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74 Comments

Being an Introvert, how should I build an audience?

I'm an introvert and I'm sure most of you are too.

I'm not very socially active. I just got about 50 followers on Twitter and I don't use Instagram or any other social network.
I signed up with a lot of maker's communities but struggling to engage and post consistently.

How should I motivate myself to engage with the community and curate and post useful content that can help me build a community?

PS: I'm trying to build a startup audience for the upcoming product iconvey.io

  1. 26

    Would you believe I'm introverted too?

    Honestly, I think the current digital world is perfect for introverts. We can pick and choose how we want to engage in a way that suits us.

    Growing your audience, relationships and community is nerve racking, but the more you step up the easier it gets.

    Too many people try to participate in too many places and it becomes overwhelming. Focus on quality relationships and discussions over anything else. It will give you practice...and practice makes permanence.

    1. 3

      Too many people try to participate in too many places and it becomes overwhelming.
      Focus on quality relationships and discussions over anything else.

      This is great. I have a long introvert/extrovert/introvert history, currently in an introvert phase because either that's my true self, or because I where I live the dominant language isn't my first language and I'm shy about my lack of mastery, but finding a few places where I focus on quality sounds great. It sounds like a way to make friends, or something like it, and be accepted in a group, which makes it much easier for introverts to open up.

      1. 2

        Oh, interesting, I've never thought about it in this perspective.

        I spent years building up Ministry of Testing, constantly refusing to to speak and do talks.

        Now in the indie, but more specifically community building world, I'm feeling really happy and comfortable doing talks about all the things. Part of this, is that it is all currently virtual, which works well for me.

        It's making me question the whole thing about introverts/extroverts. Is it more, just where we feel comfortable?

        1. 2

          How I understand it it has more to do with where you get your energy. So some introverts can be out going... But they are absolutely exhausted after that, where for extroverts it is the opposite. I suppose a question to ponder would be what you do to recharge? Do you go out with a bunch of friends or prefer quiet time at home with the family or with a good book?

          In any case, it was something that I was thinking about a couple of years ago as well

        2. 1

          Maybe it's just a state of mind.

          I feel like when I'm in my close group of friends or colleagues, I talk so much and I lead a team of developers with ease.
          But when it comes to new people or groups, it takes my breath away.

          So I guess yes, it's all about where we feel comfortable.

    2. 3

      Rosie, you inspire us all.

      I'll just focus on IndieHackers Community to start with, it is the best community I explored so far, everyone is so helpful, and engaging with other people is so easy.

      I'm sure It'll take time but I'll keep moving. One day at a time...
      Thanks.

    3. 2

      Introvert here, as well. +💯 to what @rosiesherry says.

      One other thing on the "where you show up," that I always try to remind folks: Participate on a platform where you enjoy creating content, even if it's not the primary platform where your community resides.

      Why? Personally, I realized that as I was trying to juggle multiple social platforms — most of which I didn't enjoy creating content on — it made creating content stressful. It became a chore. And it affected my engagement with the community.

      So I figured it was better to have a single channel where I could express myself authentically rather than go through the motions on a variety of platforms. And I still managed to find community — and I got the type of engagement I was seeking — even if it wasn't the primary platform for the bulk of the community.

      Hopefully, I'm making sense. I can never tell.

      1. 2

        That's 100% true.
        IH is the place where I like to contribute and share. I would continue to express myself here.

        Thanks Rick.

  2. 10
    1. Stop labeling yourself as an introvert.
    2. Tweet; "I did this today for iConvey."

    Gratz now you are building in public.

    1. 2
      1. Retweet other's tweets that you find valuable or just like.
      2. Reply even if it's just "awesome, man!" or another cliche.

      After a week or two of doing it consistently, you'll find out you're not an introvert anymore ))

      1. 1

        Well, it doesn't help to grow the audience. I tried this practice, had tons of likes but no followers...

    2. 1

      I may call yourself introvert or may not, but being an introvert puts some restrictions - it's 100% true. What we could do is just to aware of it (superimportant!) and act accordingly.

      1. 2

        Labeling yourself and hiding behind it also has its own restrictions. That's what I was trying to tell.

        Imagine Allen Iverson said, "I'm short, I can't play basketball". And his situation is physical not psychological.

        This is not a commercial but everything is possible, a regular engineer may go to Russia and ask them to buy their old rockets and become the world's richest guy.

        To be fair, none of the introverts would call themselves as it is at least loudly. It's a condition where the person scared to be judged and it's the first thing all these introverts spill out? I'll pass that. You all might be misanthropes but not introverts.

        About your growing strategy, you may executing the public tasks but it requires a lot more in the private space. You kinda have to network with everyone with DMs, leads, promotions, feedbacks maybe gossips if they are into it and tens more thing that I don't even know what the hell is going on behind the scenes.

        Building in public is something, succeeding while building in public is another.

        If you simply retweet 100 of builders, 10 may return the favor when you need it.
        If you provide feedback, generate leads, help them make them bucks. Numbers will go higher.

    3. 1

      You are the man!

      I just booked 10min on my calendar recurring every single day. I'll be posting regularly, Let's see how it goes.

      Thanks for the great advice @anilkilic

  3. 8

    I'm a hopeless introvert. I can barely say hi to my neighbours. My timeline and progress so far:

    • 11/2020: Incredibly nervous, didn't really use social media, was afraid to say anything online or msg anyone.

    • 12/2020: Started Signals. Started to post on LinkedIn, Twitter, Indie Hackers, Reddit. Was still incredibly nervous every time I posted. But forced myself to do it anyway. Got a little bit easier each time. Found out that 99.9% of reactions are positive or neutral, not negative. So most of my fears were in my head.

    • 01/2021: Found out that communicating online is great. Every time you post, something pops up: reactions, tips, new friends, opportunities etc. The worst that happens is that someone doesn't like your post. Feels bad for a sec. Then you forget about it.

    • 02/2021: Starting to feel more natural about writing. Signals is nearing 400 subs (= I post weekly to at least 400 people, seems crazy for an introvert!). Still get anxious if I have a bad moment but it happens like once per week anymore. I can see that there's a lot of people who like what I write about.

    Some mindset tips that have helped me:

    • The more you do it, the easier it gets. Try to be consistent.
    • Think about the worst case scenario and realize it's not bad at all.
    • Try to gamify it in your mind. Building your audience is a game for you now and your task is to find the strategy to beat the game. If you fail, so what? Try again. Just part of the game, no need to take it personally.
    1. 1

      Thank you @timosarkka for the great advice.

      It's always great to find like-minded people.

      1. 2

        No worries, happy to chat further if you want to exchange thoughts at some point :)

  4. 4

    A couple of things I would suggest:

    1. Read 'Firefly Magic' by Lauren Sapala (she's currently giving away the e-book for free, if you sign up to her newsletter). It has some awesome stuff on how introverts/highly sensitives can feel better about marketing & figure out what feels good for them
    2. Focus on connecting 1:1 with people, this feels a lot more nourishing and managable for us introverts (and you can find others on IndieHackers to do that with, right here
    3. Start journalling. Just getting your thoughts out could really help you find 'your voice', and help you with your own journey; then, you can decide if you want to put anything "out there" as such. (reflection.app might be worth a look)

    I have found relationships to be quality > quantity. Just start focusing on having interactions casually, and letting them naturally evolve and - if you have a good feeling about the other person - reach out and suggest a chat :)

    1. 2

      Great advice @jasraj.
      Downloaded the ebook, and will definitely give journaling a try.
      Thanks.

  5. 3

    I am a fairly extreme introvert. My social media use was almost non-existent when I started my company.

    I created a separate account for the business and for me as the CEO of the business on Twitter. I had created a separate LinkedIn account, but decided to merge them.

    For me it is a mindset. I'm not posting a lot of personal information, other than maybe the occasional cat picture or something. I am there representing my business. As the promotor of my business, I have to be out there and shameless. Respond to total strangers. Make people aware of my product. I'm not there to make close friends, if that happens great, but it's not the purpose. I am there to promote my business. I don't have time to be an introvert, I have a budget and need customers.

    Mentally separate your personal self from your business self. Your business self is there to do a job and be the face of your company. Treat it as such. Be professional. Be polite. Promote your business. You don't have to give up your values or personality, just remember that you are there to do a job.

    Also, don't forget that you and your business are not the same thing. People will reject your business. That doesn't mean that they are rejecting you. Even though you put your heart and soul into a project, don't take it personally. No business is truly universal.

    1. 1

      Thanks @BartM for the great advice.

  6. 3

    I can safely say that a high % of people here are introverts! Well, people who meet me think I'm extroverted, but it is only because I do what is needed at certain times.

    The best way is to find 5 people you admire on IndieHackers, and follow their journeys, comment, joke, ask questions etc. on IH or Twitter. You should be having fun because you like what they're doing.

    Just do that to start building up a habit of engaging with real people online. Then go from there. Don't push yourself too hard.

    1. 2

      Thanks @kevon.

      That's a great advice.
      Just found your article on How to Grow My Twitter Audience, I'll give it a read.

      FYI, I follow you on Twitter, so I'll start following your journey. haha.
      Also, I really like a few more people on Twitter like @SimonHoiberg and @5harath, etc. They are building in public, I would try to follow and copy their pattern, not content ;)

      1. 2

        Just shout whatever you need help - we're all here for you :)! I hope you'll find the article useful!

  7. 3

    Hello, colleague!

    I'm a true introvert too. Funny, many my friends don't think so because I behave pretty free with them. But as for other people - I'm like a turtle... but I decided I need to expose myself anyway. That's why I put my image to my twitter account, and that's why I'm going to tell about all the details of my business - see here https://seacat.blog

    Anyway, I think the only way for us is to do what we are able to do not trying to rebuild ourselves else we can break down...

    1. 1

      Thanks @SeaCat. Great advice.
      Followed you on Twitter.

  8. 3

    Create a secondary account, then create a cute octopus for your profile pic and try to act like a digital extrovert until you become one

    wait that's me

    Jokes aside, I think it's perfectly doable, for me separating myself and my "indiehacker" self helped a lot.
    (Also I don't want my current boss or coworkers to see my activities as I try to take over the modern world. More on that later... just watch me HAHA)

    1. 2

      That's a great idea. haha ;) Thanks.

  9. 3

    I'm very far into the introvert spectrum and because of that I have no interest in building an "audience" 🤮

    Here's my advice.

    Be who you are. Don't listen to people who tell to just stop being an introvert. That's fucking ridiculous and offensive. It's part of who you are, engrained in your DNA, literally.

    Ask yourself why you're looking to build an audience in the first place. I think it's a trendy thing to say and do but it's REALLY not necessary to build a successful business.

    The only time I'd say it is necessary is if you're trying to become a personal brand and make revenue by doing public speaking etc. Which as an introvert I would guess you are not.

    1. 1

      This is a confusing world. haha.

      But I really like your advice.

      I understand I can't change being an introvert, it defines me.
      But being a solo founder, It is important for me to go out and talk to people, build an audience that can try or refer my product when I launch.

      I guess I just need the audience to boost the initial user signups after launch.

      Otherwise, it might be lengthy to collect customers with SEO/Marketing/Ads as that shit takes time.

      I know there are other ways to market the product without building an audience by yourself. Maybe I need some more research.

      1. 1

        Are you building a product whose target user is a techie?

        1. 1

          Yes, My target audience is SaaS companies (In most cases founders).
          It's a feedback management tool iconvey.io

  10. 3

    I am an introvert too. I do not even have the courage to post a profile picture of my face!

    I've been banned, criticized, swear at but I'm not afraid, because I believe I'm able to provide something of value.

    Good days like this post on Reddit keeps me going.

    Just focus on providing value, dont take online criticism to heart.

    1. 1

      Thank you @GrowthHunt, I'll keep moving, slow and steady...

  11. 2

    You dont have to be an extrovert to build in public.

    It's all about transparency and the ways you share. Just to be your "real" self, share your progress, ask for help, showcase the early form of your product.

    It doesn't have to be complicated, people prepare to read simple, read and easy-to-digest content.

    1. 1

      Thanks @felix12777 for the great advice.

  12. 2

    Dude, produce stock content! Design 365 Instagram posts and put them in auto post. https://business.facebook.com/creatorstudio/?tab=instagram_content_posts

    After I started using stocks like this, I was very comfortable. I produced 1098 content for my website in 1 week. (https://www.girisimzel.com) 3 pieces of content are shared every day for 1 year.

    This is awesome!

    I will share an article about it when I earn good money. :)

    1. 2

      Thanks for sharing this @ugurkilci
      I'll check it out.

  13. 2

    Hi i found great advice to improve your skill of communication so follow the link http://bit.ly/3dGMnDq

    1. 1

      Thanks for sharing, I'll go through it.

  14. 2

    You've already got a ton of advise, here's a tad bit more 🙂

    I signed up with a lot of maker's communities but struggling to engage and post consistently. How should I motivate myself to engage with the community and curate and post useful content that can help me build a community?

    The good folks at Stacking the Bricks (@alexhillman) sound like they can help. What I've quoted from you post is one of the things they specialize in, and lucky you for... they have hundreds of free blog posts where they teach you how to do this. Here are some articles I've searched for that speak to this.

    Also checkout the bootstrapped founder (@arvidkahl) he's mentioned gobbling up Stacking the Bricks material, and loving it, so his blog may be helpful as well.

    Hope there is something there that'll help 🤓

    1. 3

      Awesome, thanks for sharing these resources.
      Got a lot to read, thanks again.

  15. 2

    How about immersion therapy 😂

    I'm an introvert, and I've been building an audience lately by running remote events. This has been both rewarding and terrifying. And it is absolutely helping me build my audience! If you're looking to build community, I don't think I can recommend anything more than live (remote) interaction.

    Of course this can be super hard to do for us introverts. So here's some thoughts on how to run remote events, as a shy person. There's two big things you can do:

    ONE - Build in interaction and engagement. The more your audience participates
    -the more they're engaged
    -the more they like it
    -the less you have to do and the less they're looking at you ;)

    How to build in interactivity:
    First, remove barriers to entry (if unmuting yourself in front of 80 people is the only way to participate, few will). Coach your audience through exactly how to interact:🙋‍♀️"Chat waterfall! Open your zoom chat—bottom right—and type in where you're from".

    Then, make rules!
    Q: 👍👎Would you act like a monkey in the middle of a meeting?
    Q: 👍👎 Would you act like a monkey in a game of charades?
    Rules & structure can set us free. Free your audience! Play games / pass the mic / ask an icebreaker Q / ask for contributions.

    TWO - The most important thing to make your audience happy: add 🤪fun & 🥳excitement. Sounds hard, is actually easy 💪Here's a full article with specifics (and tons of useful, actionable examples) for how to do this: https://slideswith.com/blog/how-to-host-an-exciting-event-as-an-introvert

    1. 1

      It sounds scary to host an event and talk to so many people. haha.

      But I got your point, worth trying. I'll go through the blog you shared. Thanks.

  16. 2

    You've gotten some good advice here! I'm an introvert as well and really really struggle with this too. So I feel your pain, and thank you for posting because now I've gotten a lot of good advice too! :)

    1. 1

      Thanks @CharmaineDymond.
      IH is a great community, ready to help us all.

  17. 2

    One tip I'd have:

    Respond to things you find interesting. Don't fret about creating great tweets or posts out of nothing. It's OK to be quiet proactively and engaged reactively.

  18. 2

    I think you have already gotten a lot of great advice. A lot is about steping out of your comfort zone and start interacting with others online. The interaction doesn't have to be massive. As others have said, quality of interaction is important.
    What can help is to be observing for some time. Get to know the people from the distance. Then start interacting.

    1. 1

      Thanks @katerinabc for the great advice :)

  19. 2

    I understand you very well. So We should transform yourself :)

  20. 2

    I am an introvert too. I do not even have the courage to post a profile picture of my face...

    1. 1

      haha. no problem, Captain Jack Sparrow looks good too ;)

  21. 2

    Its tough I know. I am introverted too.
    Plenty of great advise already in the replies.

    My 2 cents:
    Tweet everyday.
    Reply to the tweets and posts you like. Give your 2 cents (like I am doing here!)
    It will be tough initially, but it gets easier with time.
    Its ok even if no one's reading you. Your initial tweets are for you, not for them.

    Don't fret about the 50 followers, that number will increase steadily. Give me your twitter handle, Ill follow you, bump up your follower count by 1!

    Also, don't box yourself in an identity. You are not an "introvert", its not a binary classification, its a scale.

    You will realize, once you find a like minded community you will shift to the "extrovert" side on the scale. And IH is a like minded community. You can be extroverted here.

    1. 2

      Here's it is https://twitter.com/_pankaj_patidar

      I totally agree, IH is the best community out there for people like us. And I'm feeling a lot more confident now as I see the number of people engaging with this post.

      Thank you.

  22. 2

    Create a slack group > Make about hundred or so fake emails and then sign them up...jk.

    Create a group of likeminded people and work on ideas together.

    Have a place where people can get some answers then invite them.

    It's this simple. Have a Twitter outreach script and email outreach script. Be human and just send an invite. Within those invites try to be as personal as possible. Find common ground(usually you want to creat a group of people who have similar problems).

    Repeat this until you get 100 people in.

    Have a process to welcome them. You can make a simple script on rules and what to do first in your group.

    Do not complicate this. Let me know if you need some help. I'll show you what I did and all my scripts.

    Be helpful on other communities. Youre good at something I know it. Use that to your advantage

    Some resources that might help you later on. These are my projects if you're interested..
    www.pigeonhack.com www.babilbox.com www.engagepad.com

    1. 2

      Awesome, great advice.

      I'll join the pigeonhack slack group, looks interesting.

      Also, I see you have quite a few resources on audience building. I'll definitely be exploring them later, bookmarked them.

      Thanks.

      FYI, www.engagepad.com is not working, although engagepad.com works (without www)

      1. 1

        Thanks for letting me know about e site.

        Hit me up whenever you need some direction or insight. I followed you on Twitter .

  23. 2

    Same Here, i started twitter 4 months back, 145 followers, tweet little. I think no problem in being an introvert, you can start tweeting, engaging in discussions.

  24. 2

    Funny that I also have been thinking about it since a while.

    I didn't consider myself an introvert while growing up, on the contrary, it was always easy for me to talk to people and fit in different groups.

    Lately I've been feeling the opposite. It takes way more courage for me to start a conversation or expose myself. But another thing I also noticed is that I'm more mindful about what I say.

    With that said, I think that, at least for me, the internet is an amazing opportunity for dealing with it, because:

    • I have the time to plan and articulate what I want to say
    • the message will reach way more people than IRL, so the chances of finding like-minded people are bigger
    • it's easier to track my progress (number of engagements, connections, etc)

    One thing I did last year was to do a #100DaysOfTips challenge on Twitter.
    Everyday I tweeted some kind of tip related to programming: code snippets, UI or UX principles, list of resources, etc.
    This made me show up everyday. In the end, it felt natural tweeting and talking to people and made me feel more confident about sharing what I've learnt too.
    Also, it brought my following from ~150 to ~1100.

    It seems that the more I try and participate, the easier it gets.

    So, well done, you've taken the first step to make it easier for you too.
    Just keep commenting or even creating your own posts regularly, and hopefully this will soon feel more of a normal thing for you, as it is becoming for me.

    Good luck!

    1. 2

      #100DaysOfTips is a great idea, even I can schedule these tips in advance to make it easier.
      Thanks @marcelcruz, Looking forward to grow on Twitter, slow and steady...

  25. 2

    See it at as providing value, instead of making a twitter post. When you're in a creative mood, block an hour or two and just write all the post for the rest of the 2-3 weeks. Some standard posts that you can post any time, but do provide value. This will take some pressure of the constant posting.

    You can then add some extra "building in public posts". Something that you create on the fly. Or something that's on top of your mind.

    It might take a while, but once you start posting and interact with other peoples content, things will start rolling.

    Last tip, it's also a mindset thing. Just do it and stick to it for a while. 😎

    1. 2

      Wow, I was thinking the same. Just a few days back I signed up for Feedhive.io so that I can schedule posts in advance so it becomes easier for me to be consistent.

      Thanks for the great advice @maevaeverywhere.

      1. 2

        That would do just fine. Also, don't forget to interact with other peoples content. It's just as important as posting. You got this Pankaj!

        1. 1

          Got you, Thank you :)

  26. 1

    Hamara se patidari kara tara?

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