Let’s be honest, most of us introverts would be perfectly fine working from home with our standoffish cat coworkers.
We don’t like casual conversations and we’re not going to network without purpose. I love helping people with their marketing and copywriting very much, but all the stuff leading up to it isn’t my favorite. I’m not going to lie! I specialize in digital marketing, and that helps with the less “peopley” moments, but relationships are what propel your business. In so many ways, talking to people is a must.
The good news here is that I am an introvert, I am the face of my business, and I have survived and thrived through relationship marketing.
So I promise, you can too. First tip!
Online Networking, it’s a thing
I don’t just mean Insta DMs, but also yes, do that. I mean intentional networking. When you get more involved in your business, or want to scale up, you’re going to have to show your face more so people start associating you with your niche or skill. And the good news here is that there are, most likely, SO many online groups that fit your niche that you can be a part of.
Facebook is rewarding community now, so research some groups you can join where you can purposely network on your own terms. Start contributing in a way that builds a real connection with people like you, or people you can help. I kid you not, when I started my business, and still, I get work from Facebook groups.
You establish trust over time and it feels safe.
Let people talk about themselves
Ask the right questions and you’ll have someone feeling understood in minutes.
Even in something as anti-introverted as networking, we can use our introverted traits to our advantage. We are great listeners and we make people feel heard. People will remember that. It might not pay off right away, but it will and all you’ve done is serve someone, introvert style.
But an amendment to this is that listening is still energy, so limit yourself to the amount of interesting conversations you can have without sacrificing all of your energy. You need to make less connections than you think. One good connection can get you into a whole network. Because yes, we want to make genuine connections, but this is still strategy.
Don’t do it alone
This advice is short and sweet!
Chances are, if you’re into your business, you might know some people who attend the same events. Make them your networking buddy or bring a friend that can help elevate you. There is nothing wrong with having a buffer, and now that I have events, I actually higher an extrovert to do this for me. (hehe)
Sometimes the courage to show up is enough
This is not a trick, it really can be!
I gotta say, when I started by environmental blog in 2009, I showed up to a lot of events and didn’t talk much. It was too much to engage, but I kept showing up. And people noticed! If you’re introverted, or even shy, doing your thing is still going to attract the right people. We’re not extroverts, walking up to strangers at an event is not going to bring us joy, but it can get easier. And when I started my body care business 5 years later, those people who remembered me showing up were the first to review it, and they are still the people giving me writing work today.
Some of them have never had a long conversation with me, but I’ve always shown up and done my thing, and sometimes that’s enough.
Networking for your business is a lot like content in that way, consistency is key.
And you decide what that consistency looks like. Whether you show up for the same networking event once a month, or post in an online group once a week, people will take note and engage.