In this podcast, Roy Sexton discusses how to win the room when you’d rather stay home – the benefits of introversion.
Roy is a Marketing Executive, Author, Public Speaker, Community Leader, Arts Advocate, Animal Nut, Comic Book Reader, Toy Collector, and self-proclaimed Nerd. He has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, business development, and strategic planning, having worked at Deloitte Consulting, Oakwood Healthcare (now Beaumont), Trott Law (formerly Trott & Trott), St. Joseph Mercy Health System, and Kerr Russell. He is currently the Director of Marketing at Clark Hill.
What is introversion and why is it so often mistaken for shyness?
As a theater person, I feel that I’m outgoing and when I was described as an introvert, I was a bit upset. We often associate introversion with negative qualities, and think of these people of the wallflowers of society. Shyness is a misunderstanding of introversion. Introversion is really just where you get your energy. Extroverts get their energy from talking to lots of people and popcorn thinking with ideas flying around everywhere. I like to process things one-on-one, in small groups. I want to facilitate the group, not be consumed by it.
How can one use the immediacy of our digital landscape to build a network?
If you’re overwhelmed by a large group of people, networking at Legal Marketing Association’s conferences gets very overwhelming. During the third conference, I found a group of people who were tweeting during the event- social media experts. I took part in the tweeting, and essentially found myself a job to do at the conference. Later that night, when I went up to someone, they said, “Hey, I saw your tweet!” Therefore, social media served as the basis for the conversation and networking. Creating a digital footprint for yourself makes it that much easier for you to win the room.
If one gets energy from isolation, how can that be a benefit to legal marketing?
What I found from my experience as an introvert and actor was that it takes me about 6 weeks to get used to a new environment because that’s how long the rehearsal for a play typically is. At first, I’m hesitant to engage, yet as I progress with my job and gain comfortability, my introversion is no longer a barrier. As an introvert, I found that I like to observe and take everything in. Extroverts are so busy engaging that they might miss some things observationally. So in that sense, I think being an introvert has benefited me greatly in the marketing world. I’m seeing linkages, I’m listening, and I’m catching the patterns. When I come up with a marketing message, more often that not, it’s a result of what I’ve heard from everyone else, so the people resonate with me.
How can an introvert “win the room” through advance prep, social media?
Mostly due to my Masters in Film History and Criticism, I think I’m naturally inclined to criticize and analyze films. So I started with one or two sentences shared on Facebook, and people started telling me to start a blog to organize my thoughts. Now, six or seven years later, I’ve made a couple books out of them. Once I got my act together, all the people on social media started reading the blog and now I have about 70,000 readers. While it is fun for me, I think my husband appreciates it even more because it stops me from droning on and on about movies.
Write down for yourself, the four or five things that really define you. Know your own brand first before you start helping others with theirs. Then, think about how you are sharing that in a digital shape. Be your authentic self. That way, people will come to associate you with these things and opportunities will come from them.