As an INFP, networking can sometimes feel icky.
All these people gathered in a similar space, all with their own motives. It’s natural to feel a bit uneasy.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to feel icky! When you value connecting over networking, things become more comfortable. Here are some introvert-friendly ways to excel at networking events and the like.
Use social media as an introduction
Social media makes starting a conversation at a networking event so much easier. For example, if you’ve previously connected with someone over Instagram and saw photos from their recent vacation, you’ll instantly have a conversation starter when you meet in person. It shows you care in an authentic way. Both of you will be relieved with how smooth the conversation will go from there.
Invest your attention in the person in front of you
Networking events can be overwhelming. Don’t try to pass out your business cards to every person in the room. That’s exhausting and not the best use of your energy. Instead of feeling like you have to talk to everyone, pick a few people you’ve never met before and start small.
Don’t stop the conversation at “what do you do?”
People are so much more than what they do for a living. You expect to give your elevator pitch at networking events, but do the unexpected and ask them something more personal. This can include what they are most passionate about or what their plans are for the weekend.
If you meet someone at an event, it’s crucial that you follow up in some way. Follow them on Twitter, connect with them on LinkedIn, or send them a simple email thanking them for their time. This shows extra effort and makes you more memorable.
What about networking online?
Networking events are just one half of the equation. As an introvert, social media is your best friend. Here are a few ways to start making connections online.
Participate in Twitter chats
Looking to make connections in real-time? Then you’ll love Twitter chats. There are many reasons why you should participate in Twitter chats like growing your following, sharing your expertise, and sparking collaborations.
I’d love to see you at my chat, #createlounge, on Wednesdays at 7 PM CT. Here are some other chats I recommend popping into. Look at the chats your followers participate in and test them out. You never know who you could meet.
Meet people in Facebook groups
Niche specific Facebook groups are great places to get feedback or referrals. Feel free to ask a question in the group and join existing threads to keep the conversation going Adding value in these groups is crucial. Creative’s Corner and #fireworkpeople are two of my favorite Facebook groups.
Jump on a Google Hangout
Sadly, not everyone you meet through social media platforms is local. When someone isn’t close enough to meet over coffee, ask if you can connect over a Google Hangout. This tool allows you to connect with up to ten people over video chat. I’ve met a lot of bloggers this way and love it.
What are your favorite ways to network? Let me know in the comment section below.