work.
There are thousands of possible marketing options for any small business owner. Thousands of options that people can try on for size to see if they work. Why do some work and some fail dismally?
Why Some Marketing Fails
This got me thinking …
What if the marketing strategies they are failing in are the ones that don’t match their personality?
What if small business owners are doing what they think they “should” be doing with their marketing, or what others expect them to be doing, without exploring if the match is right for them and their personality?
Does This Sound Familiar?
Many small business owners who come to me are struggling with their marketing. They feel that they should be active on social media – sharing information and commenting on posts, when really they are most comfortable in the spotlight, sharing the stage at large events, chatting on TV, radio or podcasts.
They beat themselves up for not writing blogs each week, yet if you pulled out a smartphone and asked them a question on camera, they could talk until the cows came home.
I see this with other owners who force themselves to attend every networking event under the sun, only to spend the meetings as a wallflower hiding next to the sandwich tray.
My advice to my clients has always been – dedicate some time exploring who you are and what gives you energy. Do more of that in your marketing. Do what comes naturally to you rather than force yourself into being something that you are not.
Marketing If You Are Extroverted
If you get a buzz out of people and you gain your most energy from interacting with others, then your most successful marketing will come from networking and connecting with others face-to-face.
Explore live-streaming options such as Blab and Periscope. Start a podcast where you chat with other people. Hold events. Start a MeetUp Group. Join active Facebook or LinkedIn groups and leap in boots and all. Take booths at exhibitions. Hold live classes or group programs. Share your knowledge and experience through Q&A events.
Every aspect of your marketing needs a decent dollop of connection and interaction.
Marketing If You Are Introverted
If people are not really your thing (or only in small doses), and you gain your most energy from reflection and considered responses, then your most successful marketing will come from connecting and networking on your terms.
Consider a small weekly networking group where you get to know only a handful of people in a much deeper way. Form strategic alliances with one or two aligned businesses. Guest post on sites. Create knockout e-products, ezines and autoresponder sequences. Go for content upgrades to build your mailing list. Batch and schedule your social media interactions. Hold virtual classes or membership based websites. Split test to see what aspects of your online world generates the best response. Curate content and share links to great content around the net.
Give yourself space to interact at your pace.
Don’t Be Afraid To Test and Regroup
How many of us remain in the same careers all our lives? You try something out for a while and then almost by Osmosis you end up somewhere totally different. The same thing should apply with your marketing.
Test out options and if they don’t feel like a comfortable fit for you and you are not getting the results you are looking for (… and you are sure that it isn’t just a case of the discomfort of learning), then change and do something different.
Marketing and careers have more in common than most people realise – there is a world of opportunities out there that match your personality. Choose wisely!