How Introverts Can Network Powerfully
If you want to be a success in life and in business, then networking is not an option for you but a necessity. In your success journey, you need people; you need friends, mentors, coaches, loyal customers, employees and business associates you can collaborate with. And the way to get these people is through networking.
Networking for Introverts: 10 Simple Ways to Make It Easier
If you are an introvert who don’t know how to network and connect with people, don’t worry, I will show you the ways, just read on.
1. Change your Mindset
One of the reasons why introverts find it difficult to network is their mind-set. They belief that they don’t have what it takes to network with people, they believe even if they try, they might not do it well or that they will be rejected and ignored by those they are trying to network with.
These are all limiting beliefs that will hinder you from being a good networker no matter how much you try. So, the first step to take if you really want to be able to network very well with people is to change this mind-set.
Believe that you have what it takes to network and connect with people and even if it doesn’t come to you naturally, you can learn it and make it become natural to you. Focus on your good qualities and convince yourself that with all these awesome qualities, you are likable and you are too good to be rejected by anybody.
For example, most introverts are good listeners, this is a good quality you can leverage on to network and connect with people.
The best way to know anything is to learn and master that thing very well. Do you know that most people who are proficient in what they are doing are not necessarily talented with the natural ability to do it?
They become proficient and highly skill because they have learned and mastered what they are doing very well. So get this, networking is not a gift or a talent that a few selected people has, it is a skill that can be learned and mastered well.
Though there are people who are naturally good at it, but you can learn it if that is not the case for you. Reads books like Quiet influence: The Introvert guide to making a difference by Jennifer Kahnweiter and How to Stand Out: Proven Tactics for Getting noticed by Bob Yeug.
There are also Power Networking an audio tapes from Brain Tracy and other helpful resources online that you can use to master and develop networking skills. You can also take e-courses and learn from people who are already good at networking.
Don’t just learn about networking, learn about the skills that can help you to become better in networking like communication skill.
Another way introvert can network is by practicing how to do it. Practice makes you perfect at whatever you are doing. When you keep on practicing what you are doing, you keep getting better and better at it.
Learning about networking is not the end, it is a means to an end which is becoming proficient at it. And the best way to do this is through constant practice. Don’t just learn, put what you’ve learned into practice. But be realistic about it, don’t try to practice everything at the same time.
Take it one at a time until you have mastered everything and networking comes to you naturally.
4. Take Baby Steps
It is not until you get to large gatherings that you can network. In fact, if you are an introvert and you still find networking as a struggle, then going to large gathering is the last thing you should do.
While it is good to step out of your comfort zone and do what you are afraid of, it is better to begin by taking baby steps. Trying to do something you have not done before in a big way can lead to failure.
So, it is better you start small and grow big. Talk with that stranger you are in the bus with, relate with your colleagues at work, attend your community events and build rapport with your neighbours.
Go to family functions and connect with your family members, through them, you might even get connected to people you don’t know. Doing this will get you prepared for networking at bigger gatherings.
5. Make yourself Visible
Networking is much more than connecting with people in a physical gathering. One of the best way you can build network is by gaining visibility through your works. If you can write, you can leverage on this by writing a book that solves a problem or meet a need that people are in dare need of and give it out for free.
This will endear people to you, and they will connect with you. You can also start a blog to this effect or share valuable contents on your social media platforms. If you have a flare for speaking, you can start a podcast or a video show. Just do anything that will make you visible and influential. And you will see how people will gravitate towards you without much effort on your part.
6. Build Relationship on Social Media
One of the advantages of social media is that you can connect with people you don’t know and build relationship with them whether you are an introvert or not. Join groups that reflect your likes and interest, there you will meet people of like minds that you can connect with.
Be genuinely interested in them; like and comment on their post, make reference to them, if you find anything useful that you know can benefit them, share it with them. If you do this consistently over time, they will also respond back to you and you can decide to meet physically and develop a good relationship from there.
7. Go Prepared
As an introvert you need to be prepared for networking at all times. When you are going for any event or social gatherings, plan ahead. Set goals on the number of people who will like to network with, why you want to connect with them and how to go about it.
You can check up this people on social media such as facebook, twitter or even LinkedIn. And find out something you can help them with or something interesting about them that can help you strike a conversation with them. You can also send an introductory email in advance stating that you are looking forward to meet them.
Also, plan to get to the event early. This is because most people come to the alone and it is easier to connect with them at this time before they join their own group.
8. Be Mentally Prepared
You should be mentally prepared for any event you are attending. Deal with any anxiety or fear. Take a deep breath, speak to your mind through positive affirmation that you are too good to be rejected.
Visualize how you will be liked by everybody and how you will have a good conversation with people and connect with them. This will really go a long way in helping you network well.
9. Go to an Event with a Friend
If you have a friend that knows someone you want to network with in an event or that can connect easily with people, take him along with you to the event. This friend will help you in networking better with people at the event.
10. Follow Up
Most importantly, remember, networking is not just a once and for all thing, it is something continuous. So after you network with people for the first time, make sure you follow up, send a thank you mail.
If you have something that can benefit the person, find a way of getting it across to him. Find other creative means of deepening the relationship.
You can now see that networking is not that a big deal. if you know how to do it well and in the right way. So you have no longer have excuses, get up and start networking.