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How to build an introvert-friendly online business

Regardless of what type of business you own, you need paying clients. That’s a given. But when you are an introvert with a new online business, you also need to figure out how to go about doing that in an introvert-friendly way.

Otherwise, you’ll struggle and burn out. And that defeats the purpose of starting your online business in the first place.

So what does it look like to run an introvert-friendly online business?


In my opinion, it’s about balancing respect for the introvert IN your business AND strategic actions required to grow your online business. It can’t be one or the other.

Let me explain what I mean.

Introverts experience energy drain from too much stimulation. In particular, too much “people-ing” drains us. We are naturally more inwardly focused. We listen (often to what’s not being said). Being internal processors, we need time to contemplate, organize, and prepare our thoughts and ideas before we extend ourselves outward. That’s why many of us work best alone and uninterrupted before we collaborate. This gives our responses and creations depth.

While these factors contribute to our introvert strengths, they can also be perceived negatively as stereotypes.

Sometimes introverts themselves can make the mistake of falling back on those stereotypes to avoid doing what is necessary to reach out to potential clients.

If you find yourself saying or thinking something related to your introversion that drains you and ultimately feels like self-sabotage, I’m talking to you!


It’s easy for an introvert to cringe at a lot of the business advice out there. And it’s easy to feel pressured and overwhelmed by it too.


We prefer individual or small group conversations versus large networking events. We need solitude for our well-being. We value privacy. We require time to process our ideas. We prefer that our work speaks for itself. We don’t want to feel like we’re forcing ourselves onto people or into their space. We don’t necessarily measure our success in terms of “go big or go home”. We don’t need to be front and center.

That’s why it can sometimes feel like WHO we are runs counter to much of what is required of us in putting ourselves out there to attract the customers we need for our business to succeed.

So a natural reaction to the expectations (and aspirations) that seem much more extrovert focussed – especially in terms of visibility and self-promotion – might be to:

    • resist and pull away into the comfort zone of our home office, closing ourselves off to others, and deciding not to take action in our business until it feels right.
    • overthink the options, feel the fear of having to put ourselves out there before we’re “ready”, and then we get stuck in inaction (which feels mildly comfortable except we begin to feel trapped and ashamed).
    • push ourselves because we have been told we “should” choose a particular method for visibility, and take the leap before preparing ourselves or having support. Then, when we don’t get the results we wanted, we interpret that as reinforcement of the fact that it wasn’t worth doing in the first place. And then we retreat and get stuck in analysis paralysis.
    • have the intention and commitment to take action but have so much swirling around in our mind that we convince ourselves that we don’t know what to do next. This fuels our self-doubt and further depletes our energy.

Can you relate?

Now don’t get me wrong. Introverts are not all the same and I don’t claim to be the voice of the introvert online business owner. The point is that we need to understand ourselves and treat each other with respect as unique and capable individuals. Negative stereotypes and pressure to be something that we’re not doesn’t help anyone.


So the challenge for the introverted online business owner is to find that balance. Respect your introversion AND find ways to connect with potential clients in a non-icky way that works for you.


Learn from others. Listen to advice and strategies. Experiment. And then tweak everything to make it work better for YOU. Knowing and respecting your introvert strengths, and then trusting yourself, is a significant part of your job as you build an introvert-friendly business.

It takes time to figure out how to make your new business work in an introvert-friendly way that doesn’t feel manipulative and frustrating to you. And it takes time to earn clients and generate consistent revenue.

Being your own boss is not for the faint of heart. It takes vulnerability, commitment, courage…and action. Every single day!

That’s why I believe that it’s important to run your introvert-friendly online business with an ebb and flow. Inward. Outward.

We can learn how to find a rhythm to include both clarity and courage so that you can build your confidence as a successful online business owner.

That leads me to an invitation for you.


Be Your Own Business BESTY touchpoint tool

During Wise Introvert’s Be Your Own Business BESTY 5-day challenge in September, we practiced using 5 personal touchpoints so that you can balance respect for the introvert IN your business AND strategic actions required to grow your new online business. Even though you might have missed out on the challenge, you can still put the BESTY tool to practice on your own.  Download it today by signing up below.


YES, I want to use the BESTY touchpoint tool!


Entrepreneurship is not just for extroverts! You don’t have to fake it to have a successful online business!

Be Brave. Be Seen. Be True. Be YOU…and don’t forget your energy!

Be your own business BESTY!

Niche: An Energy Saver for Introverts in Online Business

Have you come across business content that confuses you, or makes you work too hard to figure out exactly what the person does and for who? My guess is yes, of course. We all do. That’s probably because there is no clear niche. So everything feels sort of generic and wishy-washy.


When that happens, most of us decide to move on. As a business owner, that is bad news.


Introverted women building online service-based businesses will reach out to me because they are struggling to find clients, despite their commitment and effort. Frustration and doubt are starting to take a toll and they know that something needs to change. They usually think it’s about social media strategy or starting to pay for Facebook ads and the like.


But when I look at their websites and content, I’ll see different topics directed at different client groups with no real clarity about how it all fits together or what problem is being solved. The language doesn’t really connect. Nothing really stands out.


When you make it difficult for your readers to understand that you are here to help THEM with their particular problems, you lose them.


When they can’t easily understand, “What’s in it for me?”, they move on to the next option, causing you to spend more energy to keep trying to find a buyer.


It’s exhausting. And it’s impossible for an introvert to sustain a business this way.


Here’s what I think happens.


As a business owner, you have a lot of ideas for how you can help people and you haven’t really honed in on the main client group you want to target. You don’t want to leave anyone out. And you believe that drawing from a larger audience will make it easier to fill your offers.


What this really means is that, as an introvert, your precious energy and focus is scattered with a sort of shiny object syndrome.


Can you relate?


Here’s the thing. Especially for introverts who really do NOT want to do the group networking thing, focusing your energy on addressing one problem for particular people who share that problem makes life easier.


Plus, I think it’s more effective to choose a clear niche. Here’s why:


We’ve had a really hot and dry summer here in BC so our town has implemented significant water restrictions. On our watering days, my hubby goes out with the hose and sprays down all the garden beds.


Alternatively, I go around with a bucket of water and focus on soaking the potted plants.


Which ones do you think look healthier today?


The garden beds that were given a spray with the hose survived (after he stood out there for an hour each time), but the pots are flourishing (after I took about 5 minutes each time).


And I think that’s what we introverts need to do in our businesses too.


Selectively and strategically focus our energy and attention on ONE thing that will thrive, versus MANY things that simply survive.


Not only will that save us energy, but momentum will build as you start seeing results for your efforts which will help to fuel you.


That doesn’t mean you can’t serve others or get creative with your offers. It just means that you are going to choose one specific problem to help a particular type of person with first and focus on them for the next three months minimum (it should be longer but that idea might send you into a panic and you’ll resist choosing a niche at all!).


Honing in on a niche is not a lifelong commitment…I also have a tendency to stick to something for two years max and always have new ideas. But trust me when I tell you that, if you are having trouble finding enough clients, it is well worth it to put your blinders on to all the distractions and possibilities for a while.


If you value simplicity and minimalism in your life, this is the approach I want you to apply to your business.


So the key questions are:


  • WHAT specific problem are you especially drawn to helping people address? (Often it’s something that draws on your own experience and pulls on your heartstrings)


  • WHO are you especially drawn to working with who is experiencing this problem right now? (Go beyond the usual avatar/demographic checkboxes and think about what’s going on in their life, what they value, what they hope for, where they hang out, etc. Try to think of one real person to use as inspiration.)


  • HOW can you reach the lowest hanging fruit that will take the least amount of effort with the biggest impact? (Quickly and easily creating results for happy clients who will actively refer you)


When you commit to more niche clarity, you can then easily brainstorm all the ways that you can get in front of these people that do NOT require you to go to generic networking events. That’s good news!


I’m happy to talk through this with you as you clarify the target niche for your specific service-based online business. It’s part of what I do in my laser coaching/consulting sessions.

OR, you can DIY it with my self-paced mini-course: Name & Claim Your Niche – Define your Target Market, Visualize Your Ideal Client & Demystify your Niche so you can Become DISCOVERED & Get PAID (without draining your introvert energy)


Sending positive energy your way fellow introvert solopreneur…you can do this!

~ Marla