Get out there! Networking tips for the introverted entrepreneur
Ah, entrepreneurship… the wonderful world of hustle and creating solutions for the problems of the world!
Should be easy – you put your time and effort on product development or skills training and sell what you have.
The truth is, however, it doesn’t stop there.
Entrepreneurship requires a ton of hard work, motivation, and great ideas – but that’s not all… in order for people to pick up on you product or service, you have to do quite a bit of marketing. And you know what the best marketing tool is?
As an entrepreneur, you have no choice but to go out and network – so you do need to attending events and meet-ups to connect with new people who may help you build your brand.
Wait… what? I need to go out and talk… to… people?! *cue horror music*
I know, this one is especially hard especially if you’re an introvert! I’ve often found myself in situations like this, and I really want to just stay in and spend time with my fluffy feline friends, but a girlboss got to do what a girlboss has to do!
So here are some tips on how you can meet new people and grow your business network, even when you’re an introvert:
1 – Start small
Honestly, you really don’t need to go full-on networking mode. Take baby steps. Start small. Another option would be to bring a colleague with you during the first few networking events you go to, just so you can have a safety net. Start the conversation, let them pop in afterwards!
2 – Leverage old contacts
Go to an event that people you already know may attend. Keep within your circle to warm up, and slowly get around by asking the people you know if they could introduce you to other attendees.
3 – Be ready to summarize
Oftentimes you may find yourself scrambling for words, not knowing what exactly to tell others you meet for the first time what you do and why you’re at that specific event. It’s best to summarize who you are and what you do before you attend a networking event. Not only will you be able to properly introduce yourself, you will also help others to ask the right questions about you and your business.
4 – Nurture relationships
After a networking event, it would be pretty easy to get back to your comfort zone and just forget the people you’ve met… which would be a total waste of time and effort! Make sure to connect with these people and nurture relationships, without coming off as needy or clingy! Send a random email or text message with a topic relevant to your common interest. Set a reminder for these loose-touch moments so you don’t forget!
5 – Be yourself
Cliche as it may seem, being yourself is the key to creative effective and lasting relationships with people you meet at networking events. If you try and fake it, people will see right through it and will have a hard time trusting you – this definitely isn’t good for business! Be yourself in all situations. If the crowd gets too overwhelming or if your introverted self gets too exhausted, then it may be best to give it a rest! There will be other days. Don’t force it.
Are you an introvert struggling to get your name and yourself out there? Any hacks you’ve learned along the way! Let us know… after all, introverts for introverts, right?!