Networking is a nightmare that many introverts like to avoid. Meeting people and marketing yourself can feel exhausting to those who gain energy from being alone. However, making connections with other like-minded individuals is vital to the growth of any business.
Fortunately, finding ways to exchange ideas and information is easy. Even the most reclusive professional can be successful with a little bit of help. If you’re looking to take a step outside of your comfort zone, check out these networking tips every introvert needs to know.
The thought of putting yourself out there can be overwhelming. You may feel a lot of pressure to attend large events to link up with new people. However, the best way to guarantee success in networking is by starting small.
When you’re first starting out, set realistic goals for yourself. Don’t worry about the number of connections you make or cards you hand out. Instead, focus on being present and listening actively. Small achievements will boost your confidence for your next networking event.
Focus on Quality
Networking is not a contest, even though it may feel like one. Handing out 100 business cards is useless if you don’t connect with the right people. Meaningful connections can lead to long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships. Instead of aiming for a certain number of interactions, focus on how deeply you connect.
The type of people you collaborate with can dramatically impact your business. As one of your small goals, aim to exchange information with one or two people. One strong connection is better than 20 weak ones. If you leave your networking event with just a few new contacts, consider it a win.
Commanding a crowd and thinking on one’s feet are skills many extroverts have. However, it doesn’t come as easy for those who feel anxious in social settings. You can combat this problem by planning your pitch and practicing it ahead of time.
Come up with some talking points to help break the ice. If it helps, you can even script out potential conversations and rehearse until they seem authentic. Consider preparing specific questions to help you get to know someone painlessly. Introverts need to know this networking tip to avoid awkward conversations.
Just as a handyman uses tools to complete projects, introverts can use networking tools to make the process easier. Business cards contain all of your important information and display it in a unique and identifying way. Learning proper business card etiquette can be incredibly valuable, but this is not your only option.
Finding people to link up with has never been easier, thanks to the internet. Tech experts have designed networking apps explicitly for creating professional ties. If face-to-face interactions make you nervous, try marketing yourself from behind the screen.
The most important thing to remember is that being an introvert does not keep you from being successful. Networking is an amazing opportunity for you to collaborate with great minds in your field. Don’t let anxiety or a lack of energy prevent you from getting the most out of these helpful social events.
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