Networking for Introverts

Networking for Introverts

November 17, 2016

Listen up introverts! You are not going to like what I'm about to say, but you need to get out and network once and a while.

As an introvert myself, I have found networking challenging in the past. Despite how scary it may seem, I have gotten jobs and met clients at networking events and I know that if I can do it, so can you.

Though my own experience, these tips have helped me to networked like a pro, without the hassle:

Focus on Quality vs. Quantity

When you hate networking, you want to get in and out as quickly as possible. But, there is pressure to introduce your self to EVERYONE in the room. Well, you don't have to. Do you really need to talk to Jim the financial advisor when you have one already? No. Focus on creating a couple, MEANINGFUL connections. This works much better because:

  1. You are less likely to be forgotten.
  2. The person you are trying to connect with will feel more valued.
  3. It makes following up SOOOOO much easier!

So, instead of trying to get around to everyone in the room, and end up bailing because it's just too overwhelming, focus on meeting one or two new people each time you network. There, that sounds more manageable doesn't it?

Find Networking Events Catered to your Interest and Job Field

This tip pairs with the quality vs quantity tip nicely. In most cities, there are several local networking groups that are focused on certain fields, young professionals, and even events that focus on hobbies.

Do a bit of research and find one that will benefit you and your end game. By narrowing your search, it will make the conversation less awkward and you can focus on the important business talk.

Check out Facebook groups and Meetup to find groups of like-minded people in your area.

Use the Buddy System

Everything is better with a friend, especially networking! I always make a rule to only go to a networking event with someone I know. Having someone there will give you moral support and a push to go. There are three main friends that can help you out in networking events:

  1. The Extrovert - I know they can be scary and exhausting at times, but having friends on the other end of the spectrum helps... a lot. They can help you by leading conversations and they can even introduce you to the right people.
  2. The Wingmen/Wingwomen - This is the friend that's your rock. You both have the same interest and have the same goals. By tag-teaming with them, you can achieve your goals in less time.
  3. The Expert - These are the friends you have been to these events and are aware of the environment and the people there. Their intel is worth its weight in gold, just please use it wisely.

Follow Up

Make sure your in-person connection wasn't the last they'll hear of you. Follow up using social media platforms like LinkedIn to follow through with potential professional connections, career opportunities, or clients.

Hopefully, these networking tips will help you take your next event by storm!

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