...even if it doesn't come naturally
As an introvert tempted to dip your toe in the world of networking, have you been wondering how you can muster up the confidence to go to your first-ever networking event?
It’s a challenging prospect! But one we know you can overcome, as many introverts just like you have done with our networking advice for introverts, here at the DARWIN.vip Networking Academy.
If you’re frozen to the spot at the mere thought of meeting a bunch of new people at a face-to-face meeting, there are ways you can warm yourself up to the idea before dipping that toe in…
Here’s our expert networking advice for introverts; get stuck in and you’ll no doubt surprise yourself – trust us!
Learn to love LinkedIn
Before you do anything else, log onto LinkedIn and start building your online network! Use searches to find people in your local area who are already keen networkers, and connect with them.
When you then go along to an in-person event, there will hopefully be a few familiar faces. Better yet, you may even have some ready-made conversation starters up your sleeve from what you’ve seen on their profiles!
Start by taking baby steps
There’s no pressure to throw yourself in at the deep end – and the last thing we want you to do is have a bad experience that puts you off ever going to a networking event again! That’s why we always say, as part of our networking advice for introverts, to take baby steps, as there really is no rush.
Once you’ve done your research on LinkedIn, you’ll have those familiar faces to make a beeline for – and on top of that, make sure your first-ever event is in a place that you’re familiar with. That way, there’s one less thing to get nervous about, as you’ll already know your way around.
If you’re still nervous, why not choose some kind of social event to ease yourself in? See if any local networking groups are throwing some kind of party, or casual drinks in a bar one evening. This way, it’ll be much more informal and will help you to break the ice with a handful of people before attending a proper networking event.
Real-world networking advice for introverts
It’s all well and good telling you how great networking can be if your goal is to achieve business growth, but that won’t help introverts in the real world – you probably know the many benefits to business networking already, you just can’t get past the thought of it!
To help make things a little easier, why not use Google to find events for people in your industry? You then have that safety net of being able to talk shop, which will hopefully help you to overcome those early nerves.
If an in-person event is too tough a first step, let’s take a step back. Online events are a great way to start building your network, too. There are so many to choose from, and you can join meetings from the comfort of your sofa, to wherever you like in the world! Our best piece of networking advice for introverts in this instance is that you can hunt for different groups that may be specific to your industry, to your local area and for your ideal clients!
Say yes to coffee
Set yourself an achievable challenge – how about next time someone in a networking meeting asks you to go for a coffee, say yes! You needn’t be the asker, if you’re not comfortable with that at this moment in time, but if someone wants to spend a bit of their own time getting to know you and what your business is all about, grab the opportunity with both hands and see where it takes you!
And, if you aren’t confident speaking about yourself much the first time you meet up with this person, take a back seat – listen to what they have to say, drink your coffee, and ask a few questions. There’s no pressure to tell your life story or explain every aspect of your business right away.
Our final nugget of networking advice for introverts
Being an introvert doesn’t mean that you should miss out on business growth. It may mean pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, but the benefits will be well worth it. And, the more you network, the easier it’ll become, and the more confident you will be!
So, are you ready to embrace networking events as an introvert? The networking world needs you!
You can do it!
If you’re completely new to networking and need a little more advice before you get stuck in, why not download our free guide for networking novices? Hit the button below to grab your complimentary copy.