5 Tips for Introverts Starting on the Networking Journey
It is possible to become a brilliant networker while being an introvert.
Throughout the course of this blog and eventually the podcast, we are going to explore so many different aspects to networking, referral networking and business networking.
Although many people wouldn’t realise this, when they see me out networking, I am an introvert that has probably learned to move towards being an ambivert.
I have learned to network and I really enjoy it. But when I’m finished, I have to have my own space and time to recharge. I’ve been through all those situations of dreading going into events, feeling overwhelm, just not feeling on form, not knowing what I’m going to say or what I’m going to talk about. But over time, I learned my own little hacks about how to manage this.
There are many more strategies that you can use, but if you’re just starting out, here are 5 tips for introverts starting on the networking journey:
If you arrive early, it allows you the time to get your cup of coffee and get your bearings. Position yourself so that you can see the people entering the room and it’s very likely that people will gravitate towards you, rather than you having to decide who to go to talk to. It just makes things a little easier.
A smile says you are approachable and friendly. What better way to make a connection than to say you are open and ready to chat. It’ll help with your confidence levels and your self-esteem.
Embrace Being an Introvert – Be Yourself
It’s proven that introverts have great attention spans and are very attentive. This is such a plus in networking, as introverts notice all the little details. And these personality traits are fantastic for creating and nurturing long-lasting, intimate relationships. Being able to do this is fundamental to success networking. Don’t try to compete with the extroverts, as they need their own set of tips on how to manage networking situations which we’ll discuss in another blog post.
Take Baby Steps
If you are new to networking, consider bringing a colleague or a business friend. Having someone by your side who can help with the conversation, will lessen the sense of overwhelm and burden. With practice, you’ll become a master, but this does take a little time, so don’t feel pressured to become a master networker within the space of attending a couple of events.
Ask for a Warm Introduction
If it’s possible, try to get the event list of attendees in advance. This isn’t always possible, but if it is, you can do a little bit of research and see if there are people who you would like to connect with. You can connect on LinkedIn and mention that you are attending the same event and would like to speak to them at the event.
If no list is available, why not contact the Chair or Host and give an idea of your business and who you would like to connect with on the day. Very often, the host will only be too happy to introduce you to a fellow networker.