Even for the most audacious individuals - the ones who stand at the center of the room and capture limitless attention - even for them networking can be difficult. But if you’re shy or introverted, networking can be a nightmare. But it doesn’t have to be. If you’re in a profession where networking is required then it’s worth knowing that the process is something you can and should learn - regardless of your “natural wiring.” Networking, and networking well, is a rewarding and valuable practice that can reap incredible long-term results.
Introvert Networking Tip 1: Use Weaknesses as Strengths
One of the introvert’s best qualities is that we are excellent listeners. This is a fantastic skill to have in any conversation, but especially when meeting new people. When you’re networking, really listen to what the other person is saying. Not only will this make them feel appreciated, but you never know when you might hear something that will be useful down the road.
Another introvert strength is that we are often very thoughtful and introspective. This means that we are able to see both sides of every issue and can easily understand different points of view. When networking, this makes us excellent mediators and peacemakers. If there is ever a disagreement among colleagues, introverts can be the ones to help settle the situation.
Tip 2: Make the Most of Small Talk
When it comes to how to network, small talk is often seen as a necessary evil - something we have to endure in order to get to the “good stuff.” But introverts can actually use small talk to their advantage. Since we are such good listeners, we can easily ask questions and keep conversations going. We can also use small talk as an opportunity to practice our social skills and build up our confidence.
Of course, introverts also need time to recharge after being around people for too long. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the small talk, don’t be afraid to take a break. Step away from the group for a few minutes and give yourself some time to regroup. You’ll be able to rejoin the conversation refreshed and ready to go.
Tip 3: Make a Good First Impression
When it comes to introvert networking, first impressions are important for everyone, but introverts often feel extra pressure to make a good one. After all, we only have one chance to make a good first impression, so we want to make sure that it’s a good one.
There are a few things you can do to make sure you make a great first impression when networking. First, be sure to dress the part. Wear clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable. Second, practice your elevator pitch. This is a short, 30-second summary of who you are and what you do. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to someone new. Finally, don’t forget to smile. A genuine smile is one of the best ways to make a good first impression.
Introvert Networking Tip 4: Follow Up
Once you’ve made a new connection, it’s important to follow up. This can be as simple as sending a quick email or LinkedIn message. Just a few sentences is all it takes to stay top of mind. You can also connect with people on social media or invite them to coffee or lunch. If you’re introverted, meeting for coffee or lunch can be a great way to get to know someone new without feeling overwhelmed.
Following up is a crucial step in networking. It’s how you turn a one-time interaction into a lasting relationship. So don’t be afraid to reach out and stay in touch. One of the best ways to ensure you're managing your contacts and doing proper follow ups is by using a digital business card and app like Popl. Popl makes it easy to exchange contact info and to connect with each other afterward. Make the most out of every connection by using a networking tool like Popl.
Introvert Networking Tip 5: Face Your Fears
The best way to get better at networking is to just jump in and start practicing. The more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll become. So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and start meeting new people. Use these tips to make the most of every networking opportunity. Soon, you’ll be a pro at networking - introvert or not.
Introvert Networking Tip 6: Be Present
When networking, it’s important to be present and engaged in the conversation. This can be difficult for introverts, who tend to be more introspective and introverted. But if you want to make a good impression, you need to focus on the person in front of you and really listen to what they’re saying. Introverts often have an advantage when it comes to networking because we are such good listeners. So use your listening skills to your advantage and really focus on the conversation at hand. You’ll be sure to make a lasting impression.
Introvert Networking Tip 7: Provide Value
One of the best ways to network is to provide value. introverts are often very good at this because we tend to be problem-solvers. If you can help someone with a problem they’re having, they’ll be sure to remember you. So next time you’re networking, focus on how you can help the other person. introverts are often very good at this because we tend to be problem-solvers. If you can help someone with a problem they’re having, they’ll be sure to remember you. So next time you’re networking, focus on how you can help the other person.
Introvert Networking Tip 8: Relax and Be Yourself
Last but not least, the best tip for introverts who want to network is to relax and be yourself. introverts often feel like they to put on a persona when networking. But the truth is, people are attracted to. So relax, be yourself, and let your personality shine through. You’ll be sure to make a lasting impression.
Networking can be a great way to build relationships and further your career. But if you’re introverted, it can also be a daunting task. Use these tips to make networking easier and more enjoyable. Soon, you’ll be a pro at networking - introvert or not.