I met Sarah Santacroce when I was pulling together the first iteration of the Introvert Marketing Bundle. The timing wasn’t great but for the next round Sarah contributed her course on using LinkedIn to market your business. During this time Sarah has shifted her focus to founding a Gentle Business Revolution. She has recently published her book The Gentle Marketing Revolution Book.
I love her focus on bringing more empathy and kindness to business. I can’t wait to see where her revolution takes her and those of us who want to do business in a more gentle way.
Why did you decide to start your own business:
My husband got a job transfer to California. So I quit my marketing job here in Switzerland and we moved overseas, with 1 toddler and a 6-month old. After settling in I wanted to get back to work and since part-time options weren’t interesting, I decided to launch my own location independent business. My business grew together with my kids. Each year they got a bit more independent and I had a bit more time to focus on the business. Now they are 15 and 18 and don’t really want to hang out with mum anymore 😉
What is the number one thing you have done in your business so that it works with your introversion rather than against it?
I’ve always loved the online aspect of the business. When we moved back to Switzerland in 2010, I hit quite a bit of resistance to the online thing. Clients preferred to pay a premium to see me in person, vs. meeting via Skype. Covid has actually helped me that way. Now everyone knows how to use Zoom. I’ve also always been a pretty good guardian of my quiet time. Early on I came up with ways to use my time efficiently by offering online trainings, group courses and delegating what I didn’t need to do personally.
What introvert super power do you think has particularly helped you build your business?
In my LinkedIn consulting business I help people who struggle with selling themselves create an engaging LinkedIn presence that shines the spotlight on them, without being pushy and boastful. So I’d say my introvert super power is to use my listening skills to find out what the client is all about, highlight their superpowers and then present it in a way that makes them look like experts, but not gurus 😉
What has been your biggest challenge being an introvert in business?
Asking for help! I thought I could do it all alone. That since I was an introvert I didn’t need anyone else. Not true. It takes a village to build a business!
What does a normal (or ideal) work week look like and have you been intentional in this set up to support your introversion and need for quiet?
I have learned the hard way that I need to build in enough quiet time to fill up my battery. Now I limit ‘talking time’ (coaching, training, podcasts, masterminds and even conversations with friends) to about 3 – 4 hours per day. The rest is reserved for work on the business, writing, reflection and time for myself.
Are there any systems you have put in place that have been crucial to managing your energy?
I love systems! And efficiency. So yes, I have many systems in place that automate the tasks that take me away from doing the things I love. For example: I’ve been podcasting for almost five years. I always knew that I’ll only do it, if it stayed fun. So that meant streamlining the whole process and outsourcing all the technical and editing stuff. Together with my team we’ve put in place a process including a series of tools and automations that allow me to have beautiful conversations with my guests without having to deal with any of the admin and editing.
Are there any other introvert businesses that inspire you that people should check out?
Most of the entrepreneurs who inspire me are introverts 🙂 I love to work with Cat Rose from The Creative Introvert. Jenny Blake from Pivotmethod.com is the one who helped me with my book. I also look up to Dorie Clark.
You’ve recently launched your new book “The Gentle Marketing Revolution” through Kickstarter. Why did you choose Kickstarter for the book launch and how are you using it to build a community?
I sat with this for a while: how would a gentle book launch look like? I wanted it to be about the message, not about me and my book. I liked the idea of creating a community that co-creates a movement together. So that’s why I opted for Kickstarter. It’s a crowdfunding place where creatives can submit projects and ask for help with funding. Besides the financial goal, the idea of gathering people around an idea, to change the current marketing paradigm from pushy to gentle, appealed to me.
Your book reflects your shift from focussing on Linkedin to taking a step back and looking at the big picture of marketing. Business pivots always interest me! What has prompted this pivot and how are you managing the pivot?
Looking back I’m surprised I stayed in the same ‘job’ for soo long 🙂 After 12 years of helping people positioning themselves as experts on LinkedIn, I needed a change. And I went on the search of my WHY… In the end, IT found ME: in the form of an epiphany: one morning I woke up and got this message that I had to reserve the domain name for www.thegentlebusinessrevolution.com. My mission was to bring more empathy and kindness to the business world. And marketing is where I needed to start.
I’m still in the middle of the pivot, I’d say. Most people still know me for LinkedIn. But that’s ok. Pivots don’t need to happen over night. Gradually I’ll shift towards this new chapter of my business life.
As an introvert who supports other introverts to market themselves in an authentic, gentle way, what is your best advice for introverts who want to move away from pushy and hype marketing?
I’d say question all your assumptions! Everything you’ve ever heard about marketing! Every course you’ve ever taken… If the techniques don’t align with who you are, don’t apply them! Instead bring more of you to your marketing!
Where you can find out more about Sarah:
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