How to Promote Your Work When You’re an Introvert
How to Promote Your Work When
You’re an Introvert
For the longest time I thought being shy and being an introvert were the same thing. I learned I was wrong and what being an introvert meant (turns out, I’m not shy).
Being an introvert in a world that praises flashy and loud personalities sucks. Being an introvert when you are a creative and half of your career depends on your capacity to charm others so they will want to invest in you, or work with you is a double-sucker.
But that’s where we are at, so let’s tackle that problem that will become very real as soon as you set foot at a Film Festival. Labs are ok because everybody is in a Lab for the same purpose and it’s easy to geek out. But Film Festivals mean parties where, if you don’t want to end up in a corner looking like the-sapiens-that-wanted-to-be-a-plant (a tactic I master), you need to know how to lead a conversation so you spend a good time, leave a good impression, and potentially promote your work.
Photographer and entrepreneur Chase Jarvis did a great video about that exact topic, with specific tips and an overall view of the problem that I thought were spot on.
Here is Jarvis take:
- There are tactics you can implement to help you navigate the system. Those tactics come more naturally to extroverts, but we can master them too as long as we… practice! (tada)
- Navigating the system for us filmmakers, creatives, artists etc. means being able to interact with other humans, tell stories, and talk about our work.
Here are three tactics to use before you even try talking about your work. These three tactics are going to prepare the space for you to do so afterward.
- Tactic #: Break the ice by getting the other person talking. It’s about them first. Ask them interesting and open-ended questions. Avoid the ‘So… what do you do?‘ question at all cost.
- Tactic #2: Use the Triple Nod to keep them talking: slightly tilt your head and triple nod as someone is about to hit the end of a sentence (and possibly overall answer). The double goal here is to learn as much as possible about your interlocutor so you’ll have better chances to find the right angle to mention your own work later, but also to keep melting the ice. The longer you talk with someone, the higher the chances you’ll hit interesting grounds and you’ll be asked about your story.
- Tactic #3: SMILE to project positivity. Explicit and obvious, and yet a good reminder if, like me, you’re not a natural smiler and your interested face looks like a preoccupied mathematician trying to solve a great problem. Let’s smile.
If used correctly, these three tactics will have prepared the field for you to then talk about your work in a way that does not feel pushy -chances are you will be asked about it- and even better, feels relevant. Jarvis recommends here to focus on a story that sticks, something specific, that will -in a perfect world- echo back with what you talked about before.
And voila. That’s a great simple is good case. A four-steps tactic to help you improve your social skills at energy-sucking event and learn how to talk about your work in a graceful and relatable way.