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FT 142: How Introverts Can Win Clients with Luis Vazquez

Even if you’re an introvert, you can still be a successful freelancer. Being an introvert doesn’t put you at a disadvantage. It probably means you’re better at reading people and understanding their problems, which makes you an excellent freelancer. Luis Vazquez, founder of The Mighty Introvert, talks about how you can hone these skills and succeed as an introvert.

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Luis Vazquez shares with us:

Introvert vs. Extrovert
Creatives and developers are more likely to be an introvert. You need that alone time to create and work. Unfortunately, the corporate world typically encourages more extroverted types of behavior. Freelancing gives introverts a chance to thrive, which is exactly what happened to Luis.

I decided to just start my own business. I just had this gut feeling…and I’ve been in business ever since.

Luis’ quiet energy exudes more leadership quality than it does shyness, and he attracted a lot of loyal clients. He was able to use these corporate connections to branch off on his own. As a developer, Luis prefers to work alone. But finding clients and building sales relationships is key to his success as a freelancer. Both his unique philosophy and introverted approach make Luis one of the most valued developers in his niche, and it’s even helped him stand out as a mentor for other introverted freelancers.

I make really good friends with deep connections, and some of those friends want to do business with me.

Luis spends real energy on getting to know his potential clients so he can build a strong foundation of friendship before ever approaching the sale. And as we know, creating strong business relationships is a great way to become a successful freelancer. You want to make yourself accessible to your niche so that clients can find you, and you can do that without advertising or talking more than you want to.

The Introverted Approach
Luis’ preferred methods for meeting people are introvert-friendly. There’s no cold-calling or intimidating sales pitches. He simply wants you to approach the people in your industry who you would genuinely like to get to know and ask them a few value-based questions. This first conversation is your first step toward building a strong, friendly foundation with new people. From there, some amazing recommendations and referrals will be coming your way and Luis has an introverted approach to that too.

You have to first understand them, relate to them, and give them this impression that you can solve their problem.

Declaring a niche will make finding new friends – and new clients – easier. When you know your industry and know what you have to offer, then you’ll know how to find your ideal clients without stepping out of your introverted comfort zone. If you haven’t niched down to your ideal client yet, take some time to really think about what people need from you. Luis discusses how empathy is an introvert’s strongest tool and shares ways you can use your empathy to tap into the unique needs of a niche that’s looking for your skill.

And there’s more than one way to approach your niche. Like a true introvert, Luis offers up different opportunities so you can take the approach that best suits your style and your business. There are five of these opportunities, what Luis calls “pockets”, where you can connect with potential clients, including conferences, meetups, and online forums.

Introverts at Events
Attending conferences can be rough for introverts, but it’s one of the most effective ways to meet new people and build lasting sales relationships. Luis has a technique that you can use at your next conference to make yourself more approachable and available without having to be too outgoing, and it’s as easy as sitting down in the middle of a bar.

The other technique Luis shares is a three-step strategy for deeper conversations. Starting a conversation with a stranger is hard, but keeping that conversation going can be even harder. One way you can keep the conversation alive is to tap into your natural sense of curiosity. Luis discusses the natural curious demeanor of introverts and encourages you to ask more questions when networking or meeting someone new. Don’t be afraid to ask the interesting questions that keep the conversation going.

When conversations get awkward, it’s because there’s a lack of curiosity on one behalf.

Asking questions and letting the other person talk is one of the secrets to Luis’ success. Understanding someone and building rapport comes from an aptitude for listening. If you can listen and ask the right questions, you can build long-lasting business relationships in your niche because an introvert’s true strength is in the sales relationship and not just the sale.

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