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An Introvert's Guide to Networking

Posted on Apr 30, 2015 9:00:00 AM by Ryan Ring

networking_for_introverts

Need to network, but are an introvert? There are three simple ways to break out of your shell and start networking like a pro. You’ll want to take control, keep it short and sweet, and find the right networking space for you.

Let’s see how you can get started quickly and easily – minus the anxiety.

 

Create and Control the Situation

Networking should be something you enjoy. You don’t have to be stuck going to a network event at the worst possible hour, or in an environment you don’t enjoy. Instead, create and control the situation by:

  • Creating your own networking events, if possible. These can be smaller events such as a lunch event with a small group local business owners.
  • Understanding when networking is best for you. If you’re tired after 7pm and don’t like socializing at this time, find an hour that works for you.

 

When you take control of the situation, it’s a lot easier to find success – even as an introvert.

 

Keep It Short and Sweet

Don’t expect to make an immediate long-term connection with a person. Honestly, you don’t have time to spend 30 minutes or more speaking to every person you meet at a networking event. Instead, keep it short and sweet. The goal is to get the person’s contact information and to go from there.

Setting up a coffee date to talk more about the industry is a great choice. When at a networking event, make sure you have business cards to hand out and try to engage in short conversations – not long conversations.

 

Consider a Co-working Space

For an introvert, it’s important to find a balance between privacy and community. If you work from home or own a small business, then a co-working space can help you to strike that balance, allowing you to easily switch between the two as needed. For example, you can both socialize and network in the lounge or general work area, then switch to the private spaces when that gets to be a bit much for you.

 

Focus on Quality Connections

With networking, less can often be more - especially for introverts. If you happen to be at a networking event, focus on making connections that you know are more likely to get results. Go in with a clear idea of who your target demographic is and what type of connection you need to make. This not only minimizes that amount of time spent socializing, but helps to maximize your time as well.

 

Image Source : Andrew Magill