It’s a special thing to come across someone who has the same business origin story, serves the same clients, and runs the same type of business as myself. This is exactly what’s happening on this week’s episode of The Ambitious Introvert featuring Stacey Hagen, a business coach for female entrepreneurs. In our conversation today we’re talking about the key things that introverts can do to find success in their business. If you’re feeling stuck about where to go next with your online marketing, this episode is for you.
- The things that Stacey finds her introvert clients struggle with most when beginning their online businesses
- How you can be an introvert and love public speaking and/or social media
- The damage that can happen to your nervous system when you constantly push through
- How to recognise and utilise your introverted qualities as gifts
- Breaking the “overnight success” narrative that is prevalent in the online business world
- Remember that whatever you do, consistency is key
Stacey Hagen is a business coach for other coaches, healers, and holistic entrepreneurs who want to grow a business in alignment with who they are, learn more about how you can work with her here.
Stacey’s book recommendation for The Ambitious Introvert:
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Connect with Stacey:
Connect with Me:Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode
Emma-Louise Parkes: [00:00:00] Stacy. Hi, thank you so much for joining me today.
Stacey Hagen: Hi, Emma Louise. Thank you so much for having
Emma-Louise Parkes: me. So before we hit record, we, this always happens. We started just chat and map out what we’re going to talk about and then got into a really interesting discussion and I’m like, oh, I should have hit record.
But one of the things that came out of it is that we have the same clients and the same audience introvert. Highly sensitive and empathic. So I really love that because I’ve had obviously so many ambitious introverts on here. I’ve had people at work with introverts. I’ve had people at work specifically with highly sensitive, but I’ve never had anyone else that works with all three.
Stacey Hagen: Yeah. It’s so interesting to me as well, because when I found you, I was like, oh my gosh, this person like focuses on the same audience. And I hadn’t found anyone prior to that who focused on that audience?
Emma-Louise Parkes: So with you focusing on the market and a visibility aspect, I look at that and go, oh, [00:01:00] like, this is what I needed two and a half years ago when I really got serious about bringing the business online.
And I realized that a lot of. I’m going to say issues and inverted commerce, um, because I didn’t really think they are, but a lot of the challenges that I had were really down to me being introverted and highly sensitive and empathic, I was absorbing a lot of other people’s energy. I was getting very overwhelmed because too much time on this.
Overwhelms me because I’m highly sensitive and my nervous system goes back. Um, and you know, being introverted and a mark in a world where, and the online coaching spacing. And so our marketing is, can be quite aggressive and can be quite extrovert and masculine focused. So, um, I needed you then, but listening to that, is this a common story?
Stacey Hagen: Oh yes. It’s such a common story. It’s a story I hear day in and day out and probably not ironically, it was the same story I [00:02:00] experienced because I had spent 15 years in corporate marketing before I started my business. So I knew how to market, but it, when it came to marketing myself, You know, I really struggled at the beginning until I realized it was all about embracing these strengths that no one had really necessarily rewarded in the corporate world.
And that’s what changed everything for me. And I think that’s kind of part of the mindset that changes everything for introvert and highly sensitive entrepreneurs as well.
Emma-Louise Parkes: So I think when people either start a business online or they have an offline business and they decide to bring it online, Obviously marketing is very different.
I mean, the principles at the same, but in the online space, it is very different. So what kind of things do you find that, um, are people I’m going to say us that we struggle with the most?
Stacey Hagen: Yeah. I think one of the biggest struggles that I see is that people struggle to show up on social [00:03:00] media and a few things contribute to that, but.
Uh, one of the mindsets that I see out there is people think that social media is the only way to market their business. They think going live or doing reels or being on Tik TOK is the only way to market. And that’s not true. I mean, you can run a successful business without that, for sure. So, What I coach introverts to do and highly sensitive is to find a way to market your business based on your strengths.
So if your strength is writing focused on writing, you can do so much with that. You can SEO optimize your copy. You can do guest posts for larger blogs. Um, you can write articles. So it’s all about focusing on your strengths and finding the activities that match to that, versus just taking the advice that you see out there and trying to apply it to your business.
Emma-Louise Parkes: And if that you mentioned, right. And because a while back, I had Tara Reed on as a guest and we did an episode all about blogging and she’s a [00:04:00] coach for introverts as well. And she built her what she’s built three different businesses now online. And yeah, she has a social media presence, but majority of it is from SEO blogs.
Stacey Hagen: Yes. Perfect. Those are actually perfect mediums for introverts. Um, but the other thing that might surprise people is you can be an introvert and be an amazing public speaker, or you can be an introvert and enjoy social media. So it’s not about, you know, putting yourself in a box. It really is about understanding yourself and playing to those talents that you have.
Emma-Louise Parkes: I am someone that I say this all the time. I don’t love doing video. But I’m not self-conscious on video. I just find the, it feels like an effort. Sometimes it feels like a lot of energy to do video. Put me here behind the microphone, having a one-on-one conversation with someone. Absolutely fine. So for me, the [00:05:00] podcast is the perfect way to market my business.
Stacey Hagen: I’ve heard that a lot from introverts, too. They like audio and then the one-on-one connection can be a great way to connect and just feels more natural. It’s
Emma-Louise Parkes: funny in my Facebook group, I posted a video cause they’ve done a batch, um, day of video. So I did want to just for the group and I was like, Hey, I just started pop a video in here and, you know, listen, would you guys like more video?
Would you like if I did like a weekly training or a weekly live or a Q and a or anything like that? No I say, oh, is it, is this that bad? But they, they love long-form content. They’re like, I really like your blog posts. They really like your long form social media. I really liked the podcast so fine. Cause that’s what I like to produce.
Stacey Hagen: Yes. And isn’t that amazing that what you like to produce is what they like to consume. So usually, you know what it’s about finding that sweet spot and realizing, oh, I can just do this thing that I already liked to do and my audience will appreciate it
Emma-Louise Parkes: as. So so important. And I [00:06:00] think especially on the highly sensitive aspect of it, which I’m really glad I found out you worked with HSPs as well.
So prone to burnout. So prone to getting our nervous system fossils. I mean, I. I have the kind of prior warn and now I’m looking at the laptop and I feel it, like my eyes are, oh. And my system starts. And like, I need to get outside. I need to like be away from electronics for a little while. But if we’re in that state of mind that we have to do social media and we have.
Turn up at this time, every day to do this, it’s so bad for our nervous system.
Stacey Hagen: Oh, definitely. It’s so, yeah, it’s so bad for our nervous system and it’s so much pressure. And I think any time we’re hearing like, oh, I have to do this or I should do this. You know, that’s kind of assigned to maybe pause and reassess because you know, you might be going down, you might be going down a path that you don’t need to be going.
Emma-Louise Parkes: think this is going to be a very permission given conversation, [00:07:00] which I always like when it, when it’s aimed at, you know, you can be you and you can do the things you like, and you can still build a business. You just need to do them intentionally and consistently.
Stacey Hagen: Yeah. And you need to own those gifts.
I mean, I probably like many inner introvert and highly sensitive. I don’t feel like those qualities were appreciated when I was younger. You know, I was told to be more outgoing or to be less sensitive, right. Like a lot of us. And when we can turn that around and we can recognize these as gifts and we can actually utilize them as gifts, it just, it changes everything and it opens so many opportunities.
Emma-Louise Parkes: So we touched a little bit on the, um, I going to say the mechanics of the marketing and, you know, ways that we can really both express ourselves and show up for our audience without completely burning ourselves out. Um, but let’s talk a little bit about the mindset of it because. Looking back. I, [00:08:00] I used to think I have visibility mindset issues, but actually I think a lot of it was that I just didn’t feel aligned with the strategies that I was trying to implement.
So like, so I got really tired. So it’s, it’s an interesting one because. I think that both they quite intertwined. So I would love your thoughts on that.
Stacey Hagen: Yes you’re so you’re so, so right. I totally agree with you. Mindset is definitely a component because oftentimes we have thoughts in our heads that.
Limiting us, like, you know, I can’t be an introvert and be a successful entrepreneur. So their mindset issues are at play for sure. But alignment is such a key piece, meaning you are truly aligned with the work that you’re doing. You really believe in it. You know, you can help your clients. I mean, nothing can be a substitute for.
Sense of alignment. And I think the other piece of that, you know, like working on the mindset, working on the alignment is also the strategy. So maybe you’re feeling great [00:09:00] and you’re feeling confident, but you don’t know what to say or share with your audience. So that’s where the strategy piece really comes into play as well.
Emma-Louise Parkes: So for anyone listening that is thinking, Ooh, I think I’ve probably got a little bit of both and I’m ready. I want to make a, you know, I really want to get started. I want to really grow this, this online business and I’m not really sure. What would you say is a, I’m going to say if it comes in a safe.
Place to start. If they were going to choose one platform or one medium of marketing, where would be a good place to try first.
Stacey Hagen: Yeah. And I think it’s always good to start with one platform. Um, I see a lot of people trying to be on like every platform or do all the marketing and that’s not effective even if you enjoy marketing.
So yeah, choose one. And I would say. Choose what I would consider the lowest hanging fruit, which means what’s easiest for you. So where are you already active? Where are [00:10:00] you already participating? What are the things that you’re already doing and how can you double down on that? So you’re not starting over and you’re not recreating the re the wheel.
So if you’re already on Instagram, maybe you’re just increasing your presence there and adding some content. If you’re already writing, maybe then you try pitching a guest post.
Emma-Louise Parkes: We have a, um, a stack don’t switch rule here at team ambitious introvert. And I implement it with my clients as well. So we don’t switch.
We didn’t keep switching platforms and switch and try and things we stuck. So we do want until it’s a well-oiled machine and a thoroughly embedded habit that you just couldn’t imagine not doing. Such a part of your routine and then you add another one and then we get that as well. And then maybe you add another one because people will say to me, but you’re everywhere.
You’re on Instagram and you’re on LinkedIn and your Facebook. And you’ve got Facebook group. You’ve got podcasting data. I’m like, but I started off doing four Instagram posts a [00:11:00] week and I didn’t even do store. That was it. And until I could commit to that and then stack on top of it, I didn’t do anything else.
Stacey Hagen: Yes. I love that. That is such a wonderful method to, to do. And I think what people don’t realize about marketing is it takes time to get traction. You know, if you just start on Instagram this week, you’re not going to. Probably see the results you want in a couple of weeks, maybe not even in a month, this is something you have to commit to and do over time.
And not a process that you do with your clients makes a lot of sense because it becomes an ingrained habit. And then you can go from there.
Emma-Louise Parkes: You find. A lot of people come to you feeling like maybe they have somehow failed because they’ve tried the more extrovert methods, which haven’t worked for them or because there’s a lot of overnight success narrative in the online space.
And you know, you’re saying, yeah, it takes time. It can take at least a month. You know, I generally say it takes 90 days to see something through, but yeah. [00:12:00] That’s not as sexy as people go in. Oh, I started my coaching business and I make 10 K in the first month. Like, obviously everyone’s starting position is different and we never know the backstory, but have you noticed this with clients that it’s been quite damaging for them to be comparing themselves and going to say to these other messages?
Stacey Hagen: Oh yes. I mean, 100%. I think, you know, those messages that you are going to make six figures right away, or you can, you know, book out your coaching practice immediately when you put up your website. I mean, those, those are the exception to the rule. And I think, you know, the rest of us try to do a good job about setting expectations.
Like, you know, this is a long game. You really have to be committed to this. Um, and that’s the case with marketing too. So I do see. People, you know, being discouraged about that thinking they should be somewhere that they’re not. And I also sometimes see people searching for this, you know, silver [00:13:00] bullet marketing strategy.
Like what is the one thing that I can do to attract all the clients or what is the one social media platform I should be on to find my people. And it’s, it would be lovely if it were that easy, but you know, the truth is there are many ways to find clients and that’s why it all goes back to the way that works best for you.
Emma-Louise Parkes: love that I’ve started to use LinkedIn a lot more recently. So, um, it’s not something that I ever did before my business, because I was in the same job for 17 years. So I, and it, wasn’t the kind of job that I would have an online CV. So. I just never went on LinkedIn. And I remember a coach I was working with a few years ago.
She was like, oh, you know, you should start a LinkedIn profile. There’s quite a few business owners on there. And I thought really, because to me it was just corporate. Um, but I’ve connected with some amazing people. There’s, um, you know, lot of coaches, mentors working with introverts specifically over there, which has been great.
Um, and a lot of my clients use it primarily is now there’s that number one [00:14:00] marketing platform.
Stacey Hagen: That’s wonderful. Yeah, that just goes to show you, you know, don’t dismiss something just because you hear it’s not being popular or talked about as much.
Emma-Louise Parkes: So one of the things that’s come out a lot recently is about how Instagram is now.
Not photo-sharing app it’s in fact pushing much more towards video. Obviously we’ve seen that because, you know, my story views have been way more than any of the reach on my grid posts for, for a long time. But. How, what would you say to any introverts that are hearing that and going, oh, I’ve got to stop Instagram now.
It’s a waste of time, you know, I don’t want to do real, so it’s not for me.
Stacey Hagen: Yeah. I know. I heard that news too. And I had to think about, well, how would this change my strategy? And to be honest, I didn’t change that much. Uh, I have started. I started incorporating more video, but it that’s probably been a year or so since I’ve been doing that.
So I think the most important thing is to stay consistent. So whatever you’re doing, stay [00:15:00] consistent. And if you can pepper in like a little more video, if it’s a story, if it’s a real every now and then that can help. Uh, and I think, you know, the thing that I hear. My clients get caught up on is they feel like if they post a story or they post a reel, everything has to be perfect.
And the lighting has to be perfect and the hair and makeup has to be perfect. And you know, all of these things hold us back from just putting ourselves out there. But the truth is people want to work with people who are approachable and like them. So it’s so powerful. If you can just show up as yourself,
Emma-Louise Parkes: someone’s post, I can’t even remember who it was or where it was the other day.
He said something like, like spending 45 takes trying to get a real perfect is just such a waste of energy that either just like use the first take or, or don’t do it because if you’re going to throw that much into it, every time you’re just going to deplete yourself, you’re gonna hate.
Stacey Hagen: Yeah. And if [00:16:00] honestly, if you are not a social media influencer, there’s no reason you should be spending that much time on social media.
Right? We all, we want to be serving our clients. So how can we, you know, choose the most effective marketing activities so that we can spend more time serving our client?
Emma-Louise Parkes: Something that I’ve done a lot more recently with the podcast is take more content from it. I used to just post once a week, like the show notes and the audio gram, but then I realized that there’s so much more in there.
There were quotes and there were, you know, much more in the conversation. So now I usually have three and some weeks, four pieces of content. Just from that week’s podcast episode, which is still a great way to, to serve people. You know, if they don’t listen to the podcast, they can still read those pieces of content and get value
Stacey Hagen: from it.
Yes, exactly. That is so important. Um, especially for highly sensitive it’s because we have to manage our energy. So instead of thinking of creating all these [00:17:00] new things, Content, it’s a great strategy. What you’re doing. And what I do with blog posts is I write one blog post for the week. I use that to populate my social media content, because like you said, there are, you know, pull out quotes.
There are different themes. You can focus on different tips and it can save you so much time. It’s
Emma-Louise Parkes: great. Sometimes there are like seven or eight, really great, like bullet points and quotes from one 20 minute episode. And I’m like, huh, I want to keep sharing this.
Stacey Hagen: Yeah. Yeah. And I think it’s important, you know, even if you post that quote or a tip on social media, not everyone is seeing it, so you can repost it again in a couple of weeks or a month.
Emma-Louise Parkes: Yeah. Content repurpose. It that’s a whole, whole other episode, but yeah, I think that’s something. As introverts as well. We feel like why don’t want to keep it in the same thing out because people will get bored of it or people get sick of it. And I’m like maybe 10% of your audience saw it. If that, and then they may have just scrolled straight on
Stacey Hagen: past.
Yeah, exactly. [00:18:00] Yeah. Maybe 10% of your. And I think, I mean, if this statistic still holds true, but there was an old marketing statistic that people have to see basically the same message seven times to take action. That is a lot of times, and we are not repeating ourselves that much. So
Emma-Louise Parkes: this is quite depressing.
That in the age of Google, because our attention spans now are so short. They think that that seven has risen to somewhere between 15 and 20.
Stacey Hagen: Oh my gosh. So it’s doubled. Yeah.
Emma-Louise Parkes: Yeah. Yeah. Cause I always used to work on the seven. Seven times seven touch points. And then they were like, no, it’s probably like somewhere near to 20, which makes sense because the online space is noisy out and people have got less attention span.
Stacey Hagen: and, and the other thing that happens is when you start sharing the same, same type of things over and over again, you know, slightly tweaking, the copy is you actually get known for that thing. So it’s actually a good [00:19:00] branding strategy to, to do something like that, to be repurposing your content and reshoot.
Emma-Louise Parkes: My coach said to me, when we first started together, she’s like, you, you will get bored of your own content. And if you’re not bored of your own content, you’re not talking about the same things often enough, because you should be so bored of going introverts, highly sensitive. You know, and whatever the content pillar was that I was talking about.
She’s like, you should be sick of it. You should be like, oh my God, not this again. Have I really got to write about it? Because that means you’re doing it enough for people to start to associate you with that niche,
Stacey Hagen: right? Yes. Yes. That is a great mantra for sure. And I think we forget that, you know, not everyone has been following us for so long.
I mean, your new followers need to know the information about you. Um, so it’s important to keep sharing.
Emma-Louise Parkes: Perfect. I love that, Stacy. Thank you so much for sharing all your marketing wisdom with us today as a fellow [00:20:00] intra empath in HSP. But before I let you go, I would love to know your book recommendation for any listeners who are looking to grow and scale that online.
Stacey Hagen: Yeah, so I love books. So it is really, really hard for me to pick just one book. Um, but one book that did help me, particularly in my journey to becoming more visible was the book big magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. And she has a wonderful, uh, story about fear in there. And I think, you know, we can all, especially as introverts relate to it.
And that book really inspired me to be more creative and put myself out. Okay,
Emma-Louise Parkes: perfect. Bye. I’m going to drop the link to that in the show notes, I’m going to drop all of your links that you’ve supplied me with in the show notes as well. So if anyone wants to connect with you online, they will be able to find you that thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today.
Stacey Hagen: Thanks so much, Emma Louise. So happy to chat with you.