Networking Strategies For Introverts: How To Network While As An Introvert

Networking isn’t easy, especially if you’re an introvert. Most networking events are crowded and loud, making it difficult for introverts to thrive in that environment.

However, networking is crucial for career advancement, so as an introvert you need to find ways to get out there and meet new people without feeling exhausted and overwhelmed by all the social interaction.

Luckily, there are plenty of strategies that can make networking less scary and more beneficial for introverts. Here are some tips on how you can make networking as an introvert work in your favor.

Know Your Purpose

Networking is all about making connections, but it’s important to know why you’re making those connections. What is your goal in meeting new people? Are you looking for a new job? Are you hoping for some introductions to people in your industry? Are you trying to find someone to collaborate with on a project?

Knowing why you’re networking will help you make connections more strategically, and it can help you be more purposeful and thoughtful when engaging with others.

If you’re looking for a job, make sure you research the organizations that are hosting the event, and tailor your elevator pitch to show why you’d be a good fit for them.

If you’re hoping for some introductions to people in your industry, try to find the people who you think would be the best connections for you and try to have a conversation with them.

You can also try to make connections with people who have skills that you need, like people who know a lot about marketing or web development.

Bring A Friend

If you have a friend who also happens to be an introvert and is also interested in networking, bring them along to the event. Having a friend by your side can make networking much more enjoyable.

It can also help you feel less anxious about the whole situation. While you’re both at the event, each of you can try to network with different people, so you’re not putting all the pressure on one person.

If you can’t find a friend who wants to come with you to networking events, don’t let that stop you from going. While it’s always ideal to have a friend to go with you, it’s not a requirement. You can still make networking work for you even if you’re going alone.

Be An Active Listener

One of the biggest problems that introverts have at networking events is that they don’t listen well. They tend to jump right into their elevator pitch as soon as they meet someone.

Without really engaging with the person and showing interest in what they have to say. While it’s important to be prepared for networking events so you know what you want to say and how you want to present yourself.

It’s also important to know when to shut up and actually listen to the person you’re talking to. Active listening means that you’re fully engaged with the person you’re talking to and that you’re not just waiting for them to finish so that you can jump in and start selling yourself.

It means that you’re using eye contact and reflecting back what they say to show that you’re paying attention and that you’re interested in what they have to say.

Smile

When you’re networking, try to smile as much as you can. It doesn’t have to be a huge, crazy smile, but it should be a genuine and friendly smile. If you’re feeling anxious, it might be difficult to smile naturally.

So try to calm yourself down before the event by doing some deep breathing. When you’re networking, make sure you’re not scowling or frowning. It’s normal to feel a bit nervous and stressed out.

But you don’t want that to be the only emotion that people associate you with when meeting you for the first time. A smile can help you come across as more approachable and friendly, which are two qualities that make networking easier for introverts.

Aim For Quality Over Quantity

When you’re networking, try to aim for quality rather than quantity. While it’s tempting to try to talk to as many people as possible, It’s better to talking with a smaller number of people and building connections.

Networking events are often designed to help you meet as many people as possible, but that’s not really the best strategy for introverts. You’re more likely to remember the person that you had a genuine conversation with, than the person that you met for two minutes.

When you approach networking with this mentality, you’ll feel less stressed out and overwhelmed, which are common feelings for introverts.

Follow Up After Introductions

After you’ve met with someone at the networking event, be sure to follow up with them after the event. Send them an email thanking them for speaking with you.

And make sure to reference something they talked about at the event. It doesn’t have to be a long email, it can be a short and simple message that shows that you were actually listening to what they said.

Make sure to follow up with the people you’ve spoken with and try to build a relationship with them. It’s important to keep in touch with people as an introvert, so that they don’t forget about you and you have a network to fall back on when you need it.

Be Yourself

When you’re networking, it’s important to be yourself and to not try to be someone you’re not. Don’t try to force yourself to talk to as many people as possible and don’t try to talk to as many people as possible.

Take it one conversation at a time and make sure that you’re fully engaging with the person you’re talking to. Don’t worry about trying to sell yourself and don’t worry about trying to sound like an expert.

Instead, just focus on having a genuine, authentic conversation with that person. Networking is easier for introverts when they’re being themselves because then they’re not putting extra pressure on themselves to come across in a certain way.

If you’re being real and genuine with the people you talk to, they’ll appreciate that and they’ll probably be more likely to want to connect with you in the future.

Seek Online Networking Groups

There are many online networking groups that are designed specifically for introverts, making it easy to network online and in a way that’s comfortable and beneficial for introverts.

You can search online networking groups in your industry, or you can search general networking groups to meet other people who work in your field. These groups make it easy for introverts to network without having to attend in-person events, which can be more difficult for them.

Networking online can help you make connections with people from all over the world, which can be helpful if you work in a global industry or you work remotely. It can also help you make connections with people who don’t live near you, which can be helpful if you don’t know anyone in your local area.

Don’t Hide Behind Your Phone

A common mistake that many people make when networking is that they hide behind their phone. They’re always on their phones and they never engage with the people around them.

This is obviously a huge mistake, especially for introverts who want to network. While it’s important to take notes and stay present during the networking event, don’t hide behind your phone the entire time.

You don’t have to put your phone away completely, but you also don’t want to be looking at it constantly.

Be sure to put your phone on silent so that it doesn’t disrupt the people around you, and try to focus on the event, even if you’re taking notes on your phone.

Conclusion

Networking is crucial for career advancement, but it’s something that many people struggle with, especially introverts. Luckily, there are plenty of strategies that can make networking less scary and more beneficial for introverts. The best networking strategies for introverts involve knowing why you’re networking.

Being an active listener, smiling, aiming for quality over quantity, following up after introductions, and being yourself. Make sure to also seek out online networking groups to make networking even easier.

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